Monthly Archives: July 2015

Verbal Vomit, Hypocrisy, and (What Else?) Politics as Usual

Politics has always been a nasty business. Here are few examples from history:

“… a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor, whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any?” Thomas Paine’s insult to George Washington.

Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Monster, Ignoramus Abe, Old Scoundrel, Perjurer, Robber, Swindler, Tyrant, Field-Butcher, Land-Pirate.” Harper’s Weekly editorializing about Abraham Lincoln.

“He has a bungalow mind.” Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th American president opining on Warren Harding (1865-1923), 29th American president.

    And so it has been, and so it is and may always be. Those who long for the good old days are simply ignorant of what they were really like. And that’s not to mention the lack of indoor plumbing.   Well, the point of all this is that now, mired in the spectacle of Republican scrambling for the party’s Presidential nomination, we’re starting to see vitriol and hypocrisy once again entering high gear. The most obvious manifestation of this has been the oral dribblings from Donald Trump’s stunted brain.

By now, you’d have to have been somewhere off-planet not to have heard Trump’s comments about John McCain. Of course, Trump was right, sort of. McCain is not a war hero because he was captured and became a prisoner of war. But that is a straw man easily taken down by the fact that McCain truly is a war hero because of his conduct while in captivity. Trump’s failure to acknowledge this is despicable enough, but even more despicable is the hypocrisy oozing from the pores of the other Republican hopefuls.

All but Ted Cruz seem to have jumped on the bandwagon to defend McCain’s honor, as well everyone should, regardless of whether they agree with McCain’s politics. (I don’t, but I respect the man.) But this outpouring, no matter how justified, reveals the abjectly pathetic level of these guys’ hypocrisy. How, you ask? Simple. Where were they when John Kerry suffered the same defamation during his campaign for the Presidency? Yes, remember how he was “swiftboated” during his campaign for the Presidency? So, it was hunky-dory to lie about Kerry, but unacceptable to put down McCain. It reeks.

And then there’s Ted Cruz, demonstrating not hypocrisy but, in fact, his own rotted soul, siding with Trump.

Yes, politics is a dirty business, and what makes it worse is that there are so many bigoted sheep with deficient education in this country willing to listen to and believe the verbal vomit coming from these guys. Why else is Trump leading in GOP polling? Why do people still think President Obama’s birth certificate was forged? That he’s actually a Muslim? That the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy? That the second amendment guarantees every private citizen the right to bear arms individually instead of as intended, namely, as part of a “well regulated militia”?

I am frightened by the level of ignorance, bigotry, and religious superstition having an impact within our government. Add to these factors the simple fact that we now have what is essentially a corporate bought and owned Congress, and things could hardly be on a worse track. The only answer is for rational, objective, empathic humanists to vote the rascals out. But it had better be soon, because right now it looks like we’re headed for big trouble.

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Judy Collins Who?

Judy Collins Who?

Five weeks ago I underwent repair of a torn rotator cuff. The pain has been awful, but that’s not what this is about. No, not at all. This about the recognition that one’s repository of knowledge is rapidly becoming irrelevant to the advancing world.

Yes, I will explain.

Several years ago. I suddenly noticed that young female coworkers who formerly would never have paid any attention to me were stopping by my office with increasing frequency to spill personal details, including such matters as their sex lives, and to seek my advice, say, as to whether they should undergo breast enhancement (OK, I’m an MD). Sometimes they even flirted a bit. I was puzzled but flattered. Until, that is, I came to realize that the reason this was happening is because they had come to perceive me as harmless. Yes, I was entering that phase of life, and the realization came as a brutal shock, let me tell you.

This morning, I was listening to a discussion on NPR about the Watts riots, which occurred here in Los Angeles fifty years ago. The discussion suddenly came to a halt for a moment when one of the journalists remarked that neither he nor the other fellow had been alive at the time.

During a recent conversation, with a young fellow about guns in America, he casually mentioned how Jack Ruby had assassinated Robert F. Kennedy. I will not detail the history lesson I subsequently delivered to this misinformed twenty-something.

Well, anyway, in the aftermath of my rotator cuff surgery, I’ve been getting physical therapy. During one of my two formal torture sessions this week, I was hauling my pathetic arm to as vertical a position as I could manage with a pulley setup when Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, began playing on the facility’s music system. Without giving much thought to it, I blurted to the young PT tech watching me sweat, “That’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Stephen Stills wrote that for his girlfriend, Judy Collins.”

And the tech replied, “Who’s Judy Collins?”

Yes, I’m sure every generation faces the inevitable reality of of eventual cultural irrelevance. As a leading edge baby boomer, I guess it’s my generation’s turn now. I can’t help wonder, though, about all that’s been lost from generations before mine, and all that will be lost from current and future generations.

I didn’t tell the nice young PT tech about Judy Collins or her wonderful music and how much it evokes in me. After all, someday he’ll probably get the same reaction from some youngster when he mentions Katy Perry. So in the end, all that I could think to say to him was, “Your time will come.”

The Donald

Unless you’ve been living in a Lower Slobbovian cave for the past couple of weeks, you’re well aware by now that Donald Trump, has entered the Republican race for the party’s 2016 nomination for President of the United States. And I say, “Whoopie! This is GREAT!!!

Why, you may wonder, would I be so delighted over this arrogant, bigoted, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal’s Presidential quest? The answer is straightforward and simple: because finally a candidate has stepped forward who is unafraid to bare (dare I say flaunt?) the repellent underbelly of the Republican Party, and having it exposed for what it is is truly a marvelous thing.

Lest you disagree with me about this, simply look at what the other GOP nom-seekers are saying. What, you say? The silence is deafening? But then, of course it is. They mostly all agree with him and are simply afraid to say it. Well, except for Ted Cruz, who’s gutsy and idiotic enough to defend the indefensible. And then there’s Jeb Bush, who might just also secretly agree with the bad-haired one but who out of fear made a wimpish, pandering pronouncement in Spanish only that, well, Trump’s ideas aren’t his own. What? Maybe he just borrowed them from someone else? And what about other Republicans? Where are they in all of this? Hiding, it seems, nakedly unmasked for the detestable specimens of humanity they are..

The ugly truth is that the Republican Party has become a slimy right wing backwater wherein dwell bigots, the religiously misguided, the terminally selfish, and a wealthy class of economic narcissists who’ve turned the U.S Congress into their private sandbox. And who out there in the wider public votes for them in election after election? I’ll tell you. Double-wide dwellers who wrongly think their candidates actually care about them, and those who know no better than to follow the lead of Fox demagogues and ignorant imbeciles like James Inhof and his fellow buffoons.

Climate change? A hoax!

Obamacare? Socialism!

Women’s rights? Keep ’em barefoot and pregnant!

Immigration: Rapists!

Infrastructure maintenance: No new taxes!

The Middle East? Bomb it!

The environment? Frack, baby, frack!

The sanctity of life? Long live capital punishment!

Gay marriage? An abomination that will destroy our country!

And there you have it: most of what the GOP stands for today. So, Donald, keep up the good work. It seems that the heavy weight of responsibility has settled upon your shoulders. Yes, only YOU can ensure defeat of the party in 2016, so keep up the good work, because only you are getting the true Republican word out. A lot of us are depending on you. Don’t let us down.