Hey Everybody, the Cold War is Making a Comeback!!


There are all those movies.  Seems a recurring event.

The hero of the movie wonders, if we could just prove the bad guy is doing criminal activity, we can bring him down!!

And the hero goes to some big building with alarms in the middle of the night wearing a black outfit and a mask and sneaks into some office, fumbles through some files, and finds the evidence he or she needs in a hanging file folder.  Then there is either a picture taken or the documents necessary to put the person we all hated is stolen.

And we are okay with this scenario time and time again.  But it only works if it is definitively obvious that somebody is the good guy and somebody is the bad guy.

There’s not a moment when the person who was stolen from gets out of it all by suggesting that the organization who broke into his office was in cahoots with another organization and then we all have to decide who was right or if the horrible act found on the document was “bad enough” or needs to be prosecuted.

Movies require endings which leave the viewer satisfied.

Real life only requires that certain people are satisfied.  There’s no neat packaging.

So I’m struggling with what to think of this.

WikiLeaks obviously does not like Clinton.  There is obviously something personal there.  Seems there is a reason Assange is going after her.  I don’t know what this is.

He may be simply trying to expose America’s holier than though policy making by showing it is just as corrupt as other nations.  That when America gets involved with nation building or when they overthrow a government and institute something that America agrees with more, they probably should be spending time fixing their own system and not worrying so much about others.

Because when Clinton claims that foreign agents are working to try and influence America’s election, I think of all the times that America has directly affected others’ elections or systems.  I think of Obama going to England and making a speech recently.  Specifically telling them who to vote for.

I think of military events and coups that have taken place with America’s fingerprints all over them.

I’m not sure I see any reason Putin would be involved.

Maybe I’m naive?

Or maybe Clinton and her advisers are hoping the nation is naive?

I am not making this about the actual election.  I’m done with that.  I’m thinking something bigger.

The rhetoric from Clinton’s mouth and the way that the media is helping her spin this idea that Russia is trying to directly effect our elections reminds of when Bush wanted to go after Iraq and the media helped turn the discussion to his favor.

I clearly remember telling my wife that is what was happening.

And we did.  We went to war.

All the money and lives (not just American lives) this has cost the world.

We continue with drone attacks to that part of the world.  We will not learn our lesson.  And I see Clinton as the war candidate in this election.  The shift of her discussion has turned to Russia.

Tweets.  Because that’s the election of 2016.  From Hillary Clinton.

“With the election just 8 days away…Trump should immediately disclose all of his ties and connections to the Kremlin and its associates.”

“The fear of nuclear war that we had as children, I never thought our children would ever have to deal with that again.”

Whenever I see a candidate running on fear tactics, it bothers me.  We don’t need the Cold War reopened.  We don’t need another war.  We don’t need fear to continue to be the leading factor in people’s decision making.

I’m done with these candidates and the discussion.  It will be done in a week.

My children are voting for the first time in their lives this year.  At least I hope they will be.  It’s sad to think that this is the year of their first participation in our “democracy.”

We went and caucused for three hours only to find out that our time was not meaningful.

We now look and watch as the Department of Fear rears it’s head with dishonest ideas.  On both sides.

Because when fear is used by anybody in political power in order to persuade a culture to do what he or she wants even if it’s not good for that culture, that is a form of terrorism in my opinion.

War is never good.

The Patriot Act was horrible.

Nobody put the guy who broke into that office building and stole files into jail.  Nobody.  In movies, that person is the hero.

I’m going to go listen to music with my dog and make dinner.

Curses


I am a baseball fan.

I live in a part of the world where people only care about football.  The local National Football League team has been pretty good for a few years and has actually won a championship.  One bad call away from another.

I’m not going to tell you where I live.

Our Major League Baseball team, by contrast, has not been so successful.  After a short run in the late 90’s ending in 2001, the team has not even returned to the playoffs.  I believe this is now the longest drought.

But I still love baseball.  I love the tempo and the energy and the strategy and the fact that everything is not a euphemism for war like football.

And I love math and statistics.  Baseball fans are crazy about their math.  But don’t hold that against me.  It’s only numbers and they don’t mean a thing.

Right now is the World Series.

The Chicago Cubs are the favorite and have not actually won the World Series since 1908.  That was a good team.  Tinkers to Evers to Chance.  Mordecai “Three Fingers” Brown.  I mean, it was a pretty good team.

And that goat kicked over the lantern that set the barn on fire and the team hasn’t won since.  Unless I have my curses confused.

The Curse of the Billy Goat.  I don’t know anymore.

The Indians, by the way, haven’t won since it was acceptable to be called the Indians.  They should really change that name.  As should the Braves and Redskins.  None of your players are Native Americans, so why…?

The real answer is that the Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948.  You know, back when the Negro Leagues still existed.

The Indians, by the way, should have won in 1997.  I remember this because my youngest daughter was born and I watched the World Series from the hospital.  It was an ugly series.  I was hoping Cleveland would win.  Not the Marlins.

The General Manager of the Cubs is Theo Epstein.  He was the GM when the Red Sox broke their curse in 2004.  They had the Curse of the Bambino.  I wish it still existed.

There’s something about the mythology of baseball.  That curses exist.  That a team can be so poor and we make up excuses like the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth and that caused them to never win a Series again.  Until Theo Epstein.

If you are a fan like me, you have seen the near misses.  The close games.  The times that it seemed they just couldn’t break the curse.

My epiphany into baseball came in 1986 when Bill Buckner let that ball go through his legs.  That was the curse.  The Red Sox had this won.  And a simple play went bad at the wrong time

I watched it on a tiny black and white television I received for my birthday that year.  It had rabbit ears and I only received four channels.

It was still a great game.

I was 14 and that game.  That play.  It changed my view of baseball permanently.

Listen, we can run Markov calculations until the end of time, but what makes the game of baseball so great is the lore.  The stories.  I think of them like the stories of your religion.

Shoeless Joe was written when I was a child and there was a film based on it created not long after.  It was called Field of Dreams.  MLB Network still has players coming out of the corn.

The character that did not make the film version was the oldest living Cub.  He didn’t make it into the version people would remember.  He wasn’t actually the oldest living Cub.  He had never played.  Instead, his role in the book was to deliver the sermons of all sermons.  It was actually a nice moment.

The Cub fans are some of the most unfortunate fans in the world.  They really are.

But so are the Cleveland fans who had a gone over a half century without winning anything until this past basketball season.  At least Chicago had Michael Jordan and that 1985 Bears team.

Cleveland had nothing.  And they won’t have the Browns.

I hope the Curse of whatever goat tipping over lanterns continues.  I need it.

I hate to believe that one guy can break two curses in his career.

And I need to revisit Shoeless Joe.  It really was a good book.

sermon

That was a picture I took at AT&T Park last year when we went for a visit.

Baseball has that kind of aspect to it.

I’m rooting for the poorly named Indians and I hope they win.  I then hope they change their mascot, because it is representative of poor decisions this country has made.

I then hope the one last curse continues.

I at least hope that the local Major League Baseball team can do something before that curse is broken.

We need a win.

And hope is crack for the brain.

But curses…

 

Rapier


I keep hearing people say this one thing.

Can’t wait for this to be over.

They say this is the nastiest and most despicable thing they’ve ever witnessed that wasn’t only aired online.  Or on a Tosh.0 episode.

Can’t wait for this to be over.

Here’s the problem.  Once it’s over, we’ve done it.  We’ve “elected” one of the most unpopular candidates in history.  No way around it.  Unless we come to our senses.

For all the talk.  For all the discussion.

I mean, most people in power have been known for their rapier wit.  Obama definitely.

This year the discussion revolves around who is rapeyer.  Not the same thing.  And not even a word according to the squiggly red line.  It’s so much not a word that I honestly did not know how to spell it, but I swear that the presidential candidates have tried to discuss who rapes the most.

That’s what we’ve become.

Rapier wit, by the way, is defined as ability to deliver witty and cutting remarks.

There is no rapier wit in this election cycle.

In fact, democracy seems to have been raped.  It’s not real.

Eighteen months ago I might have told you that this would be another Clinton vs. Bush election.  Sanders surged.  Trump beat up on Bush like an elementary school bully.  Rubio seemed like a decent choice, but he was picked on and dismantled.

Hackers got into the DNC email and found that the Clinton campaign wanted to prop up Trump, Carson, or Cruz as Republican nominees.  The media obliged.  They all had their day while moderates were picked on and marginalized.

I don’t know if Trump was in on this.

I don’t know what really happened.  I’m just some guy who actually still uses a desktop computer.

I do know that I almost don’t want this to end.

We were tricked from day one.  And we allowed it to happen.

I envision Hillary Clinton’s picture on our credit cards in 15 years.  A symbol of big banking.

Side note.  Several months back, we were told my conservative leaders, and Ted Cruz, that transgender people using the restroom they identify with would be a travesty because little girls would be raped constantly by horny transgender people who just didn’t know how to control themselves.  It was all a trick.

Back to the rapey culture.

Bill Cosby is a rapist.

Donald Trump and Bill Clinton may be rapists.

Transgender people?  No proof.  No evidence.  Made up garbage.

But the apologists?  Those who think it’s not a big deal?  Those who defend Trump?  Same people who said they didn’t want their two daughters (Cruz) being in a bathroom with a transgender person.

Again, don’t leave your little daughters to use public restrooms alone.

And stop vilifying things just because you don’t understand.  That’s the big takeaway.  If you don’t understand somebody, maybe you should try.

So back to the main point.  It’s almost over.  Nothing we can do.  It will end in a couple weeks.

And I’m ending this abruptly.  Nothing more to say.  I really want to move on but I can’t.

This will simply end soon.

And what have we done?

We did what they told us.

Are you proud of that?

Yeast and Sugar


My kids were heading off to go to watch some YouTube star speak yesterday.  I don’t understand YouTube.  Maybe I am sounding old after tapping those words out, but you’re telling me that any old yahoo with a camera can become famous?

I was in the very beginning phases of making a couple loaves of bread.  It’s something I enjoy.

My youngest comes into the kitchen and delivers her generic and emotionless “hello” because I’m pretty sure she thinks that’s funny.  To which I reply with the same lack of emotion.

Then I reply with, “this is the world in a bowl.”

She looks over and sees the yeast and sugar interacting in hot water.  It likely only looked murky to her.

“See, the sugar doesn’t like the yeast so it attacks it.  The yeast reacts by getting active faster and growing.”

I’m not sure if anything I’m saying is what is really going on, but it’s what I see.

“So, sugar and yeast hate each other?”

“Sugar hates yeast and attacks it.  The yeast reacts by growing faster.”

“Oh.”

“So don’t be a sugar.  Be a yeast.”

“You turned that into something philosophical?”

“I told you it was the world in a bowl.”

“Oh.  Yeah.”

“Now I’m about ready to pour a bunch of flour in there and cover it up.  Nobody will ever know what happened.”

She picked up her keys and left with those words.

When I was in high school, I read both 1984 and Brave New World and was assigned the task of a compare and contrast essay.  Honestly this didn’t seem fair.  When you think about it.

Teenagers cannot really comprehend what is happening in the world.

And the groundwork that created what both of those novels were warning was just starting to get underway when I was going to high school in the 1980’s.

Much of Orwell’s future has become a reality, but instead of the government forcing us to be watched, we have volunteered our every move to the corporations that want to sell us goods.  We allow Facebook and Google and our devices to monitor everything we are doing.  To report on every place we go.  To tell them everything we are interested in purchasing and to report all the searches we have done.

Yahoo! recently admitted they wrote a program that searched email and reported certain words and phrases to the government.

Both books use propaganda and censorship as a tool in their future societies.  It always has been a tool.  Rewriting history is a constant.

Here’s the beauty of propaganda in today’s world.  The news organizations now censor themselves.  They sift through the news and determine what to report on and what not to.  They decide for you.  And much of the news is merely opinion delivered as if it’s news.

We are addicted to sensationalism.  But real journalism?

Amy Goodman faces charges of trespassing for reporting on DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) which nearly exactly the same pipeline that was stopped a year ago.  Here’s the trick on this pipeline- nobody reported on it.  Nobody discussed it.  And those who did were charged.

Huxley’s future shows a government which acts as a benevolent dictator as opposed to a harsh government presented by Orwell.  As I was reminding myself of some of the major themes since it has been a few years, I found this quote.  A note from Huxley to Orwell.

Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.

Huxley, instead, wrote a future in which people were controlled with distractions and drugs.  They were completely satisfied with their lives because they didn’t know not to be.  They were conditioned to consume so that they would have jobs to go to.

And while Huxley was right on many levels (we do love distractions and to consume), we are a country that loves prison.  We absolutely love destroying people’s one life by putting them away for petty crimes.

Both novels had a caste system.  You were either wealthy and had control or you were a worker.  This isn’t surprising as this has always existed.  Why do you think karma was invented?  But this breakdown?

  • (I) the upper-class Inner Party, the elite ruling minority, who make up 2% of the population.
  • (II) the middle-class Outer Party, who make up 13% of the population.
  • (III) the lower-class Proles (from proletariat), who make up 85% of the population and represent the uneducated working class.

That is becoming increasingly more a reality.

But here’s the thing.  The reason I’m writing this, because I’m not merely making up for lack of understanding or lack of internet from my high school days.  Both novels are a warning of what may happen if Socialism is allowed to rear its ugly head on our society.

But really, both novels are a warning of what happens when the government gives too much control to a small amount of people and dismisses the people’s needs.  Which is where we are today.

War is the answer to everything.  Consumption and distraction.  Propaganda and censorship.  And, yes, Big Brother is watching you and you actually paid good money to let him into your life.

We were warned.

When the sugar attacked, we had a chance.

But we allowed the flour to cover it all up.

Because the bread tastes too good.

There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

— Part III, Chapter III, Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Place for Politics 2016


It’s Sunday.

It’s my day off.

My dog ran off today.  I went to my car to get something and he ran.  He’s always stayed by my side.

I was not dressed to chase a dog around the neighborhood, so after about 15 minutes I went into my house and got dressed.  Put on a hoodie and good shoes.  At least I knew where he was before that.

Now I’m walking around the neighborhood.

I pull out my phone while I whistle.  He always responds to my whistle.  If somebody whistles on television his head pops up.

Somebody mailed in Donald Trump’s taxes from 1995.  He claimed a near one billion dollar loss in his company that year.  That allowed him to not pay taxes for 18 years.  If you’re bad at math, that time period just ended.  Unless he had other tax loopholes worked out.

If you’re bad at math, he probably made more money after that when he started being a television personality.

Previously on Donald Trump’s tax details, he worked out a deal with New York City that he would be tax exempt for 40 years for giving a hotel a makeover back in 1976.  If you are bad at math, that time is pretty much up.

I’m guessing Donald Trump wants to give his taxes a pardon.

This is, for the record, real news.  Those blind to what he did and what he owes and the words he uses are going to make excuses or call him a brilliant businessman.  His failures as a businessman should exceed how he was able to get out of taxes.

Paying people (attorneys) to help you dodge taxes is not genius.  That’s money to spare.

I keep walking down the road and whistling.  I go to the dog park four different times.  I walk down to the river.  I keep looking.

I see Julian Assange says he has information he will release on Tuesday that will ruin Clinton’s chances of becoming president by Wednesday.

Clinton called all of Sanders’ supporters basement dwellers several months ago.  We just didn’t know it until the other day.  Yes, people support Sanders because they are lazy goodfornothinglazypeople who are simply expecting free stuff.

Is she really so blind as to not be able to see that people were looking for serious change?  People see that their economic lives have flat lined while the economic status of those at the top continues to climb.

People have lost sight of the fact that these representatives of democracy are actually supposed to represent the people.  There is no representation.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

That was the bumper sticker my dad had back in the 80’s.  Times have changed.

People rarely have bumper stickers anymore.

I talk to a girl I’ve seen at the dog park a couple times.  She hasn’t seen my dog.  She did,  however, tell me that her very ugly dog was having a first birthday today.  Her dog is named Lucy and has eyebrows.  I can see her gums.  She is an atrociously ugly looking dog.

I walk away taking a different path.  Whistling.

And I’m continuing to read some of the garbage that has been going on.

Trump suggests last night that Hillary has been unfaithful to her husband.  We all know Bill was unfaithful.

We all know Trump has been unfaithful.  Every wife was the one he cheated on during the last.  Sex is power.  Money is power.  Power is sexy.  But how does a man who has made a career out of objectifying women think that kettle/pot politics is smart?

I pass maybe four Trump Pence signs while I’m walking.

I passed absolutely no Clinton signs.

I used to see Bernie signs during the primary.

I pass a Gary Johnson sign.  He’s so weird.

There is no excitement for Clinton.  None.  It’s just something we need to do to avoid a Trump presidency.  And this state will go to Clinton.  It just will.

In a state this blue, my vote means little.  There will be no campaigning here.

That’s why I will vote for Jill Stein.

I ponder all this again.  Reading opinions.  Whistling every so often.

My dog doesn’t come.

I then pass what I think would be a cheap and easy fix for this whole election cycle.

2016-10-02-15-21-54.jpg

The Place for Politics 2016

Yes.  That’s the answer.

I walk away.  Certainly thinking that toilet could be the place for politics 2016.

We should have the option to flush it down.  Flush it all away.  Grab a free toilet off the side of the road and stuff the whole election down.

Don’t forget to wipe.  Bidet.  All of it.

Now I have the lyrics to Ænema in my head.

Fret for your figure and
Fret for your latte and
Fret for your lawsuit and
Fret for your hairpiece and
Fret for your Prozac and
Fret for your pilot and
Fret for your contract and
Fret for your car

It’s a
Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of
Freaks

Because this has been one hell of a shitty campaign and we still have five weeks to go.

Honestly, I believe that the complete campaign should start on October 1.  Every single cycle.  Without question.  What are we doing?

This is one year that I believe regardless of who wins, we as citizens lose.  And we lose bigly.  Fuck, I hope that word doesn’t get into the dictionary.  The definition should be “word to describe the failure of American politics in 2016.”

My dog is sitting on my lap as I write this.  Around the time I passed the free toilet my wife texted me that the dog was home.

My town apparently has a blotter.  Somebody found him at the park, picked him up, posted his picture, and social media did it’s thing.  A girl from across the street recognized him and described my house.  The original poster brought him to the house.

Trump uses social media at three in the morning.

I can see him as the type of leader who after talking to other leaders from around the world, sits in bed thinking about what he should have said and starts a text/tweet war with that person.

Yes, just like a 15 year old girl.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves
Followed by fault lines that cannot sit still
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dip-shits

Some say the end is near
Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon
I certainly hope we will because
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly shit, stupid shit . . .

One great big festering neon distraction
I’ve a suggestion to keep you all occupied

Learn to swim

And I will finish with the endings from one of the great songs of my lifetime.  I know the song is about the city and culture of Los Angeles, but if I pick my lyrics, they work.

And isn’t that what this whole election is about?

Selectively choosing words and spin?

Flush it away.

And I know where to get this magical toilet.  It’s just down the road.

Short note- if this election season gets flushed, I might start praying to the toilet god.  I will be saved.

Because I’m praying for mayhem
And I’m praying for tidal waves
I want to see the ground give way
I want to watch it all go down
Mom, please flush it all away
I want to see it go right in and down
I want to watch it go right in
Watch you flush it all away

Time to bring it down again
Don’t just call me pessimist
Try and read between the lines

I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t
Welcome any change, my friend

I want to see it all come down
Suck it down
Flush it down