When you cannot see that you own a slave

I couldn’t sleep at all last night.

All I keep thinking about is Lola.  A slave in 20th century America.  One of millions of slaves worldwide.  She merely stands out starkly in our landscape. She’s normal in the Philippines.

My brain just kept warming over the utter loneliness and unfairness of her life.

It kept feeling a sort of nausea at how cruelty can be normalized.

About how something so humanly wrong as slavery can be so deeply denied by the slave owner on an existential level that she is offended when the word slave is thrown at her.

An educated woman.  A doctor.  Owned a slave in 20th century America. But she couldn’t think of it like that.  That’s wasn’t what Lola was in her mind.  Lola was just there.  Always had been there.  No reason to question it even when she learned more about what it meant.  It’s easy to learn things but to assume those things are other.  They are ideas that belong to other issues, they don’t belong to the minutia of your life.

I imagine she couldn’t face it because if Lola was a slave then what was she?

There are 2 options when faced with the rightful shame of your life. And the easier one is to double down into deeper denial and acceptance of the situation as normal.  To loudly fight anyone who points at your disgrace.

The harder one is to deeply expose it to yourself and the world.  To face the condemnation, to face the consequences and to act to correct it in whatever manner is possible.  The harder one does not lead to blue skies.  It’s murky and painful and probably never complete.  Shames this big are not fixable, merely malleable.  But the efforts do preserve you in the long wakeful nights.

The easier one is the path to deeper and deeper levels of personal hell in the long term.  But the short term is just a continuation of habit.  A denial of the reality that surrounds you.  The small moments of not looking too hard at it. The nights are probably hard.  And they probably get harder as time goes on.  Nights are the feeding grounds for shame and self disgust.

There are a lot of people in world managing their life on what seems like the easier path.  But in the long term the pendulum swings.  And then long terrible nights probably start to stretch into the days.

That seems like a small almost just end to a slave owner.  It annoys me that a religion would offer any palliative from that on a deathbed in the form of forgiveness.  Let the crawling guilt strangle us when we die if we have done something to deserve it.  It did little enough to us in life.

But my need for cosmic karma is just another human frailty.  A need for reciprocity.  A need for punishment and justice, when those things cannot fix the crime.  They are merely ephemera against the unbearable past and uninterested universe.

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The Weird Sanctifying of Death and Firing.

When my father died, my mother turned him and their relationship into something wonderful I didn’t recognize.  That was my first experience with how we alter our belief and even our memories to fit a narrative that feels comfortable.

James Comey’s actions have a DIRECT relationship to why we have President Trump and not President Clinton.  But many Liberals seems to have forgotten this. Just like my mother forgot that her marriage was on the rocks when my father died.

Trump obviously did not fire him for that reason.  He probably fired him because Comey was investigating him and said things like “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election,”

Apparently Trump harped on that comment quite a bit before blundering into this predictably stupid decision.  But he thought he was cleverly pulling it off by listing Comey’s most obvious problem.

Of course he’s an idiot so he blew the slimmest chance he had of pulling that off. Obama didn’t fire Comey because he KNEW the shit show that would happen.  Smallhands Trump didn’t see it coming.

Here’s the thing.  Liberals have suddenly become Comey advocates.  Because Trump fired him.  NO.

Let’s keep focused.  Comey acted inappropriately in his handling of the Clinton email investigation.  He should NOT have announced it or managed it that way.  It wasn’t his place.  It was probably the Attorney General’s place if any.

Comey is not a clean angel being thrown out without a stain on his character.

The wrong that happened is Trump fired the person leading an investigation into him.  It deeply impacts the investigation’s ability to keep a clean search for evidence.  It influences the investigation.  It’s an abuse of power. It’s an indicator of corrupt government.

Trump had a legal way to fire him.  But he had NO moral or ethical way to fire him.  And then capped it by managing the act itself without any honor or dignity.

178 Former US Attorneys sent a letter to the DOJ requesting an independent investigator because they have issues with context, not the legality of the act.  Not because Comey is a saint we should all stand behind.

The key is not that Comey is a wounded puppy.  He is ultimately the cause of his own demise.  He helped put an unqualified dirty racist man in the oval office.  Not really upset about Comey.  Let Comey lick his wounds and move on.

But do NOT let Trump get away with trying to kill the investigation.  He cannot be allowed to subvert the living fabric of our  government. 

The Dangers of Pintrest.

flower pot not going to work

Isn’t that pretty?

It’s a lie.

A.  That is a pansy in that summer mix.  It’s going to die when the temperatures hit 80+.

B.  That is a steel container.  It’s going to bake the flowers.

C.  That crowd has different watering requirements.  So.

Yeah.  It’s pretty when it’s planted.  And it’s going to look terrible inside a month.

The nurseries are filled with this kind of mess.  Buying a mixed pot at a nursery is an exercise in futility except in very careful cases.

They generally put in soil that will need constant support with fertilizing in order to maintain an overcrowded planter.   That crowd ate all the nutrients in a couple of weeks probably.

They often mix things that look pretty to sell but really can’t maintain life in similar conditions.

They always overcrowd them because they need them to look pretty enough to buy and no one wants to buy a planter that you can still see the soil in.

They often put in a plant that will dominate the others to the point that it will overpower them and the others will meekly retire to a thread of their original glory.

Mixed pots look good when they are bought, sometimes look good for a month.  But they rarely look good at the end of the summer unless you know a good deal, and plant carefully and thoughtfully.

DON’T FALL FOR IT.

It’s pretty.  I know.  But listen to my wisdom.  Do NOT fall for it.  Be strong.

The Healthcare Bill – they are trying again.

Please call and ask your congressman to vote NO.

In this bill pre-existing conditions can get a premium 5X higher.

List of pre-existing conditions IS NOT SPECIFIED ANYWHERE IN THE BILL THAT I COULD FIND.  So this is up to insurers.  But a good definition is:

a condition, illness, or injury that can be identified as one that does not necessarily affect your overall good health but could affect the risk balance of all insureds

Read it again.  You could have a condition that doesn’t affect YOUR health but ruins the pool.  It could qualify.  The thing is that insurers get to choose.

It could include things like seeing a therapist. That was considered a pre-existing condition before Obamacare.  As were most mental health issues.

You will also note that there is probably a weight chart.  Obesity is a condition that plausibly considered pre-existing.

You may think this doesn’t apply to you – but it definitely applies to someone you love.  And let me be clear:

This bill penalizes you for losing coverage for more than a few months, by increasing premium by 30%.  If you are working and poor, you can’t afford insurance so you don’t have it.  You get it when you have an health disaster –  A pre-existing condition.  Now imagine:

  1. If you are older (50 -64) – they will be charging you up to 3X more than younger people.
  2. They will then charge you 5X that rate for the pre-existing condition.
  3. PLUS the 30% premium penalty for the break in coverage.

This is what will happen to people who used to be covered for an affordable amount under Obamacare.

They can’t deny you insurance, but they have effectively denied it to the working poor because the insurance will just as unaffordable as the medical care.

I won’t get into all the ways they cushioned it up for the people with money.  But suffice to say – they make sure life is easier for people with money.

But the way they structured this, I think they have creeped the insurance cost barriers into middle class families as well.

This entire thing is going to fuck me.  I have pre-existing conditions.

Please – call.  Again.  Please.

Being Proud of Someone

Is this even possible?

Is it arrogance in it’s grandest form to suggest that we are proud of someone else’s achievement?

What we are really saying is that we are proud to be the parent, brother, friend of someone who did this great thing.

Which is still a wonderful compliment when considered.

And is frankly more real.

Being proud of someone suggests a sort of superior position in a relationship.  Being proud to be their friend, suggests an equal or superior position for them.

Having someone say they are proud of me almost diminishes the achievement to me. I REALLY hate the term.

You can be proud of yourself.  Being proud of someone else is arrogance.

Next time, may I suggest you say that you are proud to be (friend, brother, parent, coworker) to that person?

That distinction makes a difference.