Donald Trump Will Turn Your Mind Into Rat Soup

I have been trying to avoid the early election shenanigans.  The mutant right is constantly making headlines with total insanity.  I don’t mean to infer that to condemn anyone that is a Republican.  I am simply referring to the freak pack that seems in control of the national party at this point.  (Scott Walker being one of the many in this realm.)  I am someone that believes in voting.  I don’t think voting is enough if you really care about what is going on.  However, I don’t think disengaging from the political realm due to dissatisfaction is an option.  I am not a big fan of the Clintons and would rather see someone like Bernie Sanders capture the nomination.  Bill, in his term, was actually a rather right leaning corporatist Democrat that did many things that I believe harmed this country.  (NAFTA, Telecommunications Act of 1996, and so on.)  However, if you can’t see that there is a difference between Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton and Scott Walker, than I don’t know what to tell you.  (Those that believe that all politicians are the same only need to look at recent headlines having to do with Iran and then imagine what those headlines would look like if “Bomb,bomb,bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” John McCain had won in 2008.)  But what I think is important is that it is okay to disengage until it matters.  I don’t need to be paying attention to the right wing horse race, as I will certainly not be voting for anyone that wins that.  I can’t help, in trying to keep up with the news, catching a headline or two.   I mean I try to pay attention enough that if I am having a conversation with someone, I can refute whatever insane argument someone might be making on whatever policy issue, but having a deep emotional investment in who is ahead is only going to destroy my health, make me angry, and burn me out on this whole circus before there is really anything I can do about it.  The news is really good at destroying one’s soul, only to have you speaking gibberish by the time it comes down to canvas for an issue or candidate you believe in.  Also, please keep in mind that I am talking about ignoring the election and not what is going on in general.  It is important, extremely important, that a citizen of a democracy stays informed.  But at this point in the election cycle it is much more important to pay attention to what is going on, rather than who is saying what, if you get my drift. So try to keep abreast of current issues, but whenever a circus animal like Donald Trump gets paraded out on TV, instead of turning your mind into rat soup, exercise one of the very few freedoms you have and turn the damned thing off.

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Thoughts On Clinton

I can’t say that I am either surprised or euphoric at the fact Hillary Clinton has declared to run for President.   We have all known that this was coming for some time.  Hillary is competent, far more so than the goons running for the Republicans. But as long as she has been in the public eye, I have no true sense of what she believes.  If you know American history, one will see that Bill was too often willing to sell out the working and middle class.  Like Reagan and Bush before him, and like W. after him, he took steps that helped lead to the financial meltdown of 2008. In many ways he was a conservative democrat.  Hillary, if entrusted with power, may be different, but there is no way to know that until she is entrusted with that power.  I am still hoping that Elizabeth Warren runs, though I am willing to listen to what Hillary has to say.  But anyway, any misgivings I may have about her are nullified by the complete insanity of the modern day GOP.  If it is between her and any of these flat earthers the Republicans are putting up, I will not only vote for Hillary, but canvass for her. 

All That’s Wrong In One Example

The fact that someone as vile as Ted Cruz can raise 31 million dollars in one week should trouble us.  It seems like everything wrong with U.S. politics in one neat little package.  Strange intolerant religious beliefs mixed with right wing paranoia, all playing second fiddle to the true gods of letting multinational corporations run every aspect of our lives. 

Strangely, Cruz doesn’t even try to get us to swallow such things with any warmth or charisma.  At least he isn’t bullshitting us on that…

Netanyahu Rival Widens Lead in Israeli Election

Netanyahu Rival Widens Lead in Israeli Election

The above headline says it all.  I am just reading about this for the first time.  This is great news indeed.  Hopefully the power-hungry Netanyahu has finally overstepped his bounds with his recent foray into U.S. politics.  Anyone that hopes for peace in the Middle East should greet this news with joy.  I’ll be stroking my lucky rabbit foot hoping that Netanyahu’s ill fortune continues!

Jim Inhofe In Line For Top Environmental Job (Not a Joke!)

james-inhofe

Inhofe In Line For Top Senate Environmental Job

Big Oil servant and climate denier Jim Inhofe is now in line for the nations top environmental job thanks to the midterm elections.  I know the words environmental job and Jim Inhofe being put together seems like a joke, but it is not!  You can read an article about it at the link above.  If this isn’t scary, as now is a crucial time in our history to get our response to climate change right, I don’t know what is.

I need to start getting ready to go on the road.  I am going to try to get some more posts up later today, but it just depends on if I have time and service.  I’ll be playing with Shinyribs tonight and tomorrow.  Tonight is is McKinney and tomorrow is in Huffman.  For details go to:

www.shinyribs.org

I hate to be possibly leaving you for the weekend on such a bummer.  However, those of us that care about the environment need to find a way to contribute now more than ever.  Perhaps it is best to stew on such things for a couple days.

Hey Don’t the Wars Come Easy, Hey Don’t the Peace Come Hard

Love junkies wanna change the world:
It quickly stays the same
Money junkies hire all the smart ones
Power junkies run the game

One step at a time
Polarity Hill
If the bad guys don’t get you, baby
Then the good guys will
With angels on the take
And the gangsters in the yard
Hey don’t the wars come easy
Hey don’t the peace come hard

– Excerpt from the song The Big Ones Get Away by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Ever since the election I’ve wanted to bite someone’s throat out like a werewolf.  That is, until tonight.  I was listening to the great Buffy Sainte-Marie and those last two lines struck me.  Buffy Sainte-Marie is a singer who politically is also the real deal.  She was blacklisted personally by President Johnson.  She was an activist that put herself on the line numerous times.  When she sings the lines, “Hey don’t the wars come easy, hey don’t the peace come hard”, she knows what she is talking about.

I played a festival in Canada this year where I got to see Buffy Sainte-Marie perform.  She talked about how not enough people were saying how we treat each other is what’s important, and not the almighty dollar.  Such a simple message, but something we can’t seem to learn in America.

I worked hard to try to get Prop 1 passed here in Austin.  Prop 1 was a bill that was going to put in the first stage of urban rail in Austin and it also included road projects.  When I was canvassing I mostly talked to Democrats.  When I went into the more middle class and working class neighborhoods people seemed to get that this would help make the city a better, more livable place.  The richer the neighborhoods, the more people seemed to claim that we couldn’t afford it.  This was going to raise taxes a total of about $20 a month, and this was not even going to take full effect until 2020.  The price of four beers a month turned people off to doing something that was not only going to make the city better, but was also good for the environment.  And it seemed to be those that could most afford it that were the most against it.

The state of Texas elected Dan Patrick, a former conservative radio host, who makes Sean Hannity look like a Rhodes Scholar, as our new Lieutenant Governor.  That position actually holds power in the state of Texas.

The country as a whole seemed to vote for the most insane politicians possible, at a time when, especially environmentally, we can least afford it.  The oil and the gas industries won big, when we need to be electing people that will help us end our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.  Women and gays are under attack through proposed policies.  Minorities and poor people are under attack at the polling stations.  I had to show an ID to vote in Texas, a move that some estimate might have disenfranchised 600,000 Texans.

The old, the white, and the scared showed up in large numbers, while the young, who have the most to lose, stayed home.  It’s discouraging that people that should know better allowed themselves to be duped, while those that need to know better were so apathetic.  All around no one comes out of this clean, for different reasons.

However, the one of my pet peeves is those that say there is no difference in politicians.  There is an ancient ocean of difference between Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Warren, for one example.  Those that have become so cynical that they are blind to that, I will never understand.

The thing is, even those that voted the opposite of what I believe they should have, are people that I think should be included in the dream.  I don’t want anyone to go without healthcare.  I don’t want anyone to go to a war that is senseless.  I don’t want anyone thrown in jail that doesn’t deserve it.  I wish these people could see that the things that we liberals want don’t just benefit us.

Meanwhile there seems to be nonstop attacks on those most vulnerable.  Why is there so much hatred for immigrants or homosexuals?  The lizard brain is running wild right now.  But at the center of all this are people that value money over other human beings.  And they know how to get those lizard brains in motion.

This week was a huge setback for this country, and because of our power, for the world.  But as Buffy sings:

Hey don’t the wars come easy
Hey don’t the peace come hard

 We on the left must dust ourselves off and get motivated.  There is a dark train coming down the tracks.  I don’t blame anyone for being depressed or discouraged.  Christ, I am.  But to do nothing is to give in to despair and desolation.  There is only two years until the next election.  Not that much time, but enough to get reorganized and hungry again.

Last time our people showed up to vote it led to 10,000,000 people getting healthcare that didn’t have it, to gays being allowed to serve openly in the military, and to the first Latino on the Supreme Court.  That is real and meaningful change.  I benefited from the healthcare law, but I’m a white male that likes girls.  I was happy to see people that were different than me realize their dreams.  in this interconnected world it has to be about more than your own tribe.  We sink or swim together.  There is water in the boat, but we haven’t drowned yet…