Archive for February, 2017

I can’t get into the particulars on any of it.  Quite honestly, I’m not qualified to do so. Also – I’m going to write a lot of things here and not cite any sources. This is not to say I’ve made any of this up. I’ve read it all sometime, somewhere. But I lack the energy right now to link to everything single thing I’ve read, and surely enough people aren’t reading this who will care. Suffice to say, I am confident that if you Google search anything I am talking about, you will find that I’m not completely full of shit.  If you find the opposite to be the case, please leave me a comment and I’ll look into it. I have no intention of spreading misinformation.

I’m a casual reader of internet news – I lean towards the reputable sources (Boston Globe, Washington Post, New York Times), and despite what most people think, still believe that Buzzfeed is a a reliable and trusted news source.  However, a lot of articles are very long, and there is only so much reading I can do on my phone while at my desk pretending to be working.  I try super hard not to only read things that confirm what I already think – but unless I seek out right wing or conservative bent news outlets, it’s unlikely at this point that I will see anything that will make me question my current opinions.

As stated somewhere earlier on this blog (probably back during the 2012 election) I am an unapologetic  Democrat and Liberal. A far-left liberal.  This is for social reasons as well as fiscal ones. I believe in taxes. I’m probably not far off from becoming a socialist. I believe in the greater good. I believe education and infrastructure are worth investing in. I don’t believe that some people deserve to be so wealthy that they practically throw money away, while there are other people who have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Among many things, the gap in income inequality drives me insane. It’s probably the #1 reason I will never vote Republican. One of the first things I had heard President Trump (ugh) would do in office would be to cut taxes for the richest Americans. I will never understand this.  Surely they don’t even notice when they pay more in taxes because they have so much money? Not more taxes, mind you. Just the same percentage that you and I pay.  And if they paid the same rate of taxes as the rest of us, surely the money from only a few of them would make a significant difference to things that desperately need funding in this country?   Hasn’t it been proven over and over again that “trickle down” economics just doesn’t work? Indeed, some of the wealthiest people I know are also the cheapest. They’re not spending it because they have it – they’re holding on to it with their tight selfish fists, and the middle and lower classes can suck it.

Besides taxes – I believe in equal rights for everyone, especially the LGBT community.  I believe in a woman’s right to choose, regardless of my own personal feelings about abortion.  I think racism is rampant in this country, and, contrary to what I ignorantly used to argue, even in my lovely hometown of Boston.  In the Black Lives Matter movement, I sympathize with the protesters who have been made to feel that their lives don’t matter – and why would they feel any other way? They’ve disproportionately been gunned down by police officers more than any other race.  How is that not a problem?

I am consistently confounded by people who align themselves with the Republican party. True story – the head of the company where I am currently a temp is a very wealthy man. He has homes in a few states and is probably worth a few million dollars.  He’s not making a Forbes list any time soon, but he has a lot of money.  He was an unapologetic Trump supporter, but I kind of get that. It’s in his financial best interest to be that way. Also, he and is wife are originally from the mid-West and are Christian, and I think their values are very conservative (also, his wife is big into guns, I think?  Different topic for a different day. I can’t even right now.).  So, ok, sure, this guy who I like a lot supports the guy who will allow him to remain as wealthy as possible.  I don’t love it, but I get it.

On the other side, I will point to a few of my cousins. Now, they definitely fit the mold of the fragile, uneducated white male who voted for Trump. This whole “Make America Great Again” to me was really a thinly veiled way of saying “Make America White Again.” The country was doing GREAT under Obama. GREAT.  Unemployment was way down. More people had health care than ever before. He ushered in marriage equality.  He took steps to protect the planet from climate change.  What’s so bad about that?  So when you start to think, “what’s so great about how it used to be?”, the only thing I can come up with is that it used to be whiter. People look nostalgically back to the time in the 50s when someone without a college education could get a job that would pay him/her (but probably him, let’s be honest) enough money to support a family and own a home in a lovely little community.  So I guess people want to get back to that? Guess what? It ain’t gonna happen, not matter what President Jackass says.  There’s just too many damn people in this country. You want to get ahead? Go to college. Go to graduate school. Work harder at it. It strikes me as incredibly hypocritical that a lot of the people who rail against welfare and “entitlements” are often the same people who feel entitled because they are white. They can’t stand seeing other people or races get ahead of them, but are refusing to do anything about it.

But the funny thing about people like my relatives aligning themselves with these super wealthy people is – they are betting against their own interests. Why would they identify with billionaires over people in the working class? I think its because of the dangling carrot of capitalism. That whole idea that if you work hard enough, you can be wealthy like me!  The problem with capitalism is that it’s a bell curve. In order for someone to be THAT wealthy, someone else has to be THAT poor.  These fools identify with the wealthy because they think that will be them some day. Meanwhile, the wealthy are doing everything in their power to make sure that’s not the case, because that means there would be less for them.  Greed.

Can we talk about Immigration for a moment?  Let’s not even delve too deeply into the shades of Nazi-ism rampant in this immigration BAN (they can deny they called it a ban all they want, but they have literally been recorded on video calling it a ban themselves), but how about the anti-immigrant sentiment in this country? I guess it is part of wave of nationalism that is sweeping the globe – wasn’t that what Brexit was ultimately about? And elections in France and Italy are examples of the popularity of nationalist politicians even in those countries.  And I guess all of it is in reaction to the amount of refugees coming out of Syria?  But I think that’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever encountered. These people need help!! And all anyone wants to do is close their borders? What the F?  No one was moved at all by the photo of the corpse of a young boy who washed ashore, drowned on a beach? Or the little boy, covered in dust and debris, shell-shocked in the back of an ambulance? Or, an imagine that will personally haunt me for the rest of my life, of little children running from building to building while being shot at, in an attempt to safely get out of the country. They were terrified and crying. What if that was your child? Why the disassociation?  Why do you feel like they deserve it but it would never happen to you?  They did not make the choice to live in a country that would ultimately be torn apart by war, destroying their very way of life. Who would choose that?  Why aren’t they deserving of sympathy, empathy and compassion?  In most cases, these people have nothing. Imagine having to leave behind all of your possessions, anything that gives you any amount of comfort – just so you can survive?  It’s heartbreaking.

So I don’t understand people who want to build walls and stand behind bans that won’t allow people into this country. Unless you are 100% Native American (also another story for another day – how we’ve treated those people since we got here), your family came here from some place else too.  You wouldn’t even exist if this type of shit was going on, because your family would have been denied access to this country. The British people didn’t want the Irish people coming over – remember the Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman movie, and the whole “Irish Need Not Apply” thing?  And once Irish people made their way and got comfortable, they didn’t want Italian people competing for status.  My grandfather, who loved everybody, hated Irish people, and the only reason for that was because we he came to this country as a very little boy, all the Irish kids at school would pick on him and beat him up for no other reason than because he was Italian and learning how to speak English.  This is not a slight against Irish people, obviously. It’s human nature for people who have fought hard to get where they are to feel threatened by the next group coming in on their heels, and to treat them poorly because of it. I saw this story a few months ago and found it eye opening, to say the least.  Maybe that’s part of the reason there is such prejudice against Latinos in this country, and talk of walls and rapists.  There was some statistic a few years ago about how soon, white people will technically be the minority in this country. And people started freaking the f* out. Why?  So what?  Demographics shift.  This country is supposed to be a melting pot.  We are evolving. Deal with it.

Further disillusioning me against the Republican party and President Ass Hat – the fact that before the election, they blocked Obama’s Supreme Court replacement for Justice Scolia, so that they could ensure they keep a conservative bent in the Supreme Court. And as outrageous as that is, it happened. Now the Republications have a majority in the House and Senate, so of course all of Trump’s disgusting appointments will be confirmed.  They are all rich, privileged, and white. And there’s maybe a racist or two among them. Yay America!   It’s so frustrating to watch this and feel powerless. Our only hope is to really come together in the mid-terms and hopefully get some balance back in there.  I also worry about Steve Bannon being the Rasputin behind Trump. None of this sits well. He’s very smart, and it feels like he’s playing a game and we’re all playing right into his hands. He’s most likely also smart enough to know how to play President Cheeto like a fiddle, and kisses up in exactly the right way, so President Moron’s ego is sufficiently stroked, and Bannon gets exactly what he wants. This is a man who advocated for a holy war while at the Vatican not so many years ago!

I spend a decent amount of time on Facebook. More now than I would care to admit, because I get sucked in by everyone’s political posts.  There are a lot of people of late who complain about the amount of political posts on Facebook. I think this is such a childish thing to do.  Facebook is essentially a microblogging site where people post the things that are important to them. It could be a picture of their family. It could be a picture of their meal at a 5-star restaurant. Or it could be how society as we know it is crumbling around us and we need to stay vigilant if we have any hope of getting out of this unscathed or on the brink of nuclear war.

Some final parting thoughts on our new president: He is probably a psychopath. I don’t mean that to be sarcastic, I mean that, clinically, he probably fits the definition. A few years ago, a British journalist named Jonathan Ronson wrote a book called The Psychopath Test. I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my list. It’s basically about how the traits that make someone a psychopath can lead them to be a homicidal maniac, or lead a Fortune 500 company.  No fear, no empathy, stuff like that. In research either conducted for the book or publish relatively soon thereafter, they found that the percentage of psychopaths in general society to be a much lower number than the percentage of psychopaths who are CEOs.  When I finally read the book, I’ll include some information about it. Anyway, at best, he is a psychopath. He is a narcissist with tiny hands and a pathetically fragile ego.  He is not qualified for this job, nor do I believe he even really wanted it. He mostly wanted to prove he could have it if he wanted. And here we are. God help us all.



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