Fact-Check #Intercourse

Have we reached the peak of Mt. Stupidity, the apex of 360 degree ignorance? The Donald’s repeated assertion that President Obama -with Secretary Clinton proving her gangsta bona fides riding at his side- was “the founder of ISIS.” Dumb enough, sure, ridiculous even..pathetic. Where I get out of the clown car is when media organizations preface their commentary with this or that “fact” websites rating of either “Pinocchio,” or my favorite, “pants on fire.” How exactly does one fact check such a statement? No really, I’m serious, how? Do they check in with the Council on Foreign Relations, Alex Jones, Zbigniew Brzezinski? And yes, that’s spelled correctly. I fact checked it with the US Embassy in Poland.

Donald Trump is not the problem, nor Hillary Clinton. The media is not to blame for this Kabuki Theater on Democracy. It’s not the RNC or the DNC, the DEA or the FSB we should blame for our epic failures as global citizens, kin to our fellow man. You know who I think is to blame? Ronald Reagan. Just joking. The blame should be cast upon many parents of this country going back 40 to 50 years. Accepting this growing new culture of brains saturated in nonstop television, video games and social media, American families in general have willingly participated in an ever growing culture of blissful ignorance. And the slide continues to steepen with each generation, each financial crisis, each necessary second or third job necessary to support that very family in our post-modern consumer culture.

The statement “when I was a kid,” can be overused, nevertheless, the striking differences I see between norms of my childhood in the 70s and 80s with that off today must be a sign of something cultural and menacing. It’s no secret that kids back then were much more active, spending full days out of the home, sometimes far from home, playing sports, riding bikes and skateboards, doing all sorts of things. It’s not everything sure, but those experiences surely had a positive nature, learning, making mistakes, just learning about things we might otherwise never encounter at home? Somewhere in the 90s things swung the other way, rapidly, almost unnoticed. Parents are to blame, though the reasons, mostly out of their control, are, I believe, complicated?

Like a self licking ice cream cone, the echo of danger, whether actual or not, parents became fearful, the number of kids out of the house and off the property decreased, making the wild seem more dangerous, on and on. Reality TV crime docs made America seem like the wild, cable TV and video games offered more reasons to stay home, more danger, more internet and games, on and on. So now, a mom letting her 9 year old son take the subway, or 8 y.o. daughter the public bus, is met with indignation and hate. Practically child abuse. It’s actually pathological and rhetorically insane. The natural byproduct of this nannying is, by in large, young adults completely unprepared for the world outside of the familiar box that is their home for 18 years. This ignorance doesn’t cease with personal relationships or not knowing how to ride the bus, but rather, the ability to accept points of view beyond those you’re accustomed to.

I know we’ve never been completely free of ignorance in the United States. But really, in 2016, can you imagine there being enough bright, intelligent, other than nonsensical patriots around to fight a revolution, compose a Constitution, and set-up a government from scratch? I know it’s more complicated. I realize this analysis has flaws and is lacking in research. But am I wrong in saying that a man like Donald Trump couldn’t have gotten anywhere near the Presidency prior to television shows the likes of Keeping up with the Kardashian’s and Duck Dynasty reaching millions of steady viewers every week? Could you imagine what Lincoln, the first POTUS to represent the GOP, would think of a Donald Trump the standard bearer of his party?

Yes, politics in America has been nasty, even downright dirty, dating all the way back to the days of Hamilton, Adams and Jefferson. They used propaganda, the media, even sexual dalliances to get the upper hand and get elected. Not to mention the fact that at that time, the enslavement of fellow men and woman was condoned by the plurality of American’s, in and out of politics. Has there ever been a candidate so woefully small and petty, so blissfully ignorant and misogynistic to be on the final ballot, Nationwide, for President of the United States? No! And if the culture bears any witness to the future, he wont be the last.

Because why? Because ignorance has truly become bliss in America. Nobody likes a know it all, yet today, here, far too many voters for my comfort, like a knows a lot less. Politicians these days are so clueless, so dishonest, with a public that rides along in rapt silence, that fact checking them has become an actual industry.

This fact check intercourse seems stable, for now. In my opinion though, fact checking is as fleeting and possibly degrading to our National dialogue as sites like 538.com -outlets that assemble polls and other data to predict elections- are to normal voters. This is a separate conversation altogether, but is anything less useful than polls and poll aggregators to regular voters? I mean a candidate will either win or lose, right? Does it matter any more that the polls say 60-40 in one race, 90-10 in another? Especially when 99% chances have gone down -Clinton in Michigan primary, 99% of winning according to 538- Polls, like the DOW Jones and 14 day weather forecasts in nightly news casts, are little more than airtime filler. Not there for one to make a good decision, yet possibly, dubious information that could spur a regrettable one?

Now I need to boot up my pirated season six of Game of Thrones. Ha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIP servicE

The web will find you, anywhere. The modern machine broke free today. My peaceful corner of the planet, no more than a few hundred stones throw’s south of the Arctic Circle, became, if only temporarily, the newest information landfill in the Galaxy, thanks to my closest neighbor half-a-mile away. The industrious gentlemen, a Korean and Vietnam War’s Vet and occasional Poker player, combined renewable and fuel generated energy to power, among other things, a DISH Network system with internet and WiFi Router -no password- for the communities pleasure. The community being him, his wife, two dogs and one neighbor, me. I cannot say that I’m happy for the hook-up, nevertheless, his ingenuity -necessary, he claims, to lure his wife away from the city for a few weeks- and effort makes me smile.

The obvious downside to this temporary connection with the sick world below is the fact I learned of Donald Trump’s newest -as of 11am Wednesday- mouth fart. WTF, really?Is it hyperbole to posit anyone else making that statement in public would bring a heavy hand from the law? Maybe not arrested, but certainly put under watch? There’s no question he meant 2nd Amendment folks might be able to get what they want through the use of gun violence, that’s almost certain. Now, we can parse whether he meant Clinton directly, or Justices, or a coup de’tat for fucks sake. The comment was beyond the pale, even for The Donald. And like my last post made clear, the media must stop with the mealy mouth coverage. But they wont. In fact, the most ridiculous parsing came from the supposed Liberal MSNBC. It leaves me to wonder: might they be trying to help Donald to keep him afloat long enough to get HRC elected? Doubt it. Not that smart…or, rather, not as smart as those operating the levers of power over at FOX news!

The sun just broke through the grey of last nights storm. Spending precious time attempting to unravel the tangled mess that is modern politics feels perverse, if not my own wicked corruption? Would it sound crazy admitting my interest in such ethereal, distant helms, actually blunts my otherwise, painful, aching loneliness? I know my opinion is of zero consequence beyond the games stretching out within my own mind. The spaces between these crowded arenas are so dark, there have been times I could have laid down in the opaqueness, and check out of the next game. It’s a journey of feet, on the razors edge between grey and black. I never would have believed the anguish this despair controls in here? I was a happy child, a young man of contentment. Now, after the blasts and regret, that other life is lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd vs 1st Amendment

preface: thanks for the comments. never really believed anyone would read so I will try to be better with the grammar and also try to include some photos. But thanks!

The consumers of media are being ill-served by the supposed laws of modern journalism. Journalism is being equally held hostage by the ethics of the profession. No better example of this dichotomy of sorts is NPR’s -albeit not alone- coverage of the unprecedented national presidential election that is 2016. Maybe this opinion and observation is far from unique, nevertheless, it’s an opinion that’s escaped my view in reading through the NYT, WaPost and WSJ’s editorial pages. I’ll try to briefly explain what I mean.

Mainstream media organizations, those that put on an air of fairness and balance in coverage, -let’s preclude MSNBC & FOX for now- almost never accuse someone outright of lying. And in many instances this is a sound policy, from my perspective at least. 2016 seems to have ventured into rather stormy waters? There have been several, if not many, statements made by both candidates and campaigns -I believe the lions share are from the Donald however- that fall far beyond the usual white lies and can -and should- be called out by the media as outright lies, fabrications and/or intentional deception.I’d argue that this is new. I’d also argue that being of the unprecedented nature, mainstream, objective media, needs to modify their general practices in order to serve the public, to serve Democracy and the 1st Amendment.

When Secretary Clinton uses legalese, oratory gymnastics, and obfuscation, as she continues to employ regarding her use of her private server, the media -CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC etc- should begin calling it for what it is: lying. When the Trump campaign claims they had nothing to do with the GOP platform committee changing language, softening its position in respect to Russia and the Ukraine, that same media needs to stop dancing around, applying the same techniques with words, and simply say: “that’s a lie.” 

Why is this simple, yet possibly dramatic modification necessary? Count me as ever skeptical, but the truth is, many American’s trust many of these news outlets to give them the truth. They might not like what they hear initially, might even tune out, yet in the end, I believe the ethical decision is gravely important for our Nation. When Walter Cronkite told us the War in Vietnam was lost, feelings were probably hurt, the Pentagon lost its shit and the Executive Branch howled, but in the end, it was the truth that did the most good, ultimately, along with courageous Americans the likes of Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and Daniel Elsberg, we slowly corrected our course. The 15 year, unwinnable War On Terror is the modern equivalent and the media has failed epidemically. Like the Iraq War, those voices many Americans trusted, sounded off the truth far too late and only when popularity in the war had sunk so low, their ratings went unaffected.

Their ratings today cannot get any worse. Maybe telling the truth, in time that is, would paradoxically be the right move in our Capitalistic business/news/entertainment landscape? Maybe telling the truth by calling the lies a lie would ultimately be the most sound financial, moral, ethical and patriotic move? Maybe, in the words of Edwin Murrow, words condemning Senator McCarthy’s unconstitutional and abhorrent search for Communist’s in a supposed “free” United States, “let us speak the truth, for we are not born of fearful men,” or close to that, maybe that network could ascend to the top of the ratings along with the top of those protecting the 1st amendment? Because how can we expect our politicians, or candidates, to protect the 2nd Amendment if they aren’t willing, or not bright enough, or honest enough, to protect and defend the 1st?

So from me to you: they’re lying. Neither 2 major candidates has a stump to stand on when calling the other a liar. It’s not like the pot callin’ the kettle black, no, more like the coward callin’ the chickenhawk brave. So Meet the Press, This Morning whatever, NYT, Don Lemon….even Rachael Maddow or Megan Kelly, as a start; a spades a spade, a liars a liar…until they’re not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TYRANNY OF LENSES & LOSS

Today I have this feeling of contentment, of peace in a way. It occurs to me that my exercise in LiveJournal these past couple weeks may have contributed? Or not, who knows? All I can say for sure is that I don’t feel pathologically suicidal tonight which is significant in a sort of way in-explainable on paper…or online, as it were. So, as tradition now justifies, I must complain; on the course of modernity, or, of the pain of our past.

My property is located in an area of the North Country quite susceptible to the beauties of autumn. The death of summer foliage set against the lateral sunsets of late nights is as striking to the natural eye as any earthly scenes I’ve had the pleasure to witness. There is no justice in the casual photos captured by smartphone lenses or Handy-cam digital composites. That is to say; people might tend to miss out on the actual beauty as they fumble with devices, with careless driving manners, and/or the hope children present might relieve themselves from any of the countless distractions present in our modern, hyper-technological, Virtual Reality exposed field of vision’s? 

What I’m trying to say is: put the phones down, stop the RV in a safe place out of traffic and just enjoy the moment. It’s what you came for is it not? Did you travel the thousands of miles only to attempt to prove you did by dropping a “pin” or exposing your Facebook family and friends to a shitty pic of the horizon, or shaky video of a moose? Buy a postcard or some professionally done video for the purpose of sharing. Relax, slow down, be safe(r) and go in peace. I don’t want to seem like the crotchety old man who finds fault in everything, everyone else might enjoy. I only speak from experience as a fellow wanderer and novice photographer that wishes he would have found more time to relax and spent less time looking for the next stop. That’s all. I just mean, do you really need to record the concert one the phone when professional recordings are available? Or recording Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton at every opportunity -not to mention any other pseudo celebrity- with 50 other media organizations doing the same, but much, much  better? Or selfies? Maybe it’s because I have never looked worse than in close up pics of my mug, but really? Okay, you get my point. Is it a passing fad, this hyper recording of ourselves, or is it only the beginning, God help us?

After the fire last winter that destroyed my first cabin I was left with precious few photographs or videos. Other than some low quality pics I had online and a thumb drive that escaped unharmed, my digital and physical past was 90% extinguished. There’s nothing like the unexpected to reveal the importance, or unimportance, as it was, of physical property, treasure or trinkets and tokens from the past. So I understand the desire to capture everything and anything. I understand the parents at baseball games not actually watching, but rather, recording. Those flicks could be treasured 30 or 40 years from now.

So why not get several Go Pro’s and set them up to record games for all the parents? Privacy. Or could the Little League’s themselves do it as a part of the field? Who knows? But either something is done soon or we might lose the present altogether, living only for a possible future? Just thinking.

Okay, have a beautiful day anyone who might read this, in the present…or the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOLD STAR’S & PURPLE HEART

Wow! War, Veteran’s, and sacrifice finally reached the national political zeitgeist…for basically, all the wrong reasons. I take that back. What I mean to say is that it’s great that the upper political class and media gave the subject airtime, however, the scope of the debate became narrow and somewhat pointless.

How about we discuss the fact that prior to the Khan’s extraordinarily brave and selfless speech, that barely 7% of the U.S. population over the age of 16, could accurately describe the meaning of a “Gold Star Family?” Or might we have more than a ‘gotcha’ type of public debate as to the merits, cost, and/or crime that was the 2003 Iraq War? I actually came across a few who said in one way or another that, if a certain he or she, or several he’s and she’s opposed the war, the Khan’s son might be alive and well today? This assertion was scoffed at with contempt of course. They’d say, “the intelligence was wrong,” or “the country was in shock because, you know, 9/11. Did I say 9/11 yet?” Or why not use the moment to discuss the problems with the VA, Vet suicides, ongoing, ever expanding war without end, on and on and on?

Not to put to fine a point on it, but even if Saddam Hussein still had some chemical weapons laying around; did that present an imminent threat to the United States, a country Iraq had never attacked beyond the outskirts of its own border? This intelligence failure reasoning is the most brilliant, yet stinky red herring in American foreign policy history. The thing that bothers me the most, even today, is that the only people to suffer, to pay the price for an illegal war and occupation of a sovereign state, is the civilian population of Iraq and the low level soldiers who followed orders, implicitly trusting a government and society that they/we wouldn’t be asked to sacrifice so much on a deliberate set of lies.

We will continue making the same errors, from ideological wars to illegal torture, not because we are inherently evil as a society, but because those who prosecute and approve these policies are not held to account, implicitly causing much of the country to agree with the process, no matter the eventual complete and utter failure. So yeah, I find men like Donald Trump wretched and small. A person so vacant of honor that he’d go around claiming he was against the Iraq War when in fact he’s on record supporting it. To campaign on a Navy warship, spewing bluster and grit, yet avoiding the Vietnam War four times due to school, then, avoiding service by having some shady doctor write a letter claiming the 22 year old had bone spurs, thereby precluding him from service. As POTUS, I have no doubt he’d have no qualms sending others into battle out of vanity. Hillary Clinton is little better, and is one of those who never paid the price for her poor judgement that ultimately cost the lives of many thousand soldiers and more than a million civilians. So fuck her too!

But these are not subject to discussion in the mainstream. It’s the gatekeeper’s of the forum who were also complicit in our wars of aggression. Even the chicken-hawk’s and carpetbagger’s throughout the media aren’t immune to that level of hypocrisy. And so we march on in lock step chanting hey-hey, ho-ho, exceptionalism is the way to go. Some day far down the road, history will be written by someone other than ourselves, only then will our hyperbolic pride be revealed in earnest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinton & Legalese Double Speak

There’s little more to say about The Donald. It’s clear: As a confidence man, or con man if you’d rather; the man is top shelf. As a world leader with the breadth and might of our mammoth military and massive economy; the man would be an apothalyptic -a word I just made up for the occasion- disaster. So what about Hillary Clinton? Maybe no one will ever read my opinions on the matter, nevertheless, I tend to best find my feelings upon jotting them down. And so…

I’ll start with a quote from today, a quote so indicative of her political doublespeak so many find repulsive; or at least I do. When asked AGAIN about the private server bullshit she spews this legalese:

The FBI director said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people”

What the focker does this even mean? And to imagine her in some room with her advisors and lawyers coming up with this after all that’s taken place, I just cannot get my head wrapped around the logic involved? Isn’t there anyone with clout on her staff that can straighten this out? Just tell the voters the obvious: After 30 years in the public eye, my poor decision to hide my personal business was a reactionary move that I’ll do my best to not repeat. If classified material was compromised in any way, it was wrong. I’ve learned from this and hope it will make me a better, more informed leader. The end!

But hell no! It’s this dribble dribble that falls out of her mouth among the constant pauses of, um, uh, um, uh, uh, that only solidifies voters assessment of her honesty, or dishonesty, as it were. You have to wonder how she interprets the public’s perception of her in general? Is she unable to distinguish independent voters from the 24/7 media and how substantively they are different? Or maybe I am way off base here and her unsuitability and dishonesty stems from other cues? Sure, conservative voters latched to the GOP come hell or high water will likely never find her agreeable, no matter her polish. The bloc I speak of is made up of Sander’s ardent supporters, centrist older white voters and those who typically do not vote. These are the subsets that in many ways elected Obama in 2012, Clinton in 1992 and Carter in 1976, and are the voters Hillary would need to win up against most establishment Republicans. Against Trump however, she will likely skate by either way. But look out for 2020….unless the GOP is foolish enough to go with Ted Cruz, another fringe lunatic.

I’ve come to really like the WNYC podcast, On The Media. Of course the show this week started with a Trump themed piece: Has he finally gone too far, this time, this time, this time, the shameful ticky-tac with the Khan family the latest. The host interviewed a reporter from The Daily Caller, a conservative site that’s posted articles recently calling into question the patriotism of the Khan family. Listen to it if you get the chance and you care about Veteran’s issues. The lengths to which some in the right-wing media will go to defend Trump is quite despicable, however, it reveals the politicization of Vets and the Military by some in both wings of the media. The lip-service is usually just that. Vets are little more than a ladder to power and ideological purity, and little else. It sickens me. Thanks to Bob Garfield at On The Media for the great unveiling! Listen here.

Too many days for me away from the cabin this week. Dealing with the VA where I am at is a chore. I suppose it is anywhere? It’s good to talk with Vets waiting at the offices. It’s the one place I cannot hide the fact that I am one of them, yet it’s the one place that I wouldn’t want to. It occurs to me that our soldiers, especially the ones who served post-9/11, have been to psychologically damaged due to the abuse of our patriotism among other aspects of America 2016, many of my fellow Vets are willing to support Trump in the face of his careless psychopathy. Another words: the establishment -lead by the likes of Clinton, W. Bush and Obama- has caused such harm that anyone challenging their control of government, is thereby necessary? I could argue the public writ large, especially the middle class who’ve been so disrespected, lied to, sent to war, and ever falling behind the elite, see Mr. Trump as a kind of fire breathing monster, capable of crushing the DC oligarchy?

So yeah, that might have been the closest I’ve come to the ramblings of a madman? I do have other interests beyond politics, as unlikely as it may seem?

What about the Rio Olympics? Has anyone else noticed -the Sochi winter games were similar- the press coverage leading up to the actual events? How many stories have we heard relating to athletes, their story, their sport, personal pieces meant to give us individuals to root for? Yes, there was the millionaire golfer who publicly refused to attend due to Zika, but otherwise? I read a nice piece on a female boxing phenom from Flint Michigan. What we have been fed is Zika, open sewers, political corruption, zika and zika. I tend to agree that the IOC, like FIFA, has lost sight of the games as competition, to the games as revenue. And of course, terrorism. We don’t hear that it is winter in Rio, a time of relatively few Mosquitoes. I hope the games go off peacefully? But why not? Brazil seems like a strange place for ISIS or Al Qaeda to target?

Gotta run.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump, Clinton, Libya & Addiction

This opinion may no longer be unique? Nevertheless, after reading the Washington Post, Donald Trump interview transcript today, –I will try later to link here if I can figure out how– it occurs to me that the man is, in fact, seriously psychologically damaged. I’ll refrain from elaborating in detail. The transcript speaks for itself. I have little doubt he will crumble prior to November. The pressures are tremendous and even the most disciplined politicians find the process so taxing they avoid beginning the race altogether. What seems most fascinating to me is how he will manage the destruction, or how the GOP as a party will play the circus?

As a former drug counselor and recovering addict, my first reaction to his instability is to assume he is on drugs, particularly some type of amphetamine / sedative combination. I write this off almost unconsciously, yet maybe we/I shouldn’t? The abuse or dependence on substances typically evolves from a co-occurring disorder related to a mental health condition. Self medicating is the loose terminology. I might be off base, perhaps, or as Trump might say: ‘many people have written this, I’m not saying but, you know?” His ever increasing seemingly uncontrollable behavior and his increasing need to be affirmed by polls and ratings, might suggest an addict slowly losing control? His behavior is consistent in process, but increasing in lack of control.

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016

After an appointment with the VA this afternoon, I have to consider the fact that many folks in this country support The Donald, come hell or high water. Just today I had brief conversations with strangers who all supported Trump. My question in all cases was, why and how? Little was learned despite my openness. I just cannot imagine a future with this man anywhere near the Oval Office. Call it hypothetical cognitive dissonance if you’d like?

Another tidbit I came across was an interview Hillary Clinton did in the immediate aftermath of Qaddafi’s execution by NATO supported rebels in Libya. It was cringe worthy and revealing unlike most of the sanitized views of Clinton. Her maniacal laugh and obvious joy with the killing of a head of state, had it been a leader of another country, would’ve been rightly condemned. She obviously learned NOTHING from the lessons of Iraq. Anyone with a brain and accurate information could have easily predicted the future of Libya, yet she seemed blind? Either she truly is ignorant, or more likely, a Libya lawless with nonstop civil war is the policy of our government? Either way, how can we support her for POTUS? A question I will continue asking myself as the campaigns come to a close.

It makes me glad that some actually read some of my rambling thoughts. Thank you, and I appreciate any feedback, positive or negative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Cuban, REALLY?

The Clinton campaign seems over the moon, sending out a press release; “great to have Mr. Cuban’s endorsement.” This kind of shit, to my mind at least, is exactly the sort of retrograde celebrity bullshit that turns off undecided voters. His endorsement is critical and worth advertising why? Because he’s rich, so he must be some sort of populist oracle who knows best? Here’s a little advice for the Democrats, -or “Democrat Party,” as the GOP refers to it [them] with deliberate precision- Why not try: Sister of Afghanistan War Vet endorses Hillary, or, Father of New Hampshire Teacher of the Year endorses Clinton? Instead, the Saturday night political news cycle consists of 3 fresh Trump “this will do him in for sure” stories and, “immature Texas billionaire -who 98 out of a 100 people couldn’t say exactly how he made all that money- proves his billion-brain true by endorsing the generic candidate over the madman.”

Even though I have access to current news only once a week, maybe twice, I believe even less saturation might be necessary to ease my already fucked up mind? I almost never bring up my service in the Army beyond the confines of this blog and my sporadic work towards completing a book on the subject. Contact with men I served with over 10 years ago has also become rare for reasons I understand but cannot seem to explain. For some reason this election cycle tends to expose that pain I work so hard to suppress, prodding me to hate the political process and those reporting on it. It feels like in my mind, 15 years of continual war should be reflected more seriously in the coverage and by the candidates. Why does the country seem to dis the topic altogether, from Congressional irresponsibility, failed tactics, Veteran’s issues, extrajudicial use of the Predator Drone -U AV-, Presidential executive power, the ongoing travesty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and other ancillary issues?

The two subjects most often breached, from my perspective at least, are bureaucratic red tape within the VA, and should we send more troops to the Middle East… or just ramp up the bombing and UAV campaigns? Most disturbingly, Obama seems to have codified many of these practices in the minds of most liberals. It is easy to predict their reaction once -if- Donald Trump continues to employ the exact same practices: outrage! Too bad, just think of the ways The Donald could punish Muslims for crimes, guilty or not, in even more of the poorest countries throughout the Muslim world? Or what are we going to say once countries the likes of China, Russia and Iran deploy these RC weapons against their stated enemies beyond their borders? This is not an if, but a when? Instead the modern machine twists and turns, fact checking a serial liar, analyzing polls upon polls, pitting one side against the other and arguing about bathroom etiquette or “how the VP pick helps” with some other wing of the party. 

The absurdity that is the dissemination of the candidates stated positions on issues like the TPP, tax rates or reproductive rights is a joke. Since when has virtually any national level politician actually held true to their word on the stump? Beyond the fact that most voters couldn’t even describe the TPP and its possible ramifications, Trump and Clinton’s stated positions opposing the trade deal is laughable. A policy decision like this, which directly affects the only constituency that REALLY matters,-the rich and powerful multinational’s and financial institutions-, to believe any mainstream candidate will oppose it once in office is a real hoot. If there’s one policy above all others, deregulation and trade deals maximizing corporate profits, the TPP is it. It’s going to happen. Period.

I learned by way of a very liberal news program that only 18 of the GOP delegates were African-American. Turns out it’s true. Shouldn’t that be mentioned by the mainstream news? Yet like much of the coverage I went back and watched, most of the media went along with the loonytoon Kabuki theater as if things were heavy, but not completely insane, as it appeared to me. The black speakers there, quite a few considering the demographic, were especially difficult to endure. The Milwaukee police chief actually said, “it’s about time someone with a good tan said, ‘all lives matter!” Wow, “a good tan?” CNN had the recently fired campaign manager for Trump working as color commentary! It is so pernicious, this lack of journalistic integrity. It wouldn’t surprise me if this ex-Trump staffer was sent out as a mole to actually work towards their advantage? Either way, what kind of reporter is limited of speech by a nondisclosure clause of the very subject of discussion? It all combines and mixes to become a national disgrace. A full on shit show on the global stage.

I have been lucky enough to travel the world, much of which was prior to military service, so I am aware to the degree foreigners keep abreast of American news and culture. The United States is involved by way of military forces garrisoned there, corporate interests, common currency and markets, as well as pop culture throughout much of the world. So many people watch us with a wariness, a skepticism, with some respect, depending on their particular affinity. Just the fact Donald Trump is 1 of 2 likely to become the next POTUS has possible ramifications impossible to quantify. By proxy, the world realizes now, that many American’s share many of his views; bigotry, hostility, masochism, misogyny, these are more than fringe beliefs and the man may soon wield immense military, clandestine, and economic powers that could -will- affect them in disastrous ways? Quite literally, just the possibility of his election puts American citizens and military in undo, unpredictable danger. If I were an Iranian, or an Qatari Muslim, or Syrian refugee, the man would exacerbate any fears I might already endure. This is Ronald Reagan on steroids. 

Could it all be one massive PR stunt that was never intended to accomplish more than Trump publicity? It’s possible. Maybe Trump, a dog with no more tricks, says to himself “I’ll be President Trump for the year. Think about the attention I’ll mainline into the jugular? Then, when I eventually lose, I can invent more conspiracies, even more attention? Win win!” Two things stand out in this scenario: 1) The joke is on us. The country is truly a decaying celebrity worshiping ignorance as cool superpower. 2) We end up with only one choice; the true Republican: Hillary Clinton!

The rational election should have been Bernie Sander’s (D) the liberal vs Hillary Clinton (R) the progressive conservative in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower. -No, I am not saying Clinton is of that level of politician- The problem with this binary choice is that the underbelly of white America stays largely hidden. If Trump has done any good, it’s this exposure of the irritated white Christians who actually believe we are the ones being discriminated against today?! That pain is real, it’s just that the perpetrator is misidentified. The true villain of the middle class is the ever greedy wealthy who promote ever lower taxes, less government service -for the poor and needy, not the banks and business class who’ve, you know, earned that shit!- and fewer regulations. They cleverly packaged these principals within organizations like the Tea Party and ALEC. The most genius move was to get the middle and lower class to vote against their own interest in order to punish the “takers” and “criminals.” Maybe this is coming undone for the elite? Or maybe they’ve fooled everyone once again by switching to the Democrats, Hillary Clinton their new vessel of confusion.  

Just some thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Vlad

preface: The idea that the Russian government would prefer The Donald to Hillary Clinton is simply illogical. Would they, or any other government with an adversarial relationship, like to gum up the political process if possible? Of course! But this story of KGB spies copying and leaking DNC crypto information is, as Russian PR guy says; absurdity bordering on stupidity. Simply put, the DNC and their IT department has done a masterful job deflecting the media, using Trump and Putin as props. Yes, Trump would be a disaster for American Diplomacy, and possibly could be helpful to the Russian Government, but this leak through Wiki Leaks? Stupidity.

I cannot seem to let this go. Once again, upon returning to the signal from the ruralness of my little cabin in Alaska, I find myself obsessing over the political coverage post RNC and DNC. This must be how The Donald feels each morning as he reads through the litany of press coverage his assistant reportedly assembles? It’s an addiction, no question. A drug alchemized with Trump’s media stamped Philosophers Stone, his profile creates a familiar dependency.

First of all, am I the only rational person who see’s the DNC’s effective deflection from the so-called “Russian Cyber-crime” meant to influence our election? Rarely do I agree with a Kremlin PR Ivan saying, “the absurdity of this charge is pure stupidity,” or something along those lines? Who ever came up with that strategy tapped into a vein of pure brilliance. The premise that Russia would want Donald Trump as the POTUS appears ridiculous to me. This is the sort of thin skinned tyrant so unpredictable, no rational regime would peg as a friend. Julian Assange must be quite proud of himself considering the fact that his 5+ years living in a London embassy was born of Clinton’s embarrassment following Cablegate. I’m sure there’s more to come, possibly even, relating to the GOP and/or Mr. Trump?

About Trump. The “pivot” -a word overused and often improperly- everyone in the media predicted seems out of the question? What happened to the tax return inquiries, the Trump University questions, and on and on? He seems to largely be covered as a typical candidate would be, despite the fact his campaign is so far from normal it’s ridiculous? I admit though, there is a small ember of curiosity I feel, wondering what would happen if he did get elected? Could it actually be good for the country in the long haul? That his term would so shake up DC, American’s might finally move en mass to redesign our Democracy, to make the massive systematic modifications necessary to align our off course Republic?

It’s important to question so-called common sense assessments by the majority. How many times over the course of mankind’s existence have obvious policies ended up being completely wrong? For example, when I was a kid, we had 1% milk and margarine to substitute for butter. The “obvious” conclusion was that less fat as a percentage of milk and butter was better for our diet as children. Turns out, these assumptions may have been completely wrong headed and not based in legitimate science. You get the idea, right?

Listening to Hillary on Meet the Press, I might have put my finger finally on one of the reasons she makes me uncomfortable? Questioned on both the Benghazi and personal server investigations, instead of simply saying it was a mistake or I could have done better, she couched both answers with justifications like, “other Secretary of State’s used personal email” and “the investigations did prove I wasn’t personally at fault for Benghazi.” For me, it’s these unnecessary rationalizations that just rub me the wrong way. Just fucking say the truth: “I don’t like people in my personal business” -the server- and, “I learned from Benghazi, I’ll do better in the future.” Instead it’s; apology, not apology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE SACRIFICED FOR THIS?

The bugle sounds on days like December 12th, 1945 and September 12th, 2001, and American’s from all walks of life put aside the self, stand up straight, and answer the call to defend our homes, the neighbor’s home and democratic way of life many today take for granted. In retrospect, following the era, we may question the larger motives, or the eventual cost in blood and treasure, nevertheless, those willing to set aside their 1st world comforts for the darkened unknown, should in turn expect, at the very least, leaders with at least some piece of skin in the game. Without eventual accountability for the blind willingness of the masses, taking advantage of this patriotism, to send these men and women across oceans to fight and possibly die, without accountability, the day may come that the sound of the horn goes unanswered?

It occurred to me while catching up on the farce that is our current presidential election cycle, that the major party candidates remaining represent this malaise of indifference and unaccountability. They are both vying for the Commander in Chief position. One, Mrs. Clinton, supported and gladly authorized an inevitable war with Iraq that was, predictably, I’m comfortable saying, a unmitigated disaster, the blow-back from which the world will be suffering through for decades to come. Couple that with her support of the Libyan debacle and other policy decisions while running the State Department, doesn’t make her a criminal, yet should disqualify her from the Presidency full stop. And Trump! Fuck, don’t even get me started. This ignorant blowhard shouldn’t lead a troop of Boy Scouts, let alone a military apparatus capable of literally extinguishing the human race! All politicians are phony, especially those running for national office, but not all politicians are pathological liars the likes of the Donald.

I’ve lived the last 10 years in gradual declining mental health, do in no small part to my service to the country as an Army Infantryman following 9/11. If I were to single out a slice of that service and attribute my struggles to it, my part in the initial invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 is hands down culpable. In my head I could rationalize the initial mission in Afghanistan as just, however, Iraq is unjustifiable. Many of us grunts knew it, even if we did our best to gloss over the truth. The thought of Donald Trump willingly reverting to the horrors of that era, from his rhetoric on torture to his apocalyptic vision of the Muslim world, truly frightens me for future generations of young men around the world. Hillary isn’t a whole lot better, but I do trust that she would avoid war simply for the sake of war. Something tells me she’s become immunized to the reactions of a thin skinned person?

I don’t even know what compelled me to write this today? There seems to be so much out there describing the train wreck that is Donald Trump. Maybe it has a little to do with how the medias coverage of the election tries to normalize the contest? What I see, as a big fan of history, is how not normal it all is. The realization that both candidates will say almost anything to win a few more votes is a normal election contest like WWE is just boxing with fewer rules. I’ve been looking for a reason to not give up completely on my future someday, with enough work, getting back to pre-Army normal. Could the 2016 election cycle be that reason? Could the FOMO of Trump being inaugurated in January, and the effect that could have on the world be enough to hang in a bit longer? For tonight at least, I can’t seem to avert my gaze.

My question was: we sacrificed for this? Was this the prize so many fought and died for? As hard as it is to admit, it is exactly what so many gave so much for, as disappointing as the current result seems to be. America will be able to do all the things we freely do, no matter the intellectual cost, support whomever they please, say whatever they want and march on to the drumbeat of reality TV because my Grandparent’s helped destroy the Nazi’s and the Empire of Japan, my Father clashed with the Communist’s, and I, well, I hunted terrorists.