Days of the Dominoes

When we are young we are immortal. We take risks as we heal quickly, recover well. Our parents are still young and vital. We look to them for answers as they seem, at least to us, to have them all. But as we age, as they age, perspective changes as we march inexorably to the end of their time, and eventually ours also, upon this earth. Where once the thoughts of life insurance and health insurance were trivial matters at best, we now are on a first name basis with the local emergency room and ICU personnel, and once the dominoes begin to fall in earnest they never really stop.

The bills my parents amassed have come due and it seems my job to watch as they pay. My parents were not health nuts in their time. They were frugal to a large extent and saved money where they could in what we were eating maybe. Choosing the lesser quality hamburg and the generic products over name brands. How egregious of an error is that? I can’t say. Likely no one can really. They were both smokers,  heavy smokers actually. What price does one pay for this? No one seems to have exact facts and figures. We can all point to Uncle Joe who was a chain smoker and lived healthy and happy till his 90’s, or Uncle Tom that smoked a little and died of lung cancer at 43. Both my parents carried extra weight most of their lives. I don’t know that they were obese or what risks this brought but it is there.

What I do know is the dominoes are falling in earnest and many of those dominoes have the title heart failure, cancer, dementia, COPD, kidney failure. I know if you check the medical opinion  of the majority of medical personnel they will tell you the issues of bad diet, smoking, and weight, and lack of exercise, lead inevitably, to the diagnosis written on the various dominoes we see falling by the wayside at this moment.

It is all a matter of perspective at this point. Stepping back and realizing, in my case, that certain questions, certain aspects of blame, hold no real purpose. Two lives were lived, and now are ending. The who, what, and where of blame is a pointless endeavor that leads to no real useful conclusions.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaar0aaaajgm1njdhowu2ltdkzmqtndg0ni05yzcwlte3owrmoddkmddhmqIt is left to me to follow in their wake and keep as much of this situation tolerable and moving forward as possible. I owe that I suppose as my folks have helped me a great deal at times. I am the lone son left standing so there is no one really to assist me in this endeavor. The time of the changing of the guard is here. I know it soon will pass that I take all decision making away from them. I am not happy about this but I realize what must be. Adulting has never been my favorite activity as there is not much fun in it.

This is a portion of the reason my posts have stopped. And I decided today maybe a portion of the reason for them to start again. I do not look forward to when my bills will come due in full. I will have no siblings, no children, no grandkids, I will have a wife and she will be my age. I suppose the state will step in and decide for me what is and what shall be. This is a bit more grim than the end my parents face as at least I can be there for them. My mother comes from a large family and many of her siblings still remain. But I do not see, outside of a select few, the uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, here assisting. They say kind words, often wish they could help, but wishes amount to nothing really.

My dad just returned home today after 6 weeks in 2 hospitals and a nursing home. Two of my Uncles were here today to help me get him in the house and this was much appreciated. But while he was away my mother had a bad time where she was nauseous and dizzy and would not rise from the bed even to go to dialysis. My Aunt and 2 cousins dropped by. Wished they could be there for mom. One gave me suggestions of how to help mom, as if I wasn’t the one here doing it for years now. They suggested I get someone to come in and clean as if this were a priority. No one offered to come over some afternoon and actually clean. just that I hire someone as my efforts were inadequate. My aunt cannot help in this manner but both of those with the suggestions surely can.


It sounds like I am blaming them, being petty, I am not. I didn’t go clean my aunts house when  my uncle was dying of cancer. But then again that aunt and uncle have 6 children, where I am alone in this. But still truth be told I went to see my uncle a few times but did nothing to help as I felt it not my place.

Such are the days of the dominoes. Many of us will go through a time similar to this. Where arguments about health care, and insurance, and decisions about the best path for care are hotly debated subjects. Where every day seems like just another set of fallback positions in their retreat from existence. Where good days are marked with no trip to the hospital, no setback in one or the others ability to function at all. We all have to pay the bill in the end. own up to the damage we caused ourselves by losing just a little bit more autonomy. Shouldn’t have had that last drink, smoked that last pack. should have done more cardio and put down that last doughnut. The ills we heap upon ourselves are slow but cumulative and now we sit and watch the dominoes fall and just try to avoid them falling on you.

The Fallacy of Choice


I have seen a great number of memes and posts regarding the fallacy of choice of late in regards to the current election cycle. The fallacy they refer to is dependent upon the person posting I am sure. If you are a Bernie person the fallacy likely likes in the pretend democratic process of electing the nominee. If you love Trump that fallacy bordered on many issues at many times in the process. At times Trump and his people claimed the primaries were rigged, or being rigged, times when the entire republican party seemed aligned against Trump according to Trump, not to mention the constant flow from Trump and crew regarding his mistreatment in the media and, any other person, place, or thing, that seemed to disagree with even the smallest of his utterances. Certainly Hilary fans feel put upon by the scandal creation wing of the republican party as they have invented so many scandals no one knows if any are real. But to top it off now we have the “I will vote no one in this election” person that seems to feel the entire process is so rigged, so useless, there is no point in participating.

i-have-no-choice-is-a-fallacyI sympathize with this particular group to a great degree. Our political system is bought and paid for by people, and corporations, and entities, that exist in the shadows many times. Some crawl into the light and are proud of their influence like the NRA. Most prefer the darkness as they advertise that they are here to help you, their people, their customers, while they pay off politicians in back rooms to do exactly the opposite.


So yes, the game is rigged, the choice is somewhat false, if you believe the choice is what they tell you that it is. If you believe the choice is between two people with your best interests at heart then you are confused and there is no choice. If you believe the choice is between two parties fighting for your best interests, then yes, the game is still rigged and you have no real choice. If you think you are fighting for a wall on the southern border you are terribly confused and there is no choice for you. Likewise if you think you are fighting for free college, your choice is non-existent, but you are right, you need an education.

The real choice comes in the minutia we can control. That choice is not tomorrow’s change, or even next year’s change, it is much farther down the line. The things no one actually talks about in speeches or to the media on a regular basis is what you vote for, as change is more a long term thing rather than a moment in time.me_463_strawman-1

We point to the fall of the Berlin wall as resounding change but the fall of that wall was at best symbolic of events that were taking place all over eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. We point to the passing of marriage equality as change in this nation and yet these changes have been on the move for a very long time. The Marriage Equality ruling is merely a symbol. The actual change was taking place incrementally every day, in the hearts and minds of young and growing generations.

It is in these subsequent generations where the hope lies. it lies not in the hearts and minds of older people. They, we, have our minds made up. I look around me at my friends, the people I went to junior high school, and high school with, and they are now staunch conservatives claiming they love the pledge of allegiance and God should be in schools. These are names and people I recognize but not actions and opinions. I know these people, have known them long enough to know their hobbies as young men and women. I know the things they now claim to believe are out of fear. Out of a perpetual stream of scare tactics used by the media to drive voters like cattle to a slaughter.

It is the generations of young people that can be educated to make responsible decisions. Change the way a thing is seen. Let a new generation grow in the way it is seen. That thing will change.


We argue that there is to much politically Correct nonsense in this current iteration of America. I do not wholly disagree with that statement. Comedians talk now of no longer playing to college campuses as the students at the show no longer allow anything to be funny. They cannot take a joke lest it violate some PC tenet. But in reality the college campus is often where change is taking place. The minds of the newly educated do not yet have their ideals crushed, their spirit exorcised. They see this new information as issues to take action on, and proceed to do so. This should be no shock to anyone.

The hard part of education is knowing what to do with it. Knowing the Black Lives Matter movement has points regarding the traditional relationship that black people have with the police is one thing. Protesting solely for that aspect of this discussion is another. Likewise the Blue Lives Matter movement and the All Lives Matter ignorance.  There are a lot of factors that come into play in a discussion of this magnitude. There are factions of any organization today that leave the original principles of the movement and strike out with violence, hatred, and ignorance.

It is not really that difficult to understand that a black man laying down, arms raised, and unarmed, should never be shot by the police. Yet this happened. It should not be difficult to understand that petty crimes should not end up in the death of the person arrested. Yet these things happen. It should also be equally easy to understand that police do a tough job. They lay their lives out there daily to protect and serve. They should not be subject to violent, and deadly, retaliation for the behavior of a few bad actors. All of this is solved by understanding both sides are right, and both sides, at times, are wrong. We need to lose the notion that when being arrested for a petty crime, fighting the police, is a plan. Equally though we need to lose the notion that everyone being arrested is a problem requiring the use of deadly force.  Like in society as a whole, the microcosm that is this issue points to the fact that no one wants to address the whole issue. They like screaming for their small understanding of it.


Often battles are between the young, the newly enlightened, and the old and entrenched. The conservatives and the liberals. The old and entrenched see things as they were raised to see things. You have to recognize their position in the context it was acquired. The new generations are just learning these new things in a brand new context. Hence the clash. A 97 year old southern grandpaw may see the oppression of black Americans, and any minority for that matter, as the status quo. He may see this as just as normal as the sunrise because this is the context of his youth. He likely sees the issue just a little nicer than his grandpaw before him who saw the times of absolute horror heaped upon minorities of any type as something to do on a weekend off of work. The new born grankid now sees all these things in the light of the civil rights movement, in the light of a new day and. while some of grandpaw’s old time garbage might sink in there is a chance it will not.

The thing we vote for is to discard grandpaws prejudice. To discard the ways of ignorance and move to the light. I know it is harder for people my age to feel this way. I know because I have only a small number of old school friends, apart from my fiance, that are my age, and hold my views. The conservative ones are entrenched. They may be quiet about it at first but it seems that, eventually, they come out to fight for their ways.

For these reasons I am left to say the vote you hold in your possession counts. regardless of your view, there is something to vote for. It may not be the grand party or candidate of your dreams or of their incessant preaching. It may not be for the nirvana you presume a candidate offers you and yours. It may not be something that directly effects you or this life. But, when you think there is no choice. When you think the candidates are horrible, the elections rigged, the parties a joke. Vote for the future.


The Republican base knows not how to think, only what to think


I have been trying very hard to summon up some kind of emotion, some kind of love or hatred for politics in the last week or more. I tell you I am exhausted. How many times can one write that Trump is a bag of hot air only to have it fall on deaf ears? The only thing left to do is to let this go to a vote. Let this entire process wind down and end up as a vote for one of these two candidates. Oh, I forgot to mention, I no longer need type the word presumptive as last night Hilary was nominated and is an official candidate, while last week Trump also achieved that goal.

I have noticed on my social media a ramping up of the vitriol that is coming from those on my lists that consider themselves Trump people. None of it is particularly useful or interesting. As usual it is not based in reality. Mostly it is a steady stream of already proven lies and misinformation.

Mostly I have not commented on much of it because it is just the beginning of a he said she said sort of dialogue leading nowhere. I can only refute the things republicans consider facts, as well as Bernie supporters, so many times before it just gets pointless.

imageedit_285_6536840923HILARY LIES!!”

Please show me where this is proven? She is a politician after all and they are hired by us and paid by us to keep secrets from us, but other than that, where are the lies? Benghazi perhaps? 8 congressional committees designed entirely to attack the future democratic candidate rather than seek any real truth or resolution for the friends and family of the lost men, failed in proving Hilary did a single thing wrong, or lied to anyone. perhaps e-mails and servers are your issue. Once again, investigations by non-partisan agencies and still no smoking gun. Worst I read was she was accused of poor judgement.


It has never been proven that Hilary, or any of the Americans tasked with the defense of the embassy and its people, did anything wrong. The statement most often heard is they did the best they could with the information and resources at their disposal. Contrary to the right wing desire to believe that this was the only embassy and the attack was imminent and unavoidable, it was the exact opposite. Our people are tasked with protecting many embassies all the time, these embassies come under various threats for various reasons all the time. Bush himself had, under his watch, 13 assaults on such places with multiple dead and wounded, because it happens. The right has spent many years painting a very different picture than reality dictates only to be told time and again there is nothing there.


Yes it did. It took possibly up to 25 million over many years from the Saudia Arabian government alone. Hilary was on the board of this organization at various times. Do you know when Hilary resigned from that board? No, you don’t and you likely don’t care but, she resigned her position on that board and with that foundation while she held office as secretary of state and again while she ran for the presidency. She did so to avoid these types of accusations, to avoid violating the law, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Right wingers do not care about reality. They routinely tie these monies to her and her campaign in spite of the facts.


I could keep going with little rational responses to frequent charges against her. It is a waste. Republicans, or at least a segment of the republican party, has resigned itself to ignoring truth. They deny science as a matter or course. It is merely another moment of exhaling for them to say “no science is wrong and the answers are found in the bible.” An incredible majority of scientists point to the reality of global warming. This is something so easy to measure you merely need a thermometer and a piece of paper to write down the results, and yet it is a vast conspiracy according to the right.


I get it of course, there are aspects of this that are silly like carbon credits and carbon tax. They solve no issue but to line someones pockets with money from people stupid enough to pay them. However the basic facts exist. The earth is warmer. It keeps getting warmer. We pollute the earth. We keep polluting the earth. We can argue till we are blue about who caused this and what to do about it but these things are occurring. And the republican response is to call it a hoax and get rid of the EPA. If you do not think humans pollute the earth to the extent that the earth cannot absorb the damage and recover in a useful time frame sans human intervention then I challenge you. Drink the water in Flint MI daily. Shit, drink the water in any metro out of the river before processing plants and filtration have cleaned it to at least some degree. While fishing your favorite local lake reach over the side with a cup and get water for yourself. I challenge you to read the toxicity levels of the fish as measured in your area. There are limitations and recommendations on their consumption, not because these fish differ ideologically from you, but because they are poisoned by human actions.

The republicans also choose to ignore the supreme court routinely of late. Many republicans specifically saying the bible holds more sway than the members of SCOTUS and their rulings. They say the bible is what this nation is based on, placing it above the constitution itself. Insanity indeed for a group that routinely says democrats are horrible because they do not care about the constitution.

Sure they like aspects of the constitution. They love the second amendment but seem not to understand or embrace the first one. Guns are good, religion separate and free away from the halls of government and government institutions is an abomination.

See I can keep writing this stuff for a long time. I can write post after post about the inherent inability of republicans to understand or be aware of hypocrisy in their platforms and beliefs. I am slowly coming to the conclusion though that, while the educated among them, the intelligent among them, surely know they are lying, the base of the party does not. The base of the republican party is a group very much raised on religion. They were told from a very young age you do not question, you do not challenge, you do not research and look for facts, rather you accept what is told to you. This is the way of a Godly person as they see it.

acaA Godly person accepts whatever is told them and disavows anything that would seem to contradict this information out of hand. A Godly woman accepts her man, and the men of God, as her savior as they are closer to God than her and know best what she need do and think. A Godly person is trained thus to accept and not to question. This is the perfect training for the republican party. We are telling you what is, now line up over there and vote for us, then go home and strap yourself to the machines and create a profit for we elite. You are the grist in their mill, and the source of their wealth, and you shall work till you fall then be replaced.

The republicans are then using this obedience to disseminate a series of headlines against Hilary and the liberals. The reason the throng of right wingers out there merely say headlines like Hilary lies is because it is all they know, it is all they need to know, it is all they were told to know. They regurgitate this information at any point where it seems needed and strut around as if they have spoken truth and deserve a treat. Their masters have taught them to do so. Their masters may, or may not, know the truth, I do not know. I know they are men educated in the school systems that they claim turns everyone into liberals. I know they have been exposed to enough information to be able to reach conclusions other than their lies. I also know they continue to lie for profit, greed, power, control, and a myriad other things I am unaware of.

For these reasons I am weary. I am merely wasting time trying to teach the mindless drones of the republican mill how to think. That is my flaw. I want them to learn, I want them to research and find facts. I want them to then apply those facts to their world view. What I should be doing is telling them what to believe as this is how they are trained. This is sad.



We no longer vote for, but rather against.


The election of not is upon us. This week we romp through the disaster that has been the republican convention and, to no one’s surprise, we have nominated a Trump. We have listened to 2 days of speeches. Speeches normally about policy, normally about why the republican brand is worthy of your vote. We have heard a lot of anti Hilary rhetoric to be sure but something is missing. If you are new to politics and the conventions you might miss it. Everything seems pro-republican but somehow there is a lack of enthusiasm.

I think what is missing is that, while I listened to some of Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell, and Chris Christie’s speeches I heard a whole lot of why not to vote for Hilary. I heard very little joy in the notion that the only choice left to them was Donald Trump. This election is more about who we absolutely refuse to vote for than it is a glowing endorsement of either candidate.

9I am not terribly in love with my choice in Hilary. I have issues with a lot of her positions, but, as they say in Michigan, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. Well her positions seem to have the same predictable unpredictability as Michigan’s weather. The good thing about that, if there can be said to be a good thing about it, is that her positions never stray to far from the social policies I like regarding the democratic platform. The republicans are on far shakier ground in  my opinion.

Trump will change his mind and his opinions during an exhale. The difference between trump and Clinton is consistency. Trump could land on a new position that represents the republicans, or the democrats, even the justice league, or possibly on the side of a triumvirate of villains from the latest Batman movie. No one really knows, not even him.

So while the republican party elite willing to hold down the contents of their stomachs long enough to endorse him dutifully trotted out their kind words and support, they know this is just a crap shoot. They know the Donald may turn his back on them and everything they hoped and dreamed he would do.

And what is the hope they vote for when they pull the lever for Trump? They are voting to avoid a liberal supreme court. They are voting to squash the human rights of LGBT people. They vote to overturn Roe V Wade and to abolish the affordable care act. They hope Donald will pass sweeping tax cuts and privatize social security and the national parks. They vote for the XL Pipeline and increased drilling. They vote to squash the notion of global warming and act to take away regulations protecting our environment and our lives. The list is a great deal longer but essentially the republicans vote not for Trump, not even against Hilary, but to perpetuate their policies that I consider a war on humanity.

Democrats are a little more secure. We know enough about Hilary to know where she stands, or at least the ballpark she will remain in. I disagree on her stance on guns and the 2nd amendment. I disagree on her hawkish style regarding potential military intervention overseas. I disagree with the knee jerk politics the democrats like to play when it comes to media attention on issues. There are other points with which I do not agree with the democrats but I will be voting for them anyway because there are too many points where I see the republicans as pure evil.

undecided-voter-halloweenI used to play kinder and considered the republicans misguided money hungry jerks, but it boils down to evil now. I get the fiscal responsibility and the desire for a strong military. I do not get the desire to gut the rights of humans for no reason other than the fact they can. I do not understand the wanton disregard for the environment. Even if we disagree on the impact of global warming one must be able to see Flint Michigan’s water crisis as reason enough to protect the earth, but no, they do not. Their answer is to get rid of the EPA.

Their answers are equally misguided in other areas. They support the NRA notion that more guns work for safety. They support the idea of privatizing everything from education to health care to social security and all manner of things as they believe the free market will work to right the ship. The free market is run by people, greedy people, that will destroy everything if given the option to profit on the backs of peoples health and savings. They wish to once again allow the banks to be deregulated. We just went through a recession. Nearly destroyed the economy. made a lot of people’s 401k’s disappear and jobs along with it because, in part, the republicans deregulated the banks. But now they know how to do it right I suppose.

The major reason I will never vote in a republican again is that they now have adopted the notion that we are a christian nation and run by the bible and what they perceive as God’s law above all else. They wish to bring religion into schools and government. They wish religion to hold sway in all manner of transactions including health care options and where I may or may not be allowed to do business depending on today’s interpretation of some religious text. This cannot take place. A mere glance at the middle east and their many problems will tell you what happens when religion is mixed inextricably with government and education and business and war.


Basically though I see this election more as the candidate I refuse to back rather than the one I am willing to back. I think a lot of people agree with that statement. I know Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Mitch McConnell do. And I think it is a little bit sad. I did not live in the time of JFK, or Lincoln, or Jefferson, or Washington but I like to think the history books are correct when they speak of these men with a degree of reverence and respect. I wish I could say there was one president in my adult life that I could say the same about. I know this election will not bring one.


Trump on Parade: Narcissism 101


So a year ago Trump entered the race for the presidency of these United States. A year ago we all laughed. I am not alone in admitting I thought it a joke but, a year later, like herpes, what started off as a mildly enjoyable moment of pleasure remains with us, possibly forever. Trump won the primary season and is now the nominee of the republican party. More than that he has stolen the republican brand in its entirety. He is their message, he is their direction, he is their lone voice.

donald-trump-narcissistHe won the primaries by pandering to a segment of the republican voters that are absolutely the worst America has to offer.  They long for what they recall as days of wine and roses. To them these were days past of open racism, xenophobia, and misogyny. If they can’t spew their pejoratives freely then surely the world is far to politically correct and the white man is being usurped as the true leader. They wallow in ignorance with pride, denying anything resembling facts or useful information. Science is the enemy as it is a tool of liberals to deny God and take dollars from hard working Americans. God and guns are their creed and they will fight the wind if it whispers anything resembling dissent of either.

This is the segment of the republican party that, until these last two weeks, I thought the party elites knew about. I admit that over the years I have been puzzled when seemingly intelligent humans were attracted to the republican brand and defended it so vehemently. I now see them come to microphones in the wake of Trump’s coup, and stand there like the proverbial deer in the headlights. They appear stunned that this man has no use for them. Has no interest in the practice of politics as they understand it. They are stunned he spouts racism and appears to suggest that the president is in league with ISIS and responsible for mass murder on American soil. They, conveniently, forget they spent the last 7 years saying a lot of horrible things about the president also.

downloadStill I see them wonder how this repugnant little ooompaloompa, with a previously undiscovered mammal sleeping atop his vacuous head, has hijacked the party of Lincoln. They fumble about trying to find a way to work with Trump, suggesting if he reigned in his rhetoric and followed a more structured, conservative, approach they could love him. They say the youngster is new to politics and needs to prove to the republicans they know that he is a true representative of conservatism, an ideology they say, without laughing, or any hint of the irony involved, is full of love for the common man, full of hope, and not in any way desirous of excluding people for any of the myriad reasons they invent to exclude people. .

I have taken a perverse pleasure in watching them say these things day after day for the last two weeks as I know what they seem not to know, or pretend not to know. Trump has discovered the true republican party. He has discovered it and stolen it out from under them. Trump knows what the true party wants and he is giving it to them. He has no interest in taking advice from the RNC. It will not happen. He has no interest in conservative values or lies. He never did. He is a narcissist plain and simple. He does what he does to support himself. He wallows in the adulation his speeches bring. The massive echo chamber of “TRUMP IS GREAT” appeals to him like heroin to a junkie, like hatred to a bigot, like manipulating the uninformed to FOX news.

There is no 12 step program for narcissism of this level. You could have a thousand steps and no help lies at the other end. Trump is a sociopath that has found joy in the mirror instead of a dump site in his crawl space. Trump has no understanding of the thoughts and feelings of the average human, he has no need. And because of this the RNC can try, and try, and try again to get him to change his tune, and they will fail, and fail, and fail again to achieve anything but the creation of their own ulcer.


Trump won the primaries going away with a message of lunacy and hate. He feels this message will continue to serve him. He has decided polls no longer reflect the true voting public in spite of his constant reference to them in the primaries. In this moment the polls do not serve him. Narcissism 101 demands that whatever does not serve the narcissist is discarded and vilified.

His rabid voters now appear a small portion of the voter population. I saw one poll where he is even losing the white male vote. This is his bread and butter and he cannot get even them to like him. His polling with women, and African Americans, and Latinos is appalling if you are pro Trump, and his normal tricks are failing him.

a04c71000e0809bf607019fb71d60d37Previously when his polls dipped or another republican challenged him he would step up the crazy. He would hit us with another piece of horror designed to rile up his base and again he would rise. He has been hitting us with crazy left and right since he became the presumptive nominee to no avail. His polls are declining. And now that Bernie and Hilary are winding up their race his polls will fall further and further.

I am not sad to see the republican party have to face this reality. I am amused, delighted, more than happy as it were that the republicans finally have to see the passenger list on this train wreck of a party they have been running. They pretended to notice when Obama won. They did an autopsy on themselves. They pretended they would be more inclusive. Speak to minorities and women. Pretended they would not spend all their time catering to the wealth in this nation. Then, at every conceivable moment, they have chosen not to do any of these things.

Well hello republicans. You created Trump because you created your base. They ignore reality because you do. They ignore science because you do. They live for the notion of God and guns because you feed them this. They are, for the most part, a pox on humanity but you have allowed them in because it served you. It is no longer serving you to wage this war on the middle class. To attempt to thwart every attempt by the people you deem less than to become your equals, or even to become something at all above what they are. You have fought hard to worship the extreme wealth in this nation. Fought to appease them at the expense of the rest of us. I can’t say I am sad to see it bite you right in the ass.