Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Boardwalk At The Ferry Terminal Again

I had breakfast at the Island Café in Anacortes: chorizo and eggs; the guy on the grill got it just right and there was a lot of it and I was going to eat all of it; so I took quite a bit of time eating.

That gave me a lot of time to read the current issue of The Economist.

After four articles that were all related in one way or another to the United States’ presidential campaign I was so unsettled that I needed a jar of scotch.

But it was only 1030 and I haven’t gotten to drinking anything except bloody maries before 1700.

So I reached the ferry terminal in a state of  un-tempered mental unrest.

A walk on the boardwalk through the tidelands fixed that.

Here are a few pictures from that walk.

anacortes harbor view 052916 00000

anacortes wetland 052916 00000

anacortes nootka rose 052916 00000

anacortes butterfly 052916 00000

Later, after making the crossing to the island, I saw some oyster catchers from the tombolo.

lopez oyster catcher 052916 00000

lopez oyster catcher 052916 00003

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Hoppin’ Mad Bunch

It's easy to understand the Trump ascendancy: the election of an African American was the last straw for the “god-fearing” poor-white-man-group who have long survived on the belief that they are "better" than at least "them" (they generally revere and/or grovel to the white rich class, hence the use of "at least") for a couple of hundred years.

Since the "supremacy" of their condition has depended upon believing that being "god fearing decent white men" gives them some special set of seats at the great American table, way ahead of anyone but their “betters” (the rich white people mentioned previously, the "god fearing decent white men have become increasingly bitter as they have fallen farther and farther behind: turning the same bolt with the same wrench at the same work station in the same factory in the same town for the same company across multiple generations has become a less and less available option.

Business and economies, unfortunately, don't care too much about "god fearing decent white men".

But god had granted that goodness of living - in their view - so there must have been an interloper - probably from Satan - who had harmed god's plan.

Obama has served as the personification of that interloper.

Prima facie: Obama has been against having every American carrying a gun to church, so he was obviously an agent of Beelzebub.

Then came 2009.

Everybody but the 1% lost their asses.

That was especially hard on the god fearing bolt turning white men who were already in the ditch.

Then came the tea party.

They said we needed to take our country back.

"From whom" I remember wondering.

Then came the elections of 2010: tea party republicans took over.

Then came no results: the god fearing white men still were losing their bolt turning jobs.

So it must not be god, they thought, it must be that African in the White House.

They already knew that: he was from whom they were going to "take our country back".

And Trump has figured all this out.

He may not be stupid but he is cunning.

His format is simple and it is compelling to those who feel no hope: he is a liar: he says he says he will bring back jobs day one of his regime; he has put Obama on a list of hate (that is facile – it covers the President, but in code it covers all African Americans); he has added women to that list; he has added Muslims; he has added Mexicans; they all share in his brew of hate.

He wants to openly use torture as a matter of policy.

He wants to kill families of terrorists.

He would just as soon shoot someone down on 5th Avenue as to make a point in a debate: he says he could do that and he would still be loved.

And the god fearing white men are lapping it up.

My father once told me that Fascist states always needed an enemy.

Trump has trumped up a whole cadre of enemies for his supporters to seig heil over.

I guess success in this regard shows that any hope for a better America is probably futile.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

If You Say It Aint So Often Enough It Must Not Be So

The Thursday after the Tuesday of the American presidential election in 2004 the cover of the London Daily Mirror had a headline over a picture of President George W. Bush  saying "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?"

That question was never answered as far as I ever heard.

in view of the unfolding events on the republican side of the impending American presidential election it seems that that question needs to be asked again.

I don’t know whether 59,054,087 is the right number this time, but apparently the number is becoming a bunch.

This time the phenomenon is frightening; last time it was laughable.

The fright comes from the fact that nothing has changed now that Trump has sewed up the nomination.

He is still a mean spirited, lying, possibly tax cheating, xenophobic, misogynistic, and generally uninformedly bigoted clown. 

I find no fault with the several million Americans who have voted for him to date: they are all hoppin’ mad and not going to take it any more.

They are trapped – to some extent by their own device – in dead end lives.

They are mainly white men and having a mean spirited, lying, possibly tax cheating, xenophobic, misogynistic, and generally uninformedly bigoted clown be their president seems to them to be a way out of their plight.

Perhaps they see it as a way of getting even with a system in which they don’t feel equipped to win, because they aren’t equipped to win; perhaps they might feel taking the ship down will make for an opportunity to float to the surface in the wreckage to a new life with new opportunity.

Whatever their reasons they have heard Trump – he has been crystal clear from day one – and they like what they have heard and they have voted for him.

I can understand and respect that.

What I can’t understand or respect is that now we are going through the “uniting” phase where all those who said they would vote for Hillary or would not vote at all or who made noises about starting a third party or who made ominous threats about a brokered convention are all lining up and saying “he aint so bad; he never meant any of that mean stuff; he really likes women and some of his best friends are women; he really loves Mexicans – he just had a bad day when he was talking about them; he really believes in freedom of religion – he didn’t mean to purge all Muslims from America; and he has a strong and accurate world view including the necessity for the United States to be a dominant participant in robust world trade; he was kidding about the wall; and he really likes China”.

And so on, and so forth, et cetera, et cetera.


All those millions of hoppin’ mad white men who have already voted for him are going to be even more hoppin’ mad when they hear that.

Luckily the hoppers can all remain calm.

The mean spirited, lying, possibly tax cheating, xenophobic, misogynistic, and generally uninformedly bigoted clown is the real deal.

No amount of emotion packed close ups of his dewy eyed daughter being interviewed telling us how inaccurate our impressions of him are, no matter how many clownishly sensitive attempts at rapprochement with various women news people he initiates, no matter how many taco tweets he twitters, Trump is still what he has represented himself to be: a mean spirited, lying, possibly tax cheating, xenophobic, misogynistic, and generally uninformedly bigoted clown.

But, "How can (number to be determined later) people be so DUMB?"

Unfortunately, this time that is not a laughable question.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

One More Year?

I have been watching this thing gradually disintegrate for several years. It looks as if it is finally "there".

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Shock and Surprise

The truth that I think that I am hearing seep out of all the media obfuscation and candidate factotum spin has two prongs.

One is a surprise.

The other is a shock.

I have been for Bernie, but expecting to vote for Hillary: my admiration for Clinton’s qualifications and achievements has kept me accepting the inevitability of her nomination and the inevitability of her follow on election as President.

The SURPRISE is that this is true through the nomination; but there becomes a slip between the cup of the nomination and the lip of the Presidency.

Because of those who “won’t vote for Hillary”, those who will not be allowed to vote (a lot of states have voter reduction laws and administrative procedures on the books) and those who don’t know that they can and should vote (their very existence depends upon them voting but they don’t know that) there is a large enough contingent of “angry old/young white men” - decent and god fearing all – and their various female hangers on, and their progeny, who will vote; and there may be enough of them to elect Trump.


Seriously Though

[Dr. Emmett Brown is doubting Marty McFly's story about that he is from the future]

Dr. Emmett Brown: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?

Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.

Dr. Emmett Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor?

[chuckles in disbelief]

Dr. Emmett Brown: Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis?

[rushing out and down a hill toward his laboratory]

Dr. Emmett Brown: I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady!

Marty McFly: [following Doc] Whoa. Wait, Doc!

Dr. Emmett Brown: And Jack Benny is secretary of the treasury.

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088763/quotes



This was outrageously funny and pretty oblique humor at the time, back in 1985.

At least it was funny to me.

And I thought it was pretty oblique.

At the time.

And has been ever since.

Until today.

I was at the super market eating a couple fried chicken thighs for lunch.

Lopez Village Market makes really good fried chicken.

A friend of mine who was buying stuff from the deli counter saw me she and came over.

She said “have you heard trump’s latest?”

I hadn’t.

“He says that his battle with venereal disease has been his personal Vietnam.”

I spent a year in Vietnam (see http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/noel-mckeehan/saigon-1967-shadow-and-memory/ebook/product-21059394.html for more about that).

So I have some sort of a frame of reference about what might constitute a personal Vietnam, and I couldn’t make the link made by Trump.

But then the cave full of bats that masquerades for the Trump mind could, I guess, make an equation out of anything.

As I pondered that my friend said “and also he says he has pretty much had a full military career because he went to military school”.

The conversation took the inevitable veer toward absurdity at that point.

We took turns projecting increasingly outrageous pre-facts about the Trump presidency.

And our laughter increased with each exchange.

People were moving away from our immediate vicinity.

When we got to the part about Trump dumping his wife and marrying Kim Kardashian my friend became Emmet Brown and I became Marty McFly.

And I quit my uproarious laughing.

I guess Sarah Palin finally gets to be Vice President.

And Katelin Jenner Secretary of State. 

She has travelled a lot I hear.