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Archive for February 2016

“Yeah, I’m thinkin’ I’m back . . .”

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It’s been 2 months since I posted anything on this blog. I’m not apologizing, just stating the facts. Two months. And it isn’t “writer’s block” that’s kept me from posting. The thing that’s kept me from writing on this blog has been my anger. Yes, anger; anger that I’ve been suppressing for the last two months out of fear. I was afraid that, if I expressed my anger, I would disappoint my family and friends (a few of whom would likely read my post), or that people I do no know wouldn’t like me because of what I wrote. I know it’s pathetic. Why should I care what people I don’t know and will likely never meet think about what I have to say?  Actually, I shouldn’t, but there it is. I was afraid. And the fear allowed the anger to fester and intensify to the point I became fearful of my anger; an anger I felt was justified if not rational.

 It’s taken me two months to come to terms with my feelings. There was the anger I’ve already mentioned, and the fear but there was also a feeling of disappointment and I guess, betrayal. The last, the sense of betrayal,   I think has a lot to do with my anger. John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.”  A lot of us back then took those words to heart. I know I did. I went overseas to defend my country (at least I thought I was defending my country; turns out it was something else I was defending, but let’s not go there now), came home, got a job, paid taxes, and tried mightily to grab my piece of the “American Dream” which I was still naïve enough to believe in. I always thought — erroneously as it turned out — there was a “quid pro quo” implied in Kennedy’s message; that if I did what I could do for my country, my country would do for me. Turns out that’s not really the case.

I was frustrated and a little angry, manageably angry. After all, I knew it took money to “grease the wheels” of government and those that had the money could apply the most grease. “Things would change with the next election cycle”, I told myself, hoping but not really believing. There wasn’t any change in the next election cycle, nor in any of the succeeding cycles. The government has turned its back on “the will of the people” in favor of the will of the rich people, the ones who can afford to send armored cars full of money and legions of lobbyists to “grease the wheels of government” and have them turn in their favor. It’s now at the point where I can’t contain the anger any longer. What angers me the most isn’t that I feel abused and betrayed by a system of government that, in truth, was never designed to serve “the people”, only made to serve the people, and then only when there was political advantage to be had. What angers me most is that I was complicit in my own betrayal and abuse. I believed the rhetoric, the obfuscations and the outright lies of those who were (and are) in power and those who aspire (or is it conspire?) to that power.

Donald Trump, multi-millionaire (there are doubts about his billions), gold-plated huckster, reality TV personality, megalomaniac with a messiah complex, who is so convinced he will win the nomination (and the presidency) he thinks he could win even if he shot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, or is it Times Square? (probably the former, Trump wouldn’t be caught dead in Times Square — not “classy” enough). His prescription for how to make America “great” again? Get rid of all the “losers”; the immigrants, Hispanic and Muslim first and foremost. Throw the ones that are here out and build a wall so they can’t come back. Oh, and while he’s at it, let’s not forget the gays, blacks and women; they’re all “losers”.  He’ll put them “in their place”. It’s gonna be great! Great!On the international front, Trump’s idea of how to deal with terrorists is even more repulsive; “You gotta go after the families”. He’ll deal with terrorism by committing “War Crimes”! And I wouldn’t hold out much hope (none, actually) for the economy under Trump. The Donald has made no bones about the fact he’s “all about the money, all about the money.” He’s made much of the fact that his campaign is “self-funded”, that he’s so rich he doesn’t need financial backers like the other candidates. Actually, he’s in a position to make a very tidy profit from his campaign, even if he doesn’t win the presidency or even gets the nomination. You see, “The Donald” lent his campaign — his own campaign — more than $11 million dollars, so even if he loses, he wins. That loan will be repaid out of any leftover campaign funds, and you can “bet your bippy” there’s a hefty interest rate attached to that loan. If Trump does, by some perverse twist of fate- or- whatever, become President, you can kiss whatever surplus is left in the budget good-bye. It’ll become Mr. Trump’s personal “Gold Card” account. After all, he’s “all about the money!”

The other two contenders on the Conservative (I wouldn’t call any of them Republicans) side are worth mentioning only in passing.

Ted Cruz, the Canadian-born (don’t hold that against him, though. Canada is also known as, “America Lite”) Senator from Texas is so despised by his colleagues in that “august” body he hasn’t managed to garner a single endorsement from among them. In fact, fellow Senator, Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina has said if he shot Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, nothing would happen. How’s that for “bringing folks together”? Ted Cruz’s nickname should be “Mr. Obstruction” or “Senator Destruction”. Anything he doesn’t like, he obstructs. If he can’t obstruct, he destroys. I saw an article on the Internet — it was on either the AlterNet or Salon website, I forget which — that reported Sen. Cruz was working to block efforts in the Senate to do anything about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan; a crisis that resulted in the poisoning by lead contamination of hundreds of children, CHILDREN! And Senator Cruz thinks it’s not something the Senate should be involved in. How’s that for “Compassionate Conservatism”?

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is still in the race only because he has the backing, for what it’s worth, of the Republican “establishment”, and the only reason they’re backing Rubio is because they can’t stand Cruz and they don’t believe there are enough bigots who are registered Republicans to win Trump the nomination. I wouldn’t count on that being the case. In any event, Mr. Rubio is out of his depth here, as he is in the Senate.

The “slug” at the top of this post is a quote from “John Wick” the recent Keanu Reeves movie. He says this after his one-time employers stole his car and killed his dog. I can empathize with his feelings.


Written by stevewthomas

February 29, 2016 at 8:31 pm

Posted in changing careers

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