Sunday, October 25, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

I voted last week.  

I used to always wait until the day of the election to exercise the old franchise.  I actually liked getting out with the crowd, visiting people in line with me, seeing all the campaign volunteers with their signs.  I used to think there was nothing more American than Election Day.  Not even the 4th of July.  Not even the World Series.

I still feel that way.  But not so much this year.  Not while a sitting President tries to use the government to game the system.  Which is a funny sentence to write now that I think about it.  In any event, I wanted to make sure that my vote was counted the second the polls closed.  Evidently lots of other folks thought that way too as early voting has reached record levels this year.  

And I’m guessing that most of those early votes aren’t being cast for Donald Trump.  But I’ve been wrong before.  Like 4 years ago.

It wasn’t too bad.  I voted at the branch library here in my neighborhood.  Took maybe 20 minutes.  My selection has been recorded on history’s immortal scroll.  So has the Deacon’s as it turns out.

For whatever it’s worth.      

I ran into an old friend the other day.  I think she put it succinctly when she said “This election feels like a weight sitting on my chest.  I want it removed.”

I get that.  And that’s a hell of a thing.  I mean I know that elections have always been hotly contested.  After all as an old Tammany Hall pol advised a callow young Franklin D. Roosevelt “politics ain’t beanbag.”  

No it ain’t.  But just because it ain’t beanbag shouldn’t mean that politics should produce palpable existential dread.  And this year’s election has.  At least for those who can feel it at least.  

I didn’t sense any of that amongst my fellow voters last week.  Although I did seem to sense more of a feeling of seriousness although I concede that I may be projecting.  I didn’t catch much of the usual chitchat that you generally hear in the voting line. 

Again, maybe I’m projecting.  Or maybe this is what an election during a pandemic and a recession feels like.  

Or maybe the sense of dread that I’m feeling has everything with me turning 65 yesterday.  My Medicare Benefit Award letter is sitting in the passenger’s seat in my car until I get that actual card.  Why I feel compelled to carry the damn thing in my vehicle is unknown to me.  Maybe it’s one of those goofy pre-senile things I’m going to start doing until such time as my friends and loved ones do an intervention before packing me off to the home.   

I know I’m lucky to be 65 given my genetic background.  And, aches and pains aside, I can still go as the brothers say.  Or will again if this shoulder ever heals up.  

Still 65 is a marker.  My healthcare will be cheaper but I’m way closer to the columbarium than I once was.  Or at least it feels like it.  Hell, I could afford my old health insurance.  Wish I could trade back if it would make time crawl.

But I can’t.  And I can’t do a damn thing about it if Trump gets re-elected.  Nothing that makes any sense at least.  I don’t think my Medicare card, or the Medicare Benefit Award letter will work in New Zealand.  I’m not going to liquidate my paltry investments and stick them under the mattress.  I’m not going to buy a bunch of weapons.

Most likely I will continue to sit out here on the porch and mind my own goddamn business.  Hopefully, I will continue to dress appropriately and refrain from yelling at kids when they cut through the yard.  

I can still go.  At least for now.  

At least for now.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 I got nothin’.  As in less than usual.

Beat you to it.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 A man of my acquaintance posted a rather hair raising story of an incident that happened as he was out walking in his neighborhood-or so I gathered.  He said a “disheveled” white man sicced his dogs on a young black woman out walking hers.  Naturally, he cussed her out in the process.  My friend ran to her aid while urging her to call 911.  The disheveled man went back into his house.  My friend stayed with the lady until the cops showed up.  

“We’re not all like that,” my friend said.  Meaning white folks.  

“I know,” she replied.  

And I suppose order was restored after that.

There is an African American gentleman who lives around the corner from us.  About the time the Deacon and I took in borders ourselves I noticed college aged black kids walking around the neighborhood.  2 boys and a girl.  I tend to be out on the porch a lot, the porch being my personal lebensraum over here.  

The kids always wave and say “hello.”  I used to think they were just being friendly.  And I suppose they are.  But after awhile, it occurred to me that there was something more to their greetings.  Joe and Sarah run and walk in the neighborhood.  I doubt they feel compelled to smile and wave at anybody they see out on the stoop along their way.

Which sucks.  

The macro version of the disheveled cracker my friend posted about got taken down by State and Federal law enforcement in Michigan.  About 16 guys were arrested for plotting to kidnap the Governor of Michigan.  These mutts, holding themselves out as the “Wolverine Militia” probably could not knock over a lemonade stand.  

For example, one of their “plans” (conveniently hatched up in the presence of an agent wearing a wire) involved sending somebody up to the door of the Governor’s vacation residence and plugging her when she came to answer.  Like the Governor of Michigan would answer the door.  Like an intruder would have gotten within 30 yards of the door.

Still, these idiots must have been about to go operational to some degree seeing as how they got picked up on the basis of a US Attorney’s Information filed with the Clerk and not an Indictment.  That’s what Uncle does if he needs to pick you up in a hurry.

The leader of the “militia” was not exactly a candidate for Man of the Year.  He was unemployed.  And his girlfriend had just kicked him out of the home they shared.  Some men react to such adversity by entering into a period of reflection and self-care.  Some make friends with whiskey in the immortal phrase of the late great Dan Jenkins, father of the wonderful Sally Jenkins.  

And some decide to try to kidnap the goddamn Governor of Michigan.  

What a time this is.  

You wonder how many other similar “militia” types are out there? And you wonder whether some of them will go ballistic in the event a) Trump loses the election or b) Trump loses and refuses to concede.

You wonder why some white folks are threatened by the presence of black folks in their neighborhood.  Or women in public office.  Or whatever it is that has put a bug up their ass.

But I understand why my young neighbors always make it a point to call out to me and wave as they make their way to the park.  

God knows I’m not widely known for my warm and inviting personality.  Actually I’m not known for that at all. I may not be the friendliest person around but I’m damn sure not dangerous.  And I’m not a bigot.  

So I always smile and wave back as they go on about their way.  

Because we’re not all “like that.”

That’s the best I can do.  Other than to get out and vote in an attempt to restore sanity.  


Sunday, October 04, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

If you are one of those paranoid types on the left, (And no this is not the exclusive provence of the right.   They have just raised it to an art form. ) you may be inclined to believe that the reports of President Trump’s sickness due to the coronavirus is a ruse on his part.  This is understandable up to a point.  After all, he and his acolytes have lied about damn near everything else.  Why would this be an exception?  

Well here’s your proof that this is on the level.  His twitter machine has been mostly mercifully silent the past 48 hours or so.  He must be low sick. I’m surprised somebody hasn’t called for a priest.

Now before this post goes any further, let me make one thing perfectly clear.  It is my sincere hope that the President and the First Lady are restored to good health swiftly and with minimal side effects.  It is my firm belief that wishing sickness and death upon a political adversary is not only Un-Christian, it is Un-American. 

I know that some people don’t share this belief.  Indeed, I read where some of our less hinged theologian types found the hand of God in the recent passing of Justice Ginsburg.  At least one preacher told his flock that it was his particular petitions to the Almighty that sealed her fate.  

Of course none of this is provable.  Or unprovable for that matter.  Which makes it easy to say.  But it doesn’t make such pronouncements any less despicable.  And while this kind of magical thinking has always been with us it seems to have flourished in this the present age of Trump.  

But still. I want him to get well quickly.  I want him to return to the stump when he is able.  Check that, I want him to return to the stump when he is willing to do so in a socially responsible fashion.  Unlike the garden party to announce the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the SCOTUS during which about 10 people apparently got infected with the virus.  

No.  I want Donald Trump to face the voters.  I want to hear him defend the wrecked economy , the racial unrest, and the high unemployment that happened on his watch.  I want him to explain what appears to be a precarious situation with his personal finances.  How much money he owes and who he owes it to are completely legitimate campaign issues.  And I want him to defend his administration’s inept reaction to the pandemic that has claimed over 200,000 of his fellow Americans.  Last week he told a rally that we had “turned the corner.” A few days later he found himself in Walter Reed felled by COVID-19.  

And I want the chance to take Trumpism all the way down to the studs, along with the quack cures, crackpot preachers, the nepotism, crazy legal theories, scumbag associates and ruinous financial policies.  I want Donald Trump to face the music.  I want a twitter feed that is free of crazy shit coming out of the family quarters of the White House.  I don’t want any more of my tax dollars going to Trump properties to house the Presidential security detail.

You get the idea.

So get well Sir.  I can’t wait for you to tell us again what a great job your administration is doing with the coronavirus.  Just do it from at least 10 feet away.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 No blogging today as I actually have to work.  

I hate that.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away Friday.  Hers was a remarkable story.  She served the Court and our country  wisely and well.  In doing so, she became a role model for women across the nation, both within and outside of the legal profession.  And it goes without saying  that her passing has roiled an already fractious presidential election.

But that’s all I’m going to say about Justice Ginsburg in this post.  There will be time to reflect and to write further about about this remarkable lady in due course.  

Today’s post will be devoted to the subject of heavily armed crackers roaming the streets of Little Rock.

I used to work in the Federal Building downtown.  I spent a good bit of time in the Courthouse next door.  I have been gone almost 9 years.  I can say without hesitation or fear of contradiction that during my tenure with Uncle, if a bunch of masked guys armed with semi-automatic weapons approached either building trouble of the worst sort would have quickly ensued courtesy of the US Marshal’s service, the Federal Protection Service and local law enforcement.  

But that was before Arkansans gained the right to “open carry” firearms virtually anywhere.  And so it came to pass that a group of armed gentlemen arrived across the street from the Courthouse where what the Democrat-Gazette described as a “small group of protestors” were apparently protesting the arraignment inside of a man accused of firebombing police vehicles and defacing a Confederate grave in a private graveyard.  

One of the armed men interviewed said these stalwarts, modestly calling themselves the “Arkansas Patriots,” were there to “help law enforcement keep things peaceful” and to “make sure nothing gets torn up.”  Nodding towards the protestors the apparent spokesman of the group magnanimously concluded by saying that “They don’t understand, but we’re here to protect them, too.”

Where to begin?  

I’m certain that the “assistance” of these “Patriots” was not solicited by law enforcement.  Or the protestors either for that matter.  Indeed, I’m certain that the presence of armed civilians, unburdened as they are by rules of engagement or other useful tactical training is the last thing law enforcement needs at an otherwise peaceful demonstration.  Secondly, the right to “open carry” is linked to self-defense.  Not law enforcement.  Indeed, there’s a young man in all kinds of hot water over in Wisconsin after his attempt to “assist law enforcement” resulted in the death of a man.  Finally, I don’t understand the need to carry a gun into the Wal-Mart.  I’m not scared all the time.  Where do these idiots get off calling other people “snowflakes?”

Mercifully, there was no trouble.  But here’s my question.  Would the same outcome obtain if a bunch of similarly armed brothers had also shown up in order to “assist law enforcement” or to “protect the protestors?” Would this have alarmed the “patriots” even though the right to waltz around in public with exotic weapons extends to black folks as well? 

Well what do you think?

What a year this has been.  Trump got impeached.  A global pandemic has killed @ 200,000 Americans with no end in sight.  Racial unrest is palpable across the country and the economy is in the tank.  Justice Ginsburg has passed.  And armed fools inject themselves unbidden by anybody in authority into a peaceful demonstration in a burlesque of legitimate law enforcement.  All during a Presidential election year. I know I have left something out.  Feel free to insert.  

What has become of us?  What will become of us?

My answer to both questions is swift and clear. 

 I have no earthly idea.    

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Problems With Blooger

I will try to get this figured out by Sunday. But bear with me.