Archive for December, 2017

“Misery Accomplished”

December 31, 2017


“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.” — Pope Francis – “Evangelii Gaudium” (2013)

We let it happened on our watch – a trillion and a half borrowed dollars making the rich yet richer at the expense of the old, sick, powerless and poor – Americans all.

Shame on you for abandoning integrity and joining the moneychangers, Tom McClintock.

Record crowds are already turning out in Roseville, Mariposa, Oakhurst and elsewhere in the Fourth District to hear from Democratic contenders dedicated to driving you out of the temple. And as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) might happily observe, they’re all GIRLS. Newspapers in LA and San Francisco already agree that we are in serious play for the first time in decades. These ladies are resisting, persisting, insisting and — enlisting.

Donald Trump signed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” into law before leaving for an expensive Christmas vacation at Mar-A-Lago, his private club in West Palm Beach. It wasn’t long before he was bragging to millionaire friends in his bar, “You all just got a lot richer.” He might have been looking in the mirror. The law puts many new millions into Trump’s own pocket in the immediate future with lots more saved for the Trump family not that far down the road.

But after all is said and done, it turns out you’re as dumb as you look, Donald. With a single signature, you made yourself functionally obsolete, having served your primary purpose as President of the powerful by signing into law the most massive transfer of wealth in our nation’s history. Republican donors unheard of, but not unheeded, wanted no more, but would accept nothing less. Your services are no longer required. “Poodle” Pence will be encouraged to pounce. His obeisance is proven. He’ll stay curbed.

For the one percent of our population at the very top, a mission of misery for the masses has been accomplished.

83% of the new Republican tax “reform law” benefits will go to folks on top of the hill after ten years, but 60% will actually go to the top one percent of the top one percent. That’s one out of ten thousand citizens grabbing 60% of the action, leaving the remaining 40% to 9,999 others. Do the math yourself.

92 million middle-class Americans will end up paying more in taxes by the end of a decade, 8 million this year alone. 13 million Americans will lose their health insurance as the rest face sharply rising premiums for significantly less coverage. The devastation won’t stop there.

Here come “responsible” Republican cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other vital social programs in the name of “deficit reduction” and “budget balancing.”

Infrastructure investment? Bring back toll roads.

Universal health care? As long as it’s The “Star Wars” plan – offered

in a galaxy far, far away.

Food stamps? Let them eat cake!

Free cake? Only as paid for!

Never before in the history of our Republic have so few robbed so many so ruthlessly under the guise of free enterprise — dollars returned for pennies invested at the very top of the pyramid.

Feel the trickle?

Or was it a trick?

Jessica Morse, Regina Bateson and Roza Calderon say it was tragic.

Tom McClintock offered the measure his “enthusiastic support” on behalf of California taxpayers. Tom also claims that those who insist that “trickle down” doesn’t work are Marxists.

Such as Pope Francis?







“Here Comes The Sun”

December 17, 2017


I bet you never felt a thing.

At precisely 8:28 this morning (Oakhurst Time) – the Northern Hemisphere of Earth once again tilted back toward the sun as our darkest day of the year dawned with Winter Solstice 2017.

Perhaps these dire days of Trump will soon find similar end.

“With flames from the dragon of darkness, the sunlight blinds his eyes” – Led Zeppelin – “Battle for Evermore” (1971)

The rats have been cornered and are attacking.

Fox News has moved from truth to treachery to treason.

California Representative Adam Schiff’s’s chilling call for alarm last Friday is ignored at great peril.

“I’m increasingly worried Republicans will shut down the House Intelligence Committee Investigation by the end of the month. We have dozens of outstanding witnesses on key aspects of our investigation that they refuse to contact.”

 Schiff is burdened by being forced to deal with the embarrassing inadequacies of his Committee Chairman, Devin “Nitwit” Nunes, who had yet to explain his extraordinary involvement several months ago in dramatically holding a major press conference, then bringing to the White House documents he had obtained in the dark of night – at and from — the White House. Move over, Bozo. A new King Clown was thus self-crowned. Watch him closely. Furtive eyes tell no lies.

 Republicans in Congress have willfully abandoned any pretense of proper protocol in a desperate end of the year rush to give the grabber his pathetic “win” with a tax bonanza for the rich and corporations they control. Damn democracy — full greed ahead! The old and poor can pay for it. They’ve been coddled long enough.

Meanwhile, the Internet is now open to bidding by power players thanks to last week’s 3-2 party vote to abandon “Network Neutrality” and allow broadband suppliers to throttle speeds and/or refuse competitor content.

Virtually every cabinet position is held by those dedicated to governmental destruction, the only saving grace being that many of Trump’s choices are proving to be grossly incompetent at anything they do. See that candidate for a lifetime appointment as Federal Appellate Judge on TV? It’s a miracle he remembered to put on his pants before testifying. I rest my case.

Yet I sense we are finally reaching a brilliant crescendo as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team relentlessly pursue ultimate, healing truth with sworn loyalty to the American people and commensurate accountability by all.

It should not be overlooked that Robert Mueller is a lifelong Republican who ran the FBI from 2001 to 2013. George W. Bush appointed him to this position. President Barack Obama extended his original ten-year term for two years, making him the longest serving FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover. Mueller was a Marine Corp Officer in the Viet Nam war. He received the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for Heroism and a Purple Heart for wounds incurred in heavy combat. Folks, he ain’t afraid of Donald “Draft Dodger” Trump.

It is undeniably evident that insidious Russian interference in our 2016 election cycle took place nationwide with surreptitious sophistication. The Trump Administration not only denies this. They have unforgivably done nothing about it.

My own summary suspicion on this whole deal is that Trump became heavily entangled with Russian financial alliances and potentially deadly obligations way back after he filed his six business bankruptcies when no legitimate bank would lend him another penny.

For any practical purpose, Donald J. Trump is now functionally an agent of Vladimir Putin’s global agenda as Sean Hannity obstructs justice on a criminal level with kindred souls equally lacking fundamental integrity.

As the world turns.







“Hands to Yourself”

December 10, 2017


 “Don’t hand me no lines, and keep your hands to yourself” – Georgia Satellites (1986)


It’s too late to do much about it anyway.

But I’d like to believe I’ve had more than my fair share of forbidden flesh in the 76 years I’ve been spinning around our sun. I’m still just not sure how much fair might be and exactly what’s forbidden.

As an Irish Catholic lad attending parochial school in the early ‘50’s, I can tell you what I was originally told was forbidden flesh. Everything. Even my own.

Desiring pleasure brought the same guilt as finding it. “Wanting to” was “doing it” with an identical penalty – burning in the flaming fires of hell for all eternity. And – what burns the hottest – is the part you’ve sinned with. I’m not making this up.

There was even a fancy word that summed it all up. “Concupiscence.” That was defined in the catechism (“rule book”) as “a natural desire for sensual evil.” Father Dan Berrigan, S.J. thought this was stupid and had us write “or good” after the word “evil” in our Theology textbooks at Le Moyne College in Syracuse. That took care of that. I decided way back then that appropriate sexual conduct comes down to responsible behavior, common decency and mutual consent.

The indisputable fact remains that males of our species are genetically predisposed to initiate an act that rhymes with “Tex”. See? Echoes from the past still haunt my psyche. But romantic mechanics in getting things started have happily evolved upward through time from a hair drag in the cave to a bent knee lowered in humble petition — King Kong to Prince Harry.

Nevertheless, we now witness a sudden cascade of caustic castigation as accusations of impropriety are levied against dozens of iconic male figures, such charges offering easily definable variance in severity of offense despite nonsensical demands for “zero tolerance” in certain batty circles. Please. A passing posterior is not the Ark of the Covenant. One shouldn’t die for touching it. A sound slap? Sure.

What a roll call. Among the better-known accused Media types are Dustin Hoffman, Russell Simmons, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Ben Affleck, Nick Carter, Louis C.K., Richard Dreyfuss, Sylvester Stallone, and even Garrison Keeler. Skinny-dipping in Lake Wobegon?

There are politicians, preachers, cops and teachers. Sailors, jailers, priests and tailors. Young and old, brave and bold. George H. W. Bush, our 41st President, claims his favorite magician is “David Cop-a-Feel.” Really. Trump frump Sarah Sanders says her boss, currently President by divine misfortune, does not lie — especially about women.

In my mind there’s a vast difference between the criminal activities alleged of casting couch lizard Harvey Weinstein and a few ill positioned squeezes by Senator Al Franken at the Minnesota State Fair. That “playful” picture on the plane leaving The Gulf in the old dark comedy days didn’t help matters any. Rod Stewart was right. Every picture does tell a story, especially if it’s not the one intended.

Senator Al was sacrificed on the altar of political expediency by sister senators of Democratic persuasion who wanted a better shot at Judge Roy Moore without being encumbered by a bothersome brother. Even though Franken had been an outstanding advocate of women’s rights since his earliest days in office, he had to go. From a tactical perspective, this is probably true. In other ways, I’m not so sure.

It seems that some ladies can be as rough and tough as the boys.

That’s fine with me and comes as no surprise.

I remember those nuns.







“Dates of Infamy”

December 3, 2017



“December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt — “War Message to Congress”

Today, December 7, 2017, marks the 76th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War Two, a conflict that resulted in the deaths of tens of millions and a narrow escape from global despotic rule. We’re still speaking English in Oakhurst. This need not have been so.

Tomorrow is the 37th Anniversary of the shooting of John Lennon in front of the Dakota, his residence in New York City, an assassination which brought to an end the remarkable career of a musical master and working class hero. Have we ever actually given peace a chance?

In less than two weeks, on Tuesday, December 19th, we confront the 1st Anniversary of the Electoral College officially verifying the November 8, 2016 election of Donald J. Trump as 45th President of the United States, sealing our fate to be led by a lunatic until such time as the madness mercifully stops or we all end. Let’s add these to our list of infamous dates.

I find myself struggling to write the same thing in different ways. Our beloved country is turning “tribal”, normally referencing a group of distinct people existing before the development of nation states. Now it defines modern day separatism and largely accounts for the tawdry triumphs of Trump – raising taxes on the poor and middle class, taking health insurance away from 13 million, raising average premiums 10%, increasing the federal deficit by several trillion dollars and desecrating every traditional institution that comes within reach of his puny putrescent paws.

Prominent British anthropologist Steven Corry defines “tribal people” as having followed certain ways of life for many generations, regard themselves as largely self sufficient and reflect attitudes clearly different from the mainstream, dominant society. The immediate clan is elevated to a position of highest allegiance. Group thought is supreme, regarded as a measure of character, connection and safe guidance. It’s going along to get along. It’s surrender of the soul. It’s acceptance of witless external direction that can change a pedophile to a parson in the wink of an eye. Praise the Lord and Saint Roy Moore of Etowah County, Alabama.

Sports tribes are fine, unless we forget there are quite a few meanings of the word “game” all the way from “an activity providing entertainment or amusement” to “an object of attack, ridicule or pursuit.” Eileen and I were treated to examples of both when we attended Game 4 of the 1968 World Series at Tiger Stadium in Detroit.

A group of St. Louis fans made the mistake of displaying Cardinal sportswear as they walked in front of ice-cold Stroh’s guzzling Tiger fans. The visitors were thoroughly doused in beer from head to toe – and it wasn’t even Bud. One fact does remain. They became game at the game. Thank you. Thank you. Next show’s at Midnight. Tickets in the lobby.

Last Friday (12/1/17) had to be a day of infamy for Donald the First with his former favorite General, Michael Thomas Flynn, copping to a Federal felony and singing like a canary. Adding insult to injury, “Two Scoops” found out about it watching “Fox & Friends.” He thought being President meant you knew stuff first. “The first shall be last.” Matthew 20:16. Look it up in the Bible, Mr. President. It’s that big black book next to your crayons.