Every President in My Lifetime has been butt of Late Night Comedians.

It’s part of the American Tradition for them to poked and satirized on these shows.  They have, for the most part, been good natured and mature about it in public.  I am sure it smarts in private.  But if you are the President you are, or should be, mature enough and strong enough emotionally and intellectually to take the high road and ignore it at worst, smile at best.

But Donald Trump is not mature.  He is the emotional equivalent of a 13 year old.  And so he is openly showing how much he smarts from pokes.

donald-trump-tweet

Everyday we seem him lash out in someway because someone did something that hurt his feelings.  Every weekend we see him complain about SNL.  It’s embarrassing that he’s so pathetically thin skinned.  He exudes that terrible awkwardness that comes when someone is utterly unaware that they are showing their weakness to everyone and becoming weaker in the process.

There is a twitter feed called @MatureTrumpTwts   They re-write his tweets as though a proper president had written them.  It is so utterly depressing to see the stark difference between what we have always expected from out leaders and what we are being served by Trump.  We have essentially elected a man with a tween mentality.

It’s terrifying.  His skin is so thin that the absolutely reliable tradition of being made fun of by comedians is bothering him.  How is he going to manage it when the stakes are big, the pokes are unexpected and loss is public. He will be controlling largest military force the world as ever seen.  He will decide whether or not to use nuclear weapons.  And he is as thin skinned as a pimple covered 7th grader.

Our only hope is that he is removed from office sooner rather than later.  I don’t doubt that Pence will still enact legislation that will enrage me because I’m a liberal and he’s a conservative. That is the nature of politics.  But I doubt I will ever be afraid that Pence would go to war because of some drama llama moment.  Pence may have a different vision for the country than I do but he would always act for the country not for himself.  And it turns out that is a HUGE factor that we have always had as our default setting to date.  But not anymore.

Why it’s important that Trump be investigated for links to Russian Election Interference.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is going to investigate Trump’s involvement.  This is necessary and good.  Something that could lead to eventual charges of treason for Trump.

Because if a connection is verified of Trumps knowledge and colluding actions with Russian interference – THAT IS TREASON.

But since this is politics, it seems fairly unlikely.

What I don’t understand is how under reported this decision is.

In effect, the President Elect is being investigated for treason.  And it’s not nearly as big a deal as it should be.

Let me express this in ways you can get:

Russia is led by Putin.

Who is Putin?

Putin is an ex KGB agent.  A spy.  An elite spy  when Russia was the Soviet Union.  Rose from a poor boy in Leningrad up the ranks of the KGB. And when the USSR imploded he stepped easily into politics.

He currently is estimated to have $40 billion in assets.  He’s Europe’s richest man.  Those government jobs in Russia.  Wow.  They pay well.

Russia is ranked 119 of the 168 for government corruption.  (2015 ranking)   Putin built a $1 billion dollar house out of corruption.

He got there by driving his opponents out of the country or jailing them.

Or killing them.  Weirdly they are often poisoned.

There is a theory that Putin had a series of bombings done, blamed Chechen rebels, so that he could eradicate the threat and be the hero.   Alexander Litvinenko, who did a thorough investigation into this, was murdered in London from radiation poisoning.  That’s not just killing someone.  That’s doing it the cruelest way.  The suspects fled to Russia and Russia refuses to turn them over the UK authorities.

Putin likes to say he was a “bully, not a pioneer”.  In fact, he is a wife beater and a philanderer.  He had his wife was committed to a mental hospital, allegedly to pursue his philandering.

In the US we think of Putin as something of a farce.  We associate him with his various ridiculous publicity stunts.  But he is NOT a farce.

He hates the internet – because anyone can say anything.   And now he is importing China’s Internet to Russia so that the government controls the social media.

On the other hand, Putin isn’t an idiot.  He gets that the internet is where the opinions are developed.  So he has a troll brigade.  They search for terms and try to influence social media to his benefit.  They were also deployed during our election.

Putin does not tolerate a free press.  His government orders dissenting news stories to be removed from magazines before they can be sold.

34 Journalists have been killed in Russia since 2000.  (compared to 2 in China and 3 in the US)

Russia currently ranks 180 out of 199 countries for press freedom, behind Iraq, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the international watchdog Freedom House.

It is illegal to use cuss words in Films, Music and Books.  Freedom of Speech does not exist under Putin.

Unsanctioned protests are now punishable by lengthy prison terms.  You cannot voice your dissent to his rule.

Putin doesn’t deal with a lot of elected governors of the various states of Russia.  He appoints them all.  He has a bunch of sock puppets.  It’s easier that way for Putin.

Is Trump his new sock puppet?.  Is this the direction we want this country to go?

This country deserves this mess.  The utter apathy which has surrounded this very important and very serious charge is a signal of how out of touch with the big picture reality most of the public is.

I wish the golden showers thing never came out.  It distracted the masses into a giggling fit of jokes, making them ignore the tidal wave of heavy awful that was surrounding that piece of information.

But the Lies Don’t Count Against Him

Quote from Trump Jr. in 2008: 

“In terms of high-end product influx into the U.S., Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets… We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Mind you – Trump the Yam has been denying his financial connections to Russia since last summer.

Of course the Yam also said:

2013 Interview question Does he have a relationship with Putin:

“I do have a relationship, and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today. He’s probably very interested in what you and I am saying today, and I’m sure he’s going to be seeing it in some form.”

2014 Yam quote:

“You know, I was in Moscow a couple of months ago. I own the Miss Universe Pageant and they treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present.”

2014 Yam Boast:

“I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer…”

But when someone explained to Trump that this close relationship he was so proud of was a liability, he changed his tune.

Here’s the thing.  I SERIOUSLY doubt if Trump has a personal relationship with Putin.  He WANTED one because, in the small craven mind of the Yam Pants, Putin is the coolest guy in school.

But Putin is smart and controlled and Trump – not so so much.  So if Putin ever did more than a perfunctory phone call I would be surprised. He would know that a friendship would not fly.

It’s entirely possible, if speculative, that Trump’s Russian handler explained how he needed to change that tune. And to be clear – I don’t think Trump knows this person is a handler or that anyone else has identified this person as a handler. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this handler exists in the closest circles of Yam Camp.  If I were Putin, I would want that handler in close to the Yam.

In any case, the reality is that much more deeply controlling influences have been deployed than a personal friendship with Putin.  Indeed, that is where the evidence is.  Trump, who has never been a particularly good business man, merely a good showman, is in constant need of funds.  He can’t get a loan in the US because he’s such a fucked up business man.

But Russia saw something bigger to be gained than financial interest.  And so money was provided, sex was provided, kink was discovered and leverage was gained.

But it doesn’t matter.  The GOP is invested in this miserable rotting Yam of a Man.  They own the congress and they need someone to sign the horrific legislation.  And so I predict that by this time next week we won’t be talking about this…. again.

It’s not a new story.  It’s just gotten a new kink twist.  And as surprising as it is, we have relegated foreign involvement in our election process to a mere eyebrow raising experience for months now.

And when you consider that the involvement comes from a country that was our deepest enemy 30 years ago it’s rather eye opening.  A KGB operative from the cold war is now sock puppetting our President – but Congress will shrug it off because that is in their personal best interest.  The country be damned.

Humans are terrifyingly easy to manipulate.  And more nightmarish, those being manipulated will fight you tooth and nail when you suggest that they are being manipulated.  So, the staunchest GOP supporters will shrug off this manipulation as well.  Because they have been given all the necessary rationalizations they need to do it.

And again I must ask myself.  Where am I being manipulated?  Will I recognize it when I see it?

Is the hysteria of the left causing me to think more is there than there is?  Is Putin REALLY sock puppetting?  Is there really a handler?

The last time I talked myself out of the hysteria on the left was when Bush was talking about WMDs.  Despite disliking Bush rather intensely I thought “Well obviously he has a wider and deeper set of information than I have.” I was wrong.  What I perceived as biased hysteria was correct.

So.  I am left with the strong conviction that Putin is currently and actively manipulating the politics in our country.

The US & State Governments are Failing Us

HOW did the most developed country roll backwards and is now headed toward a undeveloped country?

I keep seeing stories and realizing that no one seems to be noticing that the US is rolling backwards.

Can I define this for you?

Our infrastructure – roads, airports, communications lines – now 11th in the world and falling.

Our education system – we’re NOT in the top 10.  We are thirteenth and falling.  Russia beats us.  Michigan is now arguing that it has no responsibility to teach children to be literate.  So I think we can safely say that we are falling in those ranks too.

Our water – we are NOT in the top 10 of clean water.  We have become increasingly aware that we can’t trust the water coming out of our taps.  Because the EPA has suggestions for water testing – but no regulations and no enforcement.  So – your municipality is at the mercy of both greed, indifference and incompetence.  So you have NO idea if the water you drink is clean.

Let me be clear – these are the FUNDAMENTAL REASONS FOR GOVERNMENT.

And our government sucks at it.  And we are letting them suck at it.

Trump intends to drop the secretary of education, which wasn’t a particularly powerful office but at least kept the focus up.

Trump intends to further defang the EPA which is already not doing what I consider a fundamental requirement – enforcing clean water regulation.

Trump does talk about spending money on infrastructure.  Whether he can convince the GOP that this is a worthy plan…  And his plans often ring of making the trains run on time… But it nevertheless is a position that he holds.

This country will go no where but down without these things.  These items are foundation of the country.  But we treat them like political footballs.  It’s going to be our downfall.

That thing where you don’t need something but you feel the need anyway.

It’s finally cold here in Cincitucky.  And I’ve been forced to wear my coat.

And I’m still cold.

This is because I haven’t been hardened off to the cold yet.

But today I was blaming the coat that has successfully taken me through many winters.

So I was staring at coats online.

I don’t need a coat.  Seriously.  I don’t.

But it is amazing how looking at them can make me feel like I do.

I guess that is why the economy works.  Because we all buy things because it feels like we need them.  But of course most of it we don’t.

What is that part of us that wants unnecessary things at the same level as necessary things.

Why do we want unnecessary things at all?

Do other animals do this?

Or is this just a byproduct of our fucked up human brains?

Now.  Don’t get me wrong.  I get that our pursuit of unnecessary things is why we can live in a first world economy.  Most of us have jobs that are based in one way or another on the pursuit of unnecessary things.

And indeed – some of the best things humans have ever done are the art and stories and music we create.  Utterly unnecessary – and yet so very human and wonderful.

So this is not some scolding diatribe against consumerism and trivial desires.

I get that it’s all an interconnected weave of human existence.  It’s just not always a very practical thing in my life.

I suppose if I wasn’t in a money bind with moving, I’d have bought a coat tonight.  Because I was cold in the grocery story parking lot.  And the only reason I was cold was because I haven’t been hardened to the cold yet.

In a couple of weeks I won’t even notice the sort of weather we had today. And I will still have my old coat.  And I will get a weird sort of satisfaction in knowing that I didn’t buy the damn coat today.  The human brain is weird.

Trump Wants to Let Wall Street Scam Customers Again

scaramucci

You can read that article here.

Look. THIS IS BAD.  very very BAD.

I worked for more than 10 years in the Financial Industry.  And what is ABSOLUTELY true is that the people who sell equities do NOT fully understand them.

They are hired because they are good at selling them.  That is the key skill they need.

The ONLY thing keeping them in check – and it’s the barest check – is regulation.

PROTECT your future.  Protect everyone’s future.

Do you know why the economy crashed last time?  Because we hadn’t regulated the particular fuckery of mortgages.  And they TANKED the world economy selling crap.

Regulation in the Financial Industry is a huge pain the in the ass, but it is an ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY PAIN IN THE ASS.  Almost every reg can be traced to some sort of fuckery.

Call or write to your rep.  THis is NOT something you should ignore.  Really.

You can find your local rep here,

Once you have the name, google it and you can find the reps website which will have a phone number and address for the local office.  This is the most impactful way to connect with them.

This feels less emotionally important than racism and sexism and immigration.  But in reality this is going to be a NIGHTMARE for everyone.

EVERY PERSON in this country, regardless of race, religion, or economic status will be impacted by the bad choices of financial advisors because those collected choices snowball.  They can and literally have shifted the world economy into the toilet. People lose their retirement funds, their jobs and their homes.

DO NOT IGNORE THIS.  

When You Vote for a Racist

If you voted for a Racist, for any reason at all, you still voted for a Racist.

If you voted for a Sexist, for any reason at all, you still voted for a Sexist.

What your vote says, at BEST, is that you you don’t think it’s important that the leader of this country represent ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY.

What your vote says is that you don’t think Racism and Sexism are all that important.  Your vote says that you don’t think that most of the people in this country have a right to feel safe in the country in which they live.

At worst, your vote is a straight up endorsement of treating fellow humans as garbage.

And quite frankly, if you voted for a racist – you get the same mark.  You may spend your life saying that you are friends with people of color or that to you, women are more than just sexual objects for men; but you just acted against them; you acted to hurt them.  I’m not sure you fully recognize that.

Your vote is NOT a passive act.  And if you voted for a racist and a sexist, that vote casts the shadow of racism on you.

Yeah.  I won’t back off on that.  There’s not going to be a free pass.  You got your president, but you don’t get to feel like you did it without getting the mark of racism all over your soul.  Because I will point at it.

You made a choice – a choice with the full and disclosed knowledge that he is a racist and sexist.  It reflects back on you.

And what I find worst about that act, that passive racism, is that you did it for a candidate who is wholly unqualified for the job.  No experience, bad impulse control, no self discipline and a bully.  If you were hiring someone for a job you wouldn’t take someone with those traits, but you put him the white house KNOWING he was a racist.

So I will ALWAYS point it out.  Get used to it.  I will not normalize your supportive racism by agreeing to not see it.  By giving you a free pass, so we can all get along.  NO.  I see it.

Your Vote says something about Who You Are

When you vote – you are voting for a human being to act in the name of this country. You cannot divorce that person’s views and character from your vote.

If you vote for a person who regularly kills dogs, you are saying it’s OK for the person in this office to be a dog killer.  If you are OK with that person being a dog killer, then you are saying that it’s OK to kill dogs.  Or at least you are saying the killing dogs isn’t that important to you.

You don’t get to say that you aren’t OK with dog killing, that you merely voted for the dog killer because it’s just a vote for your Party.  The best you can say is that killing dogs isn’t that important to you.  And that also says something about you.

Your vote is an act of your belief. It’s representative of you.  No one else can do it for you.  It’s You.  So if you vote – you do take on the reflective pattern of the person you are voting for.  You do take on some of the responsibility.

It is true that you will never find a candidate that meets all the criteria of your ideal.  Which is why is important to know who and what is important to you.  To look at how those things that are important are being represented by your candidate.

To pretend that you believe one thing and vote for something else  is disingenuous. Pretending doesn’t change the fact that if you knowingly vote for a dog killer, you are endorsing killing dogs.  You can’t pretend that you aren’t because it feels bad.

It’s naive to think that people who care about dogs shouldn’t  find your position on dog killing to be awful.  Even if you don’t really care about dog killing, your voting for a dog killer and they love dogs.  They aren’t going to like you for that.

I Like Effective People

You can be idealistic or you can be pragmatic.  In my experience, pragmatic people get food on the table and are generally more generous of effort and time for other people than idealists.

Idealist love their ideals because it feels good to be idealistic.  To them the moral high ground is far more worthy than the practical value of doing what is necessary to assure people get the things they need.

Ideals are moral absolution for acting badly or worse, not acting at all.  I prefer it when people just do some good.  Take steps however slow toward getting things done.

I have no patience for high moral rectitude.  It’s rarely all that helpful to anyone but the people who hold it.  Certainly it’s not helpful in politics. I prefer people who work to make things better.  Not people who talk about what they want and then refuse to take even a step in the right direction because if they can’t reach their particular destination, it’s not worthy.

Idealist lead to extremist.  They lead to feeling righteous about taking revenge, about acting destructively, about doing nothing when something would lead to a small improvement.  Extremists are often cruel and self centered.

I was an idealist when I was young.  It is easy to embrace the purity of idealism. It feels so right and good.  But experience in the world has shown me several things –  The Ideal is never real.  It has never been achieved.  It’s purity is misleading.

The Ideal should be nothing more than a pin on a wall to give us a destination.  It should only be a pin because sometimes even the destination needs to be adjusted with circumstances.  But what is more valuable – infinitely  more valuable – is the practical daily action taken to make things better.

To look around at this moment and its present chaos and say – what can I do today that will help, even in a small way, make this day, this moment better.

We don’t live in the ideal, we live here in this moment.  What you do now, however small the act, is the entire point of living.

My father died when he was 55 years old of heart disease.

I am going to be 52 in February.

In an effort to form some motivation to live a better life, I was contemplating that. You know, people always say that Live Like This is the Last Day of Your Life.

Presumably that feeling that life is very short makes you want to do fun and enjoyable things.

I don’t find that to be case.  If I presume that I will die at 55 I am not filled with a deep desire to get my life together.  I don’t feel much at at all.

A mild regret is there that I won’t see how the future unfolds.

A concern that I might out live Lily.  And that would of course only be for a day or two, because the sisters would put her down.  And that bothers me.

But none of that is motivating me to live a fuller richer life.

Of course I’m depressed, so motivation is not on my menu of options.  It’s been greyed out on the menu.

But I keep trying to click on it.  Despite knowing that is not the path that will work for me.  I will move because of habit and systems I use to get things done.  From sheer force of will occasionally.  But it won’t be because I’m motivated by some separate desire or emotion.

I think that doing things from motivation is an iffy way to live.  Motivation, like happiness, is fickle.  It disappears and then you are left without support.  A system, a habit, a structure that pushes you – is a much safer bet.

But those things lack that crystal clear feeling of excitement and passion.  Motivation is what gives a moment a robust experience.  The system is reliable but it rarely feels particularly good doing it.  It just is.  A robot path.

So I keep clicking on that greyed out menu option.  Hoping to find the sparkle of motivation.