For What It’s Worth

“Something is happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear”; what prophetic words from the Buffalo Springfield back in 1966. The song, “For What It’s Worth” was covered by Tupac under the title, “I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto” in 1997. Tupac’s cover reinforced to one and all that things hadn’t really changed that much in the thirty years separating the releases. There was still “a man over there with a gun, telling me I got to be beware.”

Now, nearly sixty years later, we continue to question why is that man over there with a gun, and why should I have to beware? Why can’t I just live my life peacefully, raise my kids and spoil my grand-kids without having to worry if that “man over there” isn’t one of the “good guys with guns” but one of the monsters that prey on the unsuspecting?

There can’t be a more unsuspecting portion of the population than our children, and there shouldn’t be. Kids should be free to dream their dreams, worry about math tests and if Susie or Johnny really likes them. Children shouldn’t have to worry if this is the day that society’s failures catches up with them and ends their dreams. Most importantly children shouldn’t have to be charged with protecting themselves from something that in most societies plain doesn’t exist.

Demonstrations are being held all over the country protesting the latest killings of innocents. While the protests go on, more and more innocents are led to the slaughter because the people that take an oath to “preserve and protect” abdicate their responsibility. Elected officials at all levels know that what’s going on is wrong, that the killing of innocents is indefensible. Still, they offer their pablum excuses, and hide behind a law that was enacted when the most skilled riflemen could only fire four bullets a minute. They continue to cower to appease the NRA and gun lobby in spite of the overwhelming disapproval of the public to the current state.

The AR-15 like the one used at Uvalde can fire up to 400 rounds a minute if equipped with a bump stock. The police found 142 spent cartridges inside the school at Uvalde and 173 live rounds. The police found over 1650 rounds of ammunition at the school in various locations indicating that the shooter was well prepared for maximum mayhem. It also indicates that a gun dealer never asked, “What kind of deer are you going after that you need over 1,600 rounds to stop?” Would the gun shop owner have questioned the purchase if the shooter had revealed that he was hunting “dears” not deers? Probably not.

The rate of fire of the assault weapons that our legislators can’t keep out of the hands of harmful people is important, but so is the response time of those charged to protect us. You know, the “good guys with a gun.” Some of the Uvalde innocents were calling 911 and pleading with police to help them. Telling police that some of them were still alive, the children described the horrors they were confronting. Meanwhile, the “good guys with a gun” cowered in the hallway waiting for reinforcements. An executive decision had been made that an infinite number of children were not worth the life of just one police officer.

We are at a point now that even the stupid get it. If the police are this afraid of the population, then the population should not have guns. That’s how I’ve lived my life for lo these many years. Don’t own a gun, don’t need one. I shouldn’t have to worry about being shot at a routine traffic stop any more than the police should have to worry about stopping me. It’s time to deescalate our society and let the police just worry about the “bad guys” not all of us. If we disarm, maybe the police can too. Think Barney Fife.

Doubt I’ll still be here in another thirty years, but if so, I’m going to be mighty disappointed if “there’s a man with a gun over there.”

Wild Fires Out West

Tragedy everywhere. It’s hard to focus on just one piece of bad news. While you try to figure a way for society to bounce back from one cataclysm, another calamity is slapping you in the face. Bad news travels fast, as they say, but does there need to be so much of it?

Sometimes it feels like being a speed bag in a Muhammad Ali workout. Rat-a-tat-tat the numbing blows keep coming until we are overcome by the sheer volume of blows. Death, destruction, pestilence and famine are present everywhere, even in the richest countries.

Surprisingly, the “happiest people on Earth”, the Finns, have decided to buy an insurance policy from NATO to gain a sense of protection from their neighbor. What has changed the Finns long standing policy of neutrality? Obviously Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine was the catalyst for their decision to apply for NATO membership, but could there be more “burning” issues?

Finland shares an 830 mile border with Russia that is predominantly rural forests. Currently Russia is on fire and there is not enough manpower on hand to put out the fires. The fires are so large and uncontrolled that the smoke from the fires is carrying to the western United States adding to the pollution here. Studies have shown that the fires in Russia are getting larger and more frequent every year. These are not just “ordinary” fires. These are peat fires that are burning rich organic material that is carbon rich. This carbon not only releases huge amounts of methane and carbon into the air, but can enter the lungs of mammals and create disease.

The fires increase the causes of global warming and therefore create more wildfires. Russia is in a cycle that could be existential, and I’m not just talking about ticking off everyone else on the planet because of their aggression. Putin’s plan may have been to gobble up as much territory and resources as possible to keep his already under-served population from extinction. There are reports that the peat is burning even around frozen lakes. Even to the most dull of us, we recognize that when the ground is burning under your house it’s time to move. Putin has never been considered dull.

No one country or peoples are immune to the effects of these fires. These peat bogs exist in a large number of countries around the world. The issue is that while they are normally fire resistant because of their wet nature, global warming has dried the bogs and made them susceptible to being ignited by wildfires. The key is prevention if possible and rapid response if a fire does break out. Russia’s commitment to take the resources it needs rather than protect the ones it has could prove to be its undoing. Every able bodied Russian is off to Ukraine to loot and rape and pillage while their homeland is becoming tinder. How could a supposed super power ignore science and keep on fanning the flames of disaster?

While it’s hot as the dickens here in Georgia, at least we’re not on fire like they are out West. The mind just boggles when you see the amount of acreage being consumed by fire. Fire seems to be pretty indiscriminate, too. Rich folk’s houses are being burned right along with the trailer parks.

Watching the crews going through doing cleanup, and only finding smoldering wood is pretty sobering. All of your mementos, all of your capital gone in a flash while leaving behind just a smoldering outline of where you once thrived. The sight should be sobering. It should be a wake-up call that climate change/global warming is real. It is estimated that there will be 1.2 BILLION people displaced by climate change by 2050. Some of them will be driving tanks.

Nothing bands humanity together like a disaster. It would be great if we could band together now to prevent a future disaster.

If You Ain’t Woke, You Must Be Asleep

In the words of the great philosopher and business tycoon, Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Have truer words ever been spoken? Whether your I.Q. is stratospheric or slightly higher than a rutabaga, people can be more truly judged by their actions than what they made on their S.A.T.S.

All of us sharing this planet have the expectation that the people that we interact with on a daily basis are, if not pulling in the same direction, at least not land mining our path. We presume that a person with “average” intelligence realizes that we as a society can accomplish so much more by working together than with one group carrying all of the load while the other group runs through the woods with their hair on fire.

We are wrong to presume. Average intelligence in the United States has dropped to an I.Q. of 98. When I was growing up it was 100, which was fairly consistent throughout the world as I recall. Now we’re three points dumber than our neighbors to the north. What happened? I suspect it’s the enforced breeding programs by the elites. You know where only Muffy can be betrothed to Biff and Skylar can only be seen with Cameron and Huxley. The Donald and his progeny has single-handedly dropped the average half a point at least.

As the recipients of “royal blood” can attest, sometimes the best genetic match is not the person closest to you. Exceptionalism is not a good thing in societal terms. Not only is society more likely to breed itself out of existence, but there is no place for the “diamonds in the rough” to emerge. “Talent and intelligence are equally distributed throughout the world. But opportunity is not.” So how do we ensure that the cream rises to the top and that we’re not at the mercy of one of the Donald’s offspring to come up with a cure for cancer?

First we have to recognize the dynamics of what average I.Q. means. In the case of the U.S., roughly sixty-eight percent of the population has an I.Q. of 115 or less. Please pause and dwell for a moment about the last time you interacted with someone that you suspected wasn’t “the brightest bulb in the box.” Now recognize that that person was around the 100 I.Q. mark and that roughly 68% of the population is not as quick as he is. Now speculate that there is a well funded movement designed to exploit those individuals for their own benefit.

In addition to perpetrating falsehoods on a constant basis through the media, this group is hard at work on dismantling the last bastion of civil discourse open to the vast majority of citizens, the public schools. Most of us learned in public school the rights and privileges of American citizens through history and civics courses. I understand that Civics is no longer taught most places. How convenient…. If the average citizen doesn’t learn their rights, their responsibilities and the way to preserve their rights in school, they’re certainly not going to learn them from the Faux News Network. The Faux News Network has its own agenda and it’s not inclusive.

The Faux News Network and its benefactors/promoters are masters at taking complicated issues and reducing them to buzzwords that the person of “average” I.Q. can latch on to and use to sound like an “informed individual” when shouting them out at a school board meeting. Phrases like “cancel culture” which is Faux’s take on the public telling a business “we’re not going to use your products anymore if your behavior continues in the same way.” What’s the public’s recourse to protest the bad actions of a corporation, burn all of their locations to the ground? Seems like boycotting the product until they meet acceptable standards would be more desirable than a fire sale. But God forbid we “cancel” anyone.

Speaking of cancelling anyone, Faux is working hard on cancelling, people of color, gays, liberals and anyone that is intellectually capable of seeing through their smokescreen. BTW, it’s ok, if Faux is doing the cancelling. It’s also ok to cancel anyone that is “woke”. Woke is a person that is sensitive to the plight of anyone not in the W.A.S.P. mold of the Faux News hosts. Woke is a person that knows that Blacks were once owned in the U.S. and have a had a struggle overcoming that time. Woke is a person that believes that history shouldn’t be “white washed” to make some people’s feelings feel better.

History is what it is, which brings us back to the importance of schools in the development of societal norms in children. In particular the children who are not intellectually inclined to seek out all of the positions of an argument. These children need to know that everybody is different and unique and should be respected for their diversity. That’s not “indoctrination, it’s just good manners. After all, what would Jesus do?

If Men Could Get Pregnant

I’m torn between taunting “nanny, nanny, boo-boo” or shrinking into an overwhelming sadness. The “nanny, nanny, boo-boo” is for any woman that has given aid to, comforted, or voted for, a Republican candidate for the last sixty years. From Nixon forward I’ve told anyone that was listening, this is where the Republican party is going. The inner philosophy of the Supreme Court has revealed what many of us have seen coming for decades. “Future Back to the Past” is coming to fruition. Get ready for barefoot and pregnant girls. We’re headed back to the fifties. Not the 1950’s, the 1850’s.

I hold particular disdain for female congress people like Susan Collins who held the allegiance to her party closer than her sense of self. True, when Collins gave Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett the green light to proceed she was well past child bearing age. No skin off of her nose, right? In truth, Collins probably never had to worry one moment about childbearing altering her career path. The fact that the same was not true for 99.99 percent of all other women did not resonate with Collins. But that’s how it is with Republicans, male and female alike. They’ve been altered genetically. Their empathy gene has been removed. How can people presume to represent others when they can’t identify with their constituent’s life situations?

Imagine if you will, that men could get pregnant. Star quarterback, Ben Dover has just been drafted number one in the NFL draft. Six weeks after his draft celebration party, Ben finds himself in a family way. What to do, what to do? Put off child bearing until he’s completed his career or prepare himself for his body and his pocketbook to take a big hit? Everybody knows the answer to this one, we learned about it in Catechism. Ben would take the hit for the Republican party, have the baby and turn it over to a Catholic orphanage to raise. I forgot to mention in the setup that Ben is a Catholic Republican just like five of the Supreme Court Justices.

We all know that if men could get pregnant and the number one draft pick turned up pregnant, a host of “fixers” would see to it that Ben would not lose one minute of his career, or bear any stigma for his decision. Heck, they’d probably provide a signing bonus along with grief counseling for as long as Ben needed to get over his mixed feelings. If he had any. Therein lies the contradiction and the hypocrisy.

George Carlin used to say that Republicans are not Pro Life, they’re Pro Birth. If you think about all of the social improvement bills, education, health care, etc., that have been shot down in Congress by the Republicans it’s easy to conclude that the actual life of the fetus after birth is not a concern for the Republicans. They just want to grab the knee-jerk visceral reaction from their voters over abortion and use it to further their headlong plunge back to the Victorian age. Do as I say, not do as I do.

From a strictly anthropological point of view, if we wanted to curtail unwanted pregnancies we would eliminate the seed sower not the fertile ground. Pregnant females are out of commission for at least nine months while the male could impregnate 5-6 women a day. That’s 1800+ potential births from adopting the wrongheaded assumption that the female bears all of the responsibility for the pregnancy.

The protesters carrying signs “Vasectomies not Abortions” have got a valid point. If our bodies truly belong to the state and none of us has any say with what can and can not be done to us, let’s give all males a vasectomy when they register for the draft. Eighteen might be too late in certain circumstances, but the significance of signing up to go to war at the same time relinquishing your ability to father indiscriminately might just be the wake up call this country needs.

Nip it in the bud I say, or get real about a woman’s right to choose.

Fantasyland

Once upon a time there was a book entitled, “The Mouse That Roared”. The book was adapted to a hilarious movie starring Peter Sellers. The premise is that a small country has its livelihood destroyed by an American company. The little country sees no other way out but to declare war on the U.S. hoping that the U.S. will rebuild its economy like we did for Germany and Japan after WWII. I won’t spoil the plot any further but to say that “The Mouse” was far more successful than its leaders ever dreamed. It is a riotous case study for the law of unintended consequences.

A little closer to home we find another war being waged by a kingdom represented by a mouse. Vying the Donald for the most regressive low life pond scum elected official, Florida governor Ron DeSantis is working furiously to prove to the Republican party that it is he that is better equipped to bring America back to horse and buggy days. The Donald makes a racist, misogynistic, homophobic statement and DeSantis says, “Here, hold my beer.” Honest!

DeSantis just banned fifty-four math text books for the publisher’s attempt at “indoctrinating” children. Apparently one of the book burners read about the transitive property and decided that Florida’s school children would have none of that. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Sadly, ignorance is self-perpetuating as well as its own reward.

In an attempt to protect the children of Florida from being exposed to any discussion about sexuality, DeSatan has signed into law Florida House Bill 1557. The bill, also now forever known as the “Don’t say gay bill”, attempts to keep any discussion out of the classroom about sexual orientation. If a teacher is asked, they can’t tell.

According to the Governor in a Faux News interview, “In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten.” Not content to let one stupid statement die on its own, the future of the Republican party opined, “First graders should not have woke gender ideology imposed in their curriculum, and that is what we are standing for.” That kind of deep analysis puts “if x=y and y=z , then x=z” to shame, doesn’t it?

Enter the mouse that roared. Disney World is known throughout the world as the most plain vanilla wholesome environment that can be imagined. There are princes and princesses and animals that talk and sing. In addition to being one of the largest employers in the state, they also bring in BILLIONS of dollars into the Florida economy. Say “Florida” to anyone in the U.S., particularly the ones under eighteen, and they will say “Disney World.”

As a rule, Disney avoids controversy and attempts to stay in the lane of “Mom and apple pie.” All well and good until their employees decided that HB1557 was nothing more than a hate bill and protested. Back and forth, back and forth and then Disney and all of their family (ABC, ESPN, A&E, Lifetime, The History Channel, and more) decided to support their LGBTQ employees.

Verbal salvos have been launched on both sides and the tiny country that is Disney World has declared war on ignorance and intolerance in Florida. Not to be upstaged, righteous Ron says, “Hold my beer.” In an act of retribution, DeSatan has lifted many of the special considerations given to Disney when they offered to take 25,000 acres of Florida swamp and palmetto palms and turn it into a wonderland.

At this point it is easy to say that Mickey Mouse is more responsive to the needs of his constituents than the Florida legislature. Of course, the Florida legislature and Governor are much more insulated from their customer base than Disney World. While workers at Disney are carrying signs and holding rallies to protect their basic rights, the Republican party in Florida are nudging each other in the ribs and saying, “Hold my beer.”

Makes you wonder which entity is actually living in Fantasyland doesn’t it?

The Russian Doll

I think the most interesting story I’ve read recently is how our former directors of the CIA are referring to the Donald as a “Russian Doll”. It seems that the former directors, both of whom worked for Republican presidents, think that the Donald’s desperate need for flattery made him susceptible to being turned by Putin. Putin, who the directors point out never left the KGB, would be adept at exploiting the vanity of a megalomaniac.

The phrase has come up again when describing the unmasking of the Donald’s various business entanglements by the Attorney General of New York. Comparing the insidious business affairs of a gangster like hierarchy to those cute little egg shaped caricatures that hide one inside the other is some high irony. When unpacking Russian dolls one expects to find a similar benign character like the outer shell at the inner layer. It seems that the deeper the A.G. in New York goes the more sinister the next level is. Imagine getting to the last doll and worrying if Beelzebub is waiting there for you. I wish her Godspeed and good luck.

The Donald is not the only Russian asset that’s been unmasked over the past few years. The stalwart bastion of truth and decency, former minority house leader Kevin McCarthy once called out two people for being on the Russian payroll. It was interesting that he didn’t call out the congressional contingent that went to Russia on America’s Independence day. I guess it was more important to line up campaign financing for their next run. Let’s not overlook the influence of the evangelicals attempting to bring religion to the Godless infidels at events sponsored by Russian oil companies. A little covert technical support could be hidden inside the next doll, if you please.

Some of the Russian influence is a bit more subtle. Take Mitch McConnell’s aluminum plant. If you remember the story there once was an aging, befuddled tortoise look alike running for re-election in Kentucky. The state was leaning more and more to the Democrat persuasion. Some of the population had grasped the idea that the website that gave them health care was actually a result of a Democrat president. Was the state ready to turn blue? Not if Moscow Mitch had anything to do with it.

Enter a Russian Oligarch promising to bring an aluminum plant to an impoverished part of Kentucky.(redundant) All Moscow Mitch had to do was to see that the sanctions imposed on Russia for assorted misdeeds could be lifted. Mitch did his part, but in a rare instance of Divine Intervention, he was replaced as speaker of the house. Surprising no one with half of a brain, the Russian money has backed out. The voters of Kentucky are still stuck with a hundred-year-old tortoise for Senator and no job producing aluminum plant.

Picking up the Russian standard, Kentucky’s other Senator, Rand Paul chose to spout support for Russia’s attempt to take Ukraine back to the stone age. In some sort of twisted empathy for bullies everywhere, the diminutive Senator rationalizes that since Russia once occupied Ukraine, they should be allowed to go back in and smash it to bits. Conceptualize the abusive husband kicked out of the house returning to kill its occupants and burn the house to the ground. In Rand Paul country, “them’s the rules.” You once owned it, you’re free to go back and smash it to bits if the notion strikes you. Holy Cow! What’s in the water in Kentucky? I guess now we’ve got watch to our flanks for a British invasion.

Fascinating stuff if the future of the world didn’t hang in the balance. I haven’t even started on the Russian TV stars on the Faux News. So many Russian dolls, so little time.

Alligators in the Subways

Alligators in the subways has been a folk tale, legend, irrational fear for almost a century in New York city. As scary as confronting a prehistoric animal that is mostly teeth and claws in an enclosed space is, there is something even scarier and more likely to occur to the average commuter. It occurred again recently.

On March 14, 2024 a man entered the New York subway armed with a knife and a shotgun. This is probably not a unique case, but one that had unique consequences. In a verbal disagreement with another passenger, the perpetrator pulled his weapon and attempted to threaten/harass/kill another passenger. The potential victim relieved the aggressor of his weapon and shot him four times. The assailant became the victim and is expected to survive. The victim/shooter is not being charged.

From the ABC story, “Terrified commuters who were on the train and the station platform ducked for cover during the shooting. No one else was injured, police said.” “There were multiple police officers in this station just feet away from when the train pulled in, who heard the shots and moved in right way,” NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper said.”

A man that had multiple run-ins with the law, who clearly has a mental health issue and by the accounts of his social media was primed to act out, was allowed to enter a public area. What compelling interest did he have that he needed a gun to resolve? Were the voices in his head yelling too loud?

Fighting tooth and nail against a Republican controlled congress that will broker no attempts to curb the avarice of American arms manufacturers, President Biden has attempted to do what he can to stem the proliferation of weapons in our society. Signing the ghost gun bill into law is one example. Hoping to do something to stem the tide of violence in our country, the President gathered enough support for putting an end to the industry that’s business model is to put untraceable weapons in the hands of those who would want to have an untraceable weapon. Let that marinate for a second.

The Universal background check hopes to put an end to all of the loopholes that gun purchasers are happily skipping through now. The House passed the bill last year and it is currently languishing in the Senate. A Gallup poll in 2018 proved that 92% of us want stronger gun laws. I will ask the question somewhat rhetorically because we all know why. “Why won’t the Senate Republicans vote for stronger control laws when their constituency clearly wants them to?”

If only every American parent had the ability to buy a Senator instead of a bulletproof backpack. Unfortunately buying a Senator takes big money and that factor alone allows the carnage to continue year after year after year. Guns are the leading cause of death for children under 19 in America. Every year 2100 children are killed and 1300 commit suicide by gun. How can these numbers be acceptable? How can our elected leaders continue to ignore the facts of our loose gun laws and not at least vote to keep guns out of the hands of the crazies?

Sadly, we all know that finding a Republican that would vote in favor of gun control legislation would be like finding an alligator in the subway. Possible, but…..

Congressional Sit In

Many of us of a certain age remember the time in our history that brave people from all walks of life took it upon themselves to make a change, even if their action posed a great peril to their well-being. The sit-ins of the 1960’s are an example of where otherwise powerless people took on the establishment hoping to effect a change in the status quo. The status quo at the time was that people of color were unable to sit at a public lunch counter and be served. Sixty years later we can marvel at how far we’ve come in some respects and be stupefied that we have so far to go.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a huge step in the right direction. It didn’t go far enough, but President Johnson and the members of Congress voting for the legislation should be commended for their effort. Unfortunately, racism still existed and there were plenty of congress critters that were willing to represent their constituency by enabling their hood-wearing voters to enact policies on the state level that disenfranchised people that didn’t see the world through their pure white prism.

The Dixiecrats were a group of right wing Democrats that eventually found that the Republican party was more to their liking. Sad to say that the people who so warmly embraced the progressive changes of FDR, who benefited the most from the Democrat party’s policies, decided to switch parties if black people were going to benefit from the same policies. “Cutting off your nose to spite your face comes to mind”, but that’s how racism works. It’s illogical, it’s un-American and definitely not Christian. It becomes crucial for the people who take an oath to “support and defend” the Constitution and all of it’s amendments to do their jobs.

Somebody in Congress has to do something besides throw their hands up in the air and say they’re powerless to make a change. These people are salaried at $174,000 a year, and for some reason they can’t seem to get something done as simple as a voting rights bill. A bill whose main feature is that it ensures all eligible voters the right to vote. Imagine going to your boss, in this case the American public, and telling your boss you can’t do your job. Your boss would probably say, “Well then I just can’t pay you the $174,000 a year”. Seems fair right? Cut off the pay until they start passing some legislation.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act was passed by the House in August of 2021. For some reason two “Democrat” Senators can’t seem to get behind allowing all eligible voters to vote. Looks like not all of the Dixiecrats left the party. Apparently the Dixiecrats left behind a couple of stragglers to gum up the works. Sadly there is not one Republican that is willing to cross party lines and do the right thing. Like lemmings they follow the lead of their intrepid czar, the Donald, who actually told the truth about voting once.

My goodness, we overturned prohibition, which was a law close to the hearts and minds of all of the right wing religious nuts of the day. Can’t we rally behind a basic American principle, that we all get a say in how we’re governed, and ensure the passage of the voting rights bills? Can we change the paradigm of “Some people don’t want some people to vote”?

While Congress is performing their own version of a sit-in with regard to action on voting rights we can only pray that some of them will be reminded of the struggle that took place to get us to where we are today.

If he was still with us, John Lewis could show them his scars.

Lyin’ Ted

On a morning when we’re already finding the list of “What’s Wrong With America” way too long, we get an update from Ted Cruz.

Seems the Cruz was feeling the blues for having to deal with doing ordinary things like ordinary people do. Lyin’ Ted has introduced an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill that would keep Ted and his fellow Congress critters special.

In an article in “View from the Wing:

Members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries, and federal judges who have received any threats (and they almost all receive threats at some point) are to receive an escort for their entire journey through commercial airports and won’t be required to go through normal screening – instead receiving private screening.

TSA has estimated the cost of letting politicians, their families, and two accompanying staff members opt out is public security and providing them VIP secure escort throughout their airport experience.”

The Donald gave Cruz the Lyin’ Ted moniker in the 2016 Republican debates and the Cruz has done absolutely nothing to distance himself from the label. Professional prevaricator pundits will long argue whether Lyin’ Ted was lying at the Republican convention, or lying on 01/07/2021. It seems to me that you can’t have it both ways. Does the pot call the kettle black?

In the Cruz’s own words: “I’m going to do something I haven’t done the entire campaign. I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology text book, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”

Doubling down, the Cruz added: “Donald Trump is a serial philanderer and he boasts about it. This is not a secret, he’s proud of being a serial philander. I want everyone to think about your teenage kids. The president of the United States talks about how great it is to commit adultery. How proud he is, describes his battle with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam. That’s a quote from the Howard Stern show. Do you want to spend the next five years with your kids bragging about infidelity?”

This quote becomes more interesting when we learn that the National Enquirer had accused the Cruz of having at least five different affairs while married to current wife Heidi.

Anyway, I am not aghast that the Cruz would feel like his staff members were supposed to handle every job he handed them, no matter how odious. I am aghast that there were five members of the female sex willing to allow his advances, six if you count his wife. Honestly, if you put the Cruz on one pedestal and Jabba the Hut on another pedestal, I could see women flocking to Jabba as their first choice.

There is something so slimy and smarmy about the Cruz that I can’t imagine that the more sensitive sex doesn’t pick up on it at first sight. I can only imagine that the five alleged trysts had a high dollar amount attached to them. I’m not putting the women down for charging, it’s the right thing to do. After all, I don’t expect the fellow that cleans septic tanks to do it for free, and the Cruz is less charming than a septic tank.

Where the story has a bit of a twist is that the head honcho at the Enquirer is supposed to be an old buddy of the Donald. Would the Donald have a friend print a salacious story about an opponent to gain an advantage? Of course. What’s weird is that after someone trys to damage you in the most horrible way possible, the Cruz is not only able to turn the other cheek but has been tripping over himself to give aid and comfort to the Donald ever since.

To be honest, I worry less about the Cruz’s frailties as a human than I do his belief that he is the anointed one from God. I knew he was a big Bible thumper, but when I heard his speech after the Iowa caucus stating that the polls weren’t going to determine who the next President was going to be, that God was, I started taking notice of his words more.

It’s one thing for the Donald to say every mean, hateful xenophobic thing he can to gin up his base, it’s another to think that God is talking directly to you. The fact that Cruz’s dad was out on the Evangelical circuit preaching that his son was the “anointed one” and that the righteous are poised to take back the wealth of the country to give to the priests is past scary to me. It is almost a call to revolution……

Which brings us to the revelation that the Cruz was up to his armpits in the 01/06 attempted coup. How a man can go from defending his wife’s ugliness to becoming a fawning sycophant is a serious deep dive into pathological behavior. I don’t have the tools to plumb those depths, but I can deep dive on the allegations that Biden started the Ukraine war. He didn’t .

Lyin’ Ted Cruz.

Uncle Clarence

Those of us of a certain age will remember the confirmation hearings of one Clarence Thomas back in 1991. Many of us of a liberal persuasion perceived the scrutiny to be so extreme as to be another example of subtle racism. Offseting the outrage of watching a black man having to be judged by a group of white guys was the scandalous testimony of some of the witnesses. It was absolutely must see TV.

The testimony of Anita Hill was as compelling as any soap opera. You didn’t dare change the channel or you would miss some other salacious fact about Thomas’ abusive treatment of women in the workplace. In addition to Anita Hill other women offered to testify in support of Ms. Hill but were not called. Republicans were hot to push through the candidate that would be the anti-Thurgood Marshall. Too much scrutiny would undoubtedly disqualify their candidate. Clarence Thomas has now worked diligently on the court for 32 years to repudiate the social justice of his predecessor and to reward the Republican party for their faith in him.

How did a poor boy from Georgia whose ancestors were slaves become a stalwart for the privileged? A cheeky answer might be that he looked around and saw who held the lash. It’s easy to be the Judas goat when you realize that you have been spared while the others that look like you suffer. I think Thomas’ pathology goes deeper.

Raised as a Catholic, attending Catholic schools until graduate school baked in a conservative mindset that was not tempered by family. Nuns and priests have a very narrow worldview and it was this environment that framed Thomas’ formative years. I’m sure he learned early as many of us did, if you don’t want to get whacked with a ruler, or worse, you get on the program. Get on the program he did.

Denying his roots, he once ruled that slavery didn’t create any loss of dignity. I guess we’ll just have to take his word for it and ignore the billions of words written to the contrary.

Giving opinions that seem to fly in the face of common sense has been Thomas’ trademark. Even his most conservative peers have referred to him as a nut. Perhaps it’s been this type of rebuke that has led to his moniker as the “silent justice“. Early in his tenure Thomas decided it was better “to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Though silent, Thomas never lost sight of who had allowed him the privilege of dispensing justice as they saw fit. Rulings like convicted domestic abusers should be able to own guns and that states can gerrymander districts to the detriment of his people are but two in a long list of Thomas opinions kowtowing to the man. His acceptance of the stay indicating that he would let Trump maintain control of all of his records in direct conflict with the Presidential Records Act is but another example of the man who identifies with his oppressor.

Of course, Thomas is not oppressed. He leads a very good life married to a very successful lobbyist. So successful that she dares to call on the ouster of Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinziger from Congress for their work on the 01/06 committee. Thomas’ wife is so inside that she was invited to a meeting that included the Oath Keepers.

Her interest in the coup has tainted Thomas in an untenable way. What happens if there is a case brought before the court that Thomas knows will lead to jail time for his wife? Can we count on him to recuse? I think we’ve got 30 years of examples to know he won’t do the correct thing. He may do the “right” thing, but it won’t be the moral thing.

A man that can deny his own benefit from the affirmative action that he received but wants to deny others, has no sense of self. Retirement for Uncle Clarence can’t come too soon.