Visits

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sudden Frogs

When I opened the sliding doors to the wall garden this morning a little frog instantly hopped into the house and, being a rather quick-footed little bugger, whilst I am a slow old bugger, proceeded to hop across the floor and under the bed. I don't mind that part, as the doors are generally open the day long and he will pretty surely find his way back outside again. What bothers me is how he got there in the first place. I know I've mentioned this frog issue before, but it continues to perplex me. The wall garden is a narrow rectangular space just at the back of the house. It is bordered by walls that are about ten feet high. So how did the frog get there to begin with? I have theorized in the past that perhaps they come down with the rain, being delivered in such manner somewhat the way babies are delivered by storks. Another theory may be that they simply grow out of the ground, like weeds or vegetables (although, to be clear, I've not seen a vegetable spring up of its own accord as yet). As far as I know, frogs need a pond to hatch in, right? Then again, maybe this is not a pond sort of frog but more of a tree frog sort of frog. For that matter, do tree frogs hatch from ponds or from trees? As I've said, it's perplexing. I guess I'll just enjoy my coffee and forget about it for the time being. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Something In The Air

 Some years ago, I was having a lengthy discussion with my neurologist back in Portland and we discovered during the course of this discussion that we both had an autistic son. As we switched to sharing about that subject, the doctor expressed his suspicion that autism might arise from environmental factors--something in the air, something that affects and alters brain chemistry. 

Taking this idea up from there, I will suggest that something in the air has affected the brains of millions of people, twisting and scrambling intellectual processes to the point that people now believe that attacking the nation's capital, killing or injuring police officers, threatening the lives of government officials somehow constitute appropriate actions. How else to explain, for instance, the unshakeable belief that there was massive fraud in the presidential election when all the evidence in the world shows that there most definitely was not? How to explain the mistaking of terrorism for patriotism? How to explain the wild QAnon theory that evil Democrats are abducting, abusing, and murdering children? Oh, and then eating them.

The problem is not a difference of political viewpoints. The problem is mass insanity. 

I know from my own experience with my son that he could not be 'reasoned' out of his false reasonings. They were carved in stone, quite impregnable to analysis and correction. For lack of any better explanation, 'something in the air' had altered his mental processes irredeemably. One could talk himself blue in the face and make not a single dent in his faith, which unfortunately was invested in notions that were wholly without logical foundation.

In the same way, these Trump fanatics cannot be reasoned out of their delusions. For them, there is no truth that is not a lie, no proof that is not a hoax, no careful explanation that is not a waste of their time. And of course the irony is that every bit of what they are embracing is itself the lie, the hoax, the conspiracy. Indeed, at bottom it is not their fault. They have fallen prey to something in the air.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Come Together

 I was watching yesterday a brief news conference held by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a New York City street when a middle-aged woman stepped into the picture and began ranting about God knows what. The usual crap, you know? Something about Schumer being a liar and shameful and insulting the cult leader and blah, blah, blah. Reporters, cameramen, and Schumer stood back and silently watched, waiting for her to tire and desist, the way one tends to do when having to interact with any random lunatic on the street. I don't know how the woman was eventually removed, or indeed whether she merely ran out of rant, as the newscast broke away to cover other stories during the interruption. 

And it struck me that, if nothing else, this woman's raw anger alone mirrored the intensity of my own, and of so many others, at deluded people like her, at the foolish conspiracy theories and the QAnon imbecility, at the treachery of our soon-to-be irrelevant president, at the violence visited upon our nation's capital and our representatives and on the officers who sought to protect them. At the shame visited upon our nation. I mean, I am outraged by their outrage! Kudos to Schumer, I guess, for not taking this woman by the collar and trying to shake some sense into her. 

How has it happened that outrage has lost its integrity, its center? Who are these people who would be outraged not by a president who has lied and fumed and foamed and finally incited white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, thugs, killers, and just plain run-of-the-mill morons to carry out an insurrection, but by the honorable and needful intent to correct and penalize such behavior? To me, this is simply astounding and quite completely inscrutable. 

Incalcitrant Republican congressmen and women speak now about the need to "come together". Nothing much to see here. Move on. Heal. And by all means, look the other way. 

Right. Well, I reckon that before 'coming together', they themselves are going to need to 'get it together'!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Insurrection

 As the days pass, it is becoming clear that this attack on the capital in Washington DC was much more serious than it had at first seemed. Up to now, we have been fed the same array of fairly tame photos and videos of the assault--people milling about, hobnobbing with capital police, breaking windows, trashing offices, sporting their various Halloween costumes for the cameras. Now, however, we are seeing and reading many more of the details. An officer beaten to death with a fire extinguisher, another officer crushed, screaming, in a doorway, a woman shot as she tried to climb through a window and into the House chamber, a man with plastic ties to be used to subdue captives, chants for the hanging of Mike Pence and the erection of a gallows for this purpose, a female reporter shoved to the floor, her camera smashed, a methodical invasion and trashing of high office locations not known to the general public but somehow known to these insurgents. This was not a mere picnic for clownish Trump enthusiasts. The clowns, the useful idiots, certainly were present, but only to be used as cannon fodder by the kingpins of the insurgency if the need arose. No, this was an attempt, albeit amateurish and poorly coordinated, to overthrow the government and to put our congressional representatives in deadly jeopardy. There was assistance from the inside, strings were pulled, police agencies were suppressed, and the president himself refused to call in the National Guard--this being done, ultimately, through cooperation between congressmen and the vice president. It was, after all, a close call, and could have been much, much worse but for the confusion and clumsiness of the perpetrators themselves. Astoundingly, many of our representatives in the House and Senate are not seeing the need to remove or impeach. Well, there are only ten days left, they say. But what does that have to do with anything? Does it mean that presidents are allowed to lead insurrections as long as they are at the end of their term? Would such a grace period apply to me or to you if we were to commit a crime? No, I don't think so. Impeachment must proceed. It is a moral imperative. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

DC

 First off, I'll tell you a little story. 

Some years ago, my wife, her son, and I flew to Washington DC to visit my stepdaughter and her boyfriend. While there, we of course took the opportunity to sightsee in the government district. At one point during our car tour, my daughter's boyfriend, who was driving, mistakenly turned down a restricted bystreet near the capital building. Immediately, our car was surrounded by a squad of armed capital officers who had swarmed out of nowhere, weapons at ready. A young couple, their middle-aged parents, and a small boy cannot have appeared to be very much of a threat, and yet one never knows. The police were doing their job just as they should. 

How then does it happen that a violent mob can march unmolested on the capital building, burst in through doors and windows, alternately trash the inner premises and take selfies, climb the walls, raise Confederate flags in the face of the law enforcement presence of all of DC? How does it happen that only a handful of these folks were arrested? How does it happen that when they were finished with their fun, they simply walked away? And how is it that police officers have been recorded taking selfies with mob members. How is it that video seems to show officers simply opening the road barriers for the insurgents? 

Well, these are the questions that are now being asked by congress members and authorities, and rightly so. There is certainly the appearance that this was, at least to some extent, an inside job, a cooperative effort between the insurgents, the police, and even certain members of congress--and that's something that needs to be gotten to the bottom of straightaway! 

At the same time, many news broadcasts and newspaper commentaries have pointed out the glaring disparity between police reaction to the BLM movement and police reaction to the invasion of the capital by these white insurgents. One need say no more, for what is painfully obvious is simply that--painfully obvious. 

The good news is that morons will be morons, and so in keeping with their nature, these particular morons have filmed themselves inside the capital building, outside the capital building, climbing the walls of the capital building, destroying property, assaulting officers, and have even posted photos and videos to their social media accounts. Shouldn't be hard to find and arrest these "patriots". 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Victory Parade of Abject Ignorance

 When I got up this morning and turned on my phone, the first thing I saw was a New York Times article detailing the violent takeover of our national capital building, and my first response was an irrepressible burst of laughter. 

For a long while now, our president and our Republican representatives have been playing with matches, never stopping to fear or appreciate the immense stupidity of the common American people. For, you see, our president and our representatives were never serious about this "Stop the Steal" bullshit, aware that multiple recounts and investigations and court cases had clearly shown that there was no steal, that the election in fact was one of the most secure elections in American history. Nonetheless, they continued to spread lies for their own political interests, continued to light matches, continued to douse the grounds with kerosene and gosh I'll be darned if it didn't catch fire. Who knew? 

So as the gun toting, slogan shouting mob swarmed in through broken windows, the senators and the representatives ducked and cowered and ran, spirited away to safe locations. So much for standing up for their lofty cause (or any cause other than their personal safety). 

Of course, as I watched these events on video, I did not laugh anymore. The feelings I had were more purely of disgust, repulsion, outrage at every one of these dipshit 'patriots', the grand congregation of the hopelessly ignorant and deluded, pledged to serve a cause based on the demonstrable lies ultimately of one man: the President of the United States--who, by the way, bravely stepped to the mic during the riot to tell more lies! 

All along the way for the last four years we have had, crime after crime, outrage after outrage, the opportunity to rid ourselves of this man--but again, it seemed to those in power, apparently, all just a game, an innocent little power struggle to control the strings of government. It was all just words and misunderstandings and innocent "perfect" phone calls--and all the while, the incurably stupid gobbled those words and grew fat and belligerent. Wait, they believed this shit? Oh yes, they did. This, and more. They fed at the fetid troughs of the conspiracy theories, no matter how absurd, that spawned from the lies that were embraced and repeated by the president himself. Trump became just another word for brainless rage, emblazoned on flags that finally flew above the capital in Washington DC. 

President Obama has put it this way: "History will righty remember today's violence at the Capital , incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise." 

And that is the God's honest truth. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Graffiti

 Some may notice that I changed the title of the blog, at least temporarily. Trying it on, I guess, to see how it feels. The thing is 'Everyone Here is Jim Dandy' makes less sense now that it did to begin with, because that title came from a book I had written, and which was read by nobody, mainly about multiple sclerosis. It makes sense only to the extent that it is recognizable only to people already familiar with my blog. 

In any case, it doesn't really matter. 

"Practical Paradise" was the title of a column I used to write for the Bali Times newspaper, and that column was more typical of what I tend to write in the blog, featuring articles about Bali and my personal experiences in Bali. Back then, I and my friend, Vyt, both had columns side by side on the second page of the newspaper. Mine tended toward the humorous (although not always) while his tended more toward politics and social issues. We took care, back then, with what we wrote, for we had an audience, you see, whereas nowadays I just kind of aimlessly blab.

In any case, the original title, as I stared at it this morning, just kind of bugged me, so I took my spray can of attitude and sprayed over it.