Death is what happens to you when you are making other plans.
Just thought I would let you know, two of my posts over the last week have been snatched from my old BlogSpot.com “A Total Solid Waste”. I realized that some of that material has not had that much exposure, and Google does a much better job of doing so.
For those of you still reading, thanks!
Today I looked up at the November moon as I was driving my route, picking up the garbage. It was just a day before the last quarter, between the lead of storm clouds, hanging in the sky during a sun-burst. It was the first time I ever looked up and felt that drop in the stomach, as if I was looking out at the erosion of the Badlands, or the cut through the basalt of Hells Canyon. It felt like I finally understood that I was standing on a rotating ball, locked in a duel orbit, and the craters and dust was only a quarter of a million miles away, moving with me. If I just stretched my arm far enough, I could touch it.
I remember the time sitting waiting for my mother; I was on the passage side of the front seat, light streaming in from the warm sun. I must have been five-ish, certainly under ten. It dawned on me exactly why I could not see the stars in the day time. The sun is too bright; it overwhelms them. It does not seem so important now, but at five-ish, certainly under ten, I felt a profound wonder.
Today, as I picked up the garbage, I felt that again. There is something to be said for being this old, being this broken but plodding on. Every day, the wonder comes back.
Waiting in a parking garage, enjoying the weird.
Pregnant with Possibilities
When we lie down on the ground and look at the clouds, we let our imagination wander. Some days we can just enjoy the endless variety of weather, but on others there as flocks of sheep, horses, faces, etc. People who study how the brain works call this phenomena pareidolia, the brains ability to perceive things in objects that have nothing what so ever to do with the things themselves. Pareidolia may be a form of something called apophenia which is a term for seeing unwarranted connections.
I like to think of it as just enjoying the weird. It reminds me that we are all one big gestalt.
The never ending struggle of the “Haves” vs. “Have-nots” goes on. Unfortunately the “Haves” are in the governing position, so they have the ability to make the laws that govern us all. All I can do right now is be a squeaking wheel and hope that I get greased or drive them insane so they make a mistake. I sent the following e-mail to my state representatives a month or so ago.
Sept. 18, 2018
I just want to be sure that my representatives for Idaho know that I consider anyone who votes for the repeal and replacement of the ACA to be in criminal collusion with an attack by the Russian Federation on our country. Those who are not actively responding to this attack and are attempting to push a divisive agenda should be brought up on criminal charges. This is not government as usual.
This is the response from one of my representatives:
This is my response to that letter from Simpson:
In 2010 it was a compromise with factions in the GOP which allowed the ACA to pass. It was these compromises that were installed by the GOP to help it fail. They could have spent the time fixing the problems in the ACA. Instead they obstructed any attempt to make health care better. Once the GOP controlled Congress they encouraged that decline. They allowed it to rise in cost and insurance companies to limit choices. Most likely it is a result of the for-profit medical system and the lobby monies going into political pockets to get more money out of consumers. The GOP sabotaged the program without any bipartisan attempt to make a single payer program.
Trump has done his part by sabotaging with executive order. He says it is the first step in reversing the course of failure. The first step is having a single payer system in bill form with a budget to cover it. They need to figure that “budget constraint” first before going off half-cocked.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did not find lower costs, it found higher and fewer people covered. The 130 billion to state funds has not been addressed by “budget reconciliation” and when the GOP finds it would increase the deficit, they would sabotage the new system in the name of fiscal responsibility. They would leave the states to fend for themselves. There is a lot of faith that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will work on a state level, but states have budget constraints that do not exist on a federal level. States will cut services that a federal mandate legally would not allow, especially in the poorer states.
He is correct that our health care is at a crossroads. But he shies away from a responsible single payer system because he and the GOP are not willing to work for it. They are in the pay of for-profit-medicine contributors. He talks about Veterans Health and the problems in care, but he and Congress have done nothing to fix Veteran health care and they have known about it for years. He and Congress are responsible for their own failures.
Increased competion is right up there with supply side economics. It is built on a corporate fantasy that has no relevance to the general population. The trickle down theory only works with garbage.
The McCarran-Ferguson Act is there for a reason. Corporate monopoly is part of the wealth inequality in the world. By supporting its removal, the GOP supports Kleptocracy and keeping wealth in the hands of the few, like repealing the inheritance tax.
The Small Business Health Fairness Act (SBHTA) would help with health insurance and might save 50 billion dollars that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) mentions. But the rider of capping 250,000 dollars in tort liability and percentage of contingency fees for lawyers is just protection for big business and should have nothing to do with the SBHFA.
In his attempt to sound like this is government as usual, he is ignoring the Russian attack to spread chaos in the nation. He is willing to sit idly by in the investigation into the Russian attack to pass legislation benefiting the people the attack supported, the GOP and the wealthy, while fermenting derision in the less fortunate in America.
This letter is basically an “I know what I am doing and it is for your own good” response. I fully intend to stay engaged with this problem until he and his ilk are out of office and the world is getting better.
So the fight goes on, Donald Trump rode into the executive office of President on the backs of these people who continue to use the less fortunate to support their lavish lifestyles generation after generation. We have about thirteen months until we can kick the Congressional support mechanism out from under the Republican party to slow the process, but the battle between the “Haves” and the “Have-nots” will go on as long as the human species exists.
We are now into the tenth month of the Donald Trump Cabal (not that he has the brains to conceive or run a cabal): strange times, watching for signs and portents. I ran into Death back stage a few months back. We did not have much to say to each other, which is odd considering the first book of poetry I ever put together was titled “For the Love of Death: the early years”. I guess it is true what they say “familiarity does breed contempt”.
No charges, no warrants, no arrests, and no trials yet in the U.S. This is the most severe test of our supposed checks and balances and almost nine full months into an illegal government, they have not stopped what is happening. This is my next grain of sand trying to change the angle of repose. Just forwarded the following to my state representatives.
“Anybody denying evidence of a Russian Federation intrusion into our electoral process is guilty of either hide-bound stupidity, or aiding and abetting after the fact. The GOP has added to their coffers from foreign sources and this is not open to interpretation, it is being investigated by the Special Council, and I am sure the FEC. I do not even know why I am writing this as I consider my state representatives in the pay of a foreign government.
We need a single payer health insurance in this country. Revising the tax codes under the current plan is graft in the highest form. The estate tax does not need to be removed. The LLC needs to be banned as it has been used by Trump to commit tax fraud since the eighties. Puerto Rico is screaming for relief and statehood. Trump has not instituted the new Russian sanctions as of Oct. 1st.
I am waiting for charges to be filed and warrants issued to all those responsible for this attack on US democracy. Thirteen months until people get a chance to strip the GOP from Congress. People are not going to put up with this, and starting a war with N. Korea or anywhere in the world is not going to make us forget. Vote for Impeachment of Trump/Pence if you have any decency left. Russia and those who helped this attack will be brought to justice.”
There is an article in the October Smithsonian entitled “What ever happened to the Russian Revolution?” by Ian Frazier. It is a question that I have only starting asking myself over the last two years. It has become an even more serious question over the last eight months as I wonder what ever happened to the American Revolution.
When I began learning Russian, it was still the CCCR and I could get away with calling the entity “the Soviets”. I can still speak Russian if I regress to the age of a two year old. Since the Reagan years, I have had to go through the process of calling Russia the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) to just Russia, and now the Russian Federation. Like Clapper, I still have that “Freudian slip” of calling it the Soviets.
But it is an easy answer to what happened to the Russian Revolution, greed and capitalism won. Basic Darwinian Theory of the strong surviving and weak not being able to adapt. The weak in the parlance of Donald Trump would be “losers”. I suppose that would be everybody but himself and Putin in Trump’s sack of squirming rodent brain. Now we have a group of wealthy powerful men in the Russian Federation pretending to be concerned about the people’s welfare. The Russian people have an advantage over us in that they know that the government lies. They understand a hard reality, perhaps this is why your average Russian knows more poetry than your average American.
What happened to the American Revolution is a bit different, but maybe not a lot. The two hundred and forty plus years of America culture has always been capitalistic. Greed has always been the governing factor, earning what is yours. But when did we lose sight of the “Horacio Alger” story? The poor, honest working boy who makes good. From the early days of expansionism to the rise of the monopolies it was demonstrated that each person could claw their way up the ladder, so long as they were white, and male. Grudgingly the American Culture has tried to sell this lie to incorporate women and every immigrant since. So long as they know their place, they can have a little taste.
So why after the 2016 election do I feel that the American Revolution failed? It is the same group of rich and powerful families in American that has been selling the lie of “you too can get ahead if you work hard. If that fails, you could always win the lottery. You are so much better off than the rest of the world, just drink you beer and watch the tube. But do not drink too much beer (or whatever drug you choose) or watch too much TV as you have to go to work. America needs you in the service industry. It needs you in the factories and the industries that we own so we can keep raking in most of profit.”
I think it is because it was two groups of rich and powerful men who made this happen. It was the Russian Oligarchs and our 1% who made this happen. And they paid part of the voting block to help make it so. That part of the voting block sold their fellow Americans down the river for a few grand and a song in their heart. And that song that was in their hearts was the same one Trump and Putin sing all day long, “They are all losers . . .”
Half the voting population also bought the line that you cannot trust the government, but you can trust your buddy Bob. How old do some people have to get before you learn that you cannot trust anybody, including yourself most of the time. We are all capable of shooting ourselves in the foot if we are not careful. I watched a YouTube video recently called “Stupid People with Guns”. I rolled on the floor laughing, but I have a twisted sense of humor. Misery loves company. I am much happier not paying attention to this stuff. I would rather be drinking my beer and watching Godzilla stomping on a large city. But I have a grand-daughter who does not need to grow up with this kind of crap.
With each weekly news cycle, I start the week with hope, and by Saturday I see that the world plods on in the same corruption. I have lost faith in the American and Russian Revolutions. All I have left is the hope that the French will get it right. Perhaps we missed a bet with the invention of the Guillotine? I hope not.
Today I saw a Golden Eagle harried into a copse of Scotch Pines by a pack of juvenile ravens. They were not happy by its presence. Eagles are not so tough. I took it as an omen. Tomorrow the world is going to end according to certain voices in the evangelical circuit. It is also the first days of autumn, we are entering the long dark night of the soul in winter. Another circuit of the evangelical voice is calling Donald Trump the anointed of God. Hopefully they short each other out and we can get back to sanity.
I was dusting and straightening out my research library when a copy of “Gonzo Papers Vol. 2 Generation of Swine, Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ‘80s” by Hunter S. Thompson caught my eye. It had been a bit since I had last read it. He was writing a column for the San Francisco Examiner in 1985-86. One of the columns made me shake the book like I was looking up the word pooka in the play “Harvey”.
This week we had the quake in Mexico City on the tail end of a couple of hurricanes barreling into the Caribbean: Sept. 19th, 2017. It was the anniversary of the Sept. 19th, 1985 quake in Mexico City after a couple of hurricanes barreled into the Caribbean. It was the Reagan years, and the beginning of the Iran-Contra scandal that proved caustic for another Republican president. Ronald Reagan was a good actor, he could read a script and get his lines right. But he had the foresight of most actors, he had to wait for somebody to write the next script or he was out to sea.
I submit that we are seeing what happens when that generation of swine gets into the radioactive waste dump of Hanford and starts to mutate. Huge ravenous, mutant, glow in the dark pigs that have over run the world, and once again the gods are not happy.
Trump is fond of eagles, so were the Roman legions. He likes to work them into his tasteless décor to overcompensate for his upbringing. When they finally drag him off to the institution, raving like a psycho, he will be diagnosed, we may find out all the horrors locked up in that twisted brain.
In 1985, Trump was just starting out, a young pig rooting around in those spent fuel rods. Reagan had helped tear down the wall which lead to the rise of the Russian oligarchs who have bribed and extorted their way into the GOP and probably the rest of the 1 percent in one way or another. The Web did not exist in 1985. We had to watch it all through the tube, or read the paper. There was no fake news back then, just news and lies. You could tell who was lying because their lips were moving. The rich were counted in millions instead of billions and there was some faint hope that you could carve your own plot of ground in some cemetery after you put in your time working for the head pigs because they owed you.
This glow in the dark hog is different. They do not owe you a thing. Not only have they taught you to sit still at your desk in school, but they have taught you that nine to five is what you owe them. And the current pigs in DC with their super irradiated brains know that they are the elite, and you should just do your job as the lines in the film “Metropolis” or work on the assembly line until you snap as in “Modern Times”. But those lines have moved overseas and they are not coming back. The rich sold out the worker in the Russian Federation a long time ago, and the worker in Asia took up the slack. The American worker sold their soul for bread and circus, beer and football, wine and cheese. The ones that snap are on the street with a brown bag and a bottle of mad-dog or in an opium dream someplace. Broken parts that the rich have just cast aside because they are not going to pay for the rehab. Plenty of indentured servants in the world, plenty of people they have taught to believe the lies.
Reagan never got his, and Bush never got his . . . Trump and his ilk? I am putting my hope in the juvenile ravens. Maybe they can harry these swine into the harsh steel cage of justice to spend the rest of their days paying for what they have done.