Journal Entry – 2.17.2018

It is 3:15 AM on Saturday morning February 17th, 2018.  I haven’t slept well all night due to the salt from the pizza and large amount of sugar in the Mountain Dew I had for dinner.  Looks like it might be best to cut back on Friday pizza night.

After tossing and turning for a couple of hours I finally decided to get up, forgo Zelda and finally get a post in.  I’ve got a bunch of random thoughts I thought I’d get down.

The first is the travesty which has become a daily occurrence in the news and in American politics.  It seems that the USA is in a downward spiral we cannot get out of, much of it due to our own error regardless of how much emphasis is put on ‘Russian bots’ and their amazing ability to influence American minds.

Back in the ’80s our parents told us not to believe everything you see on TV yet it looks like they’re absolutely convinced by anything they see on the internet.  This wonderful invention, the internet, used to be a place of wonder, learning and connection.  Now it is a marketplace where everything needs to be ‘monetized,’ the social networks are for ‘humble bragging’ and is something quite unlike what it had promised to be.  I struggle to find websites I really enjoy and that do not become monotonous and depressing.  I know they must be out there, or hopefully things might change but like the rest of America is something from which to gain money in the short term, long term consequences be damned.

It feels to me as though the soul of America is changing for the worse and is something patriotic parades and sporting events can soothe.  Now we have debates over whether athletes should be forced to stand for the pledge.  Nothing says freedom like forcing people to say an oath.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again in that the main purpose of America is to make money no matter the consequences.  If you’re not out to get rich then perhaps you’re just not a true American?  After all of my travels and learning about other cultures I prefer to think of myself as a citizen of the world;  I’ve come to find the idea of pledging yourself to one piece of land, to one culture absurd and backward thinking.  The culture that used to bind us is fraying and the Republican leadership shows no leadership at all.  There is no ‘us,’ there is make money, look out for number one but please keep up the facade of patriotism.  Take out healthcare, support the gun lobby no matter how many mass shootings we have, do whatever it takes to win even if that means letting Russia swing an election or two.

This administration is a mess, a complete circus and no matter how absurd things get we have Fox news to defend it.  The President makes payments to porn stars?  No problem, King Solomon had many concubines!  I bet Trump could bang a prostitute right there in the oval office and Fox would try to explain it away.  We’ve got a first lady who won’t even hold his hand on national TV.

However, I do not think we should hate anyone, hate is the wrong path to go down.  One of the most true lines I’ve seen on the internet recently is that Meliana has gotten what she sold herself for.  She was asked if she would be with Trump if he weren’t rich and she once responded “Do you think he would be with me if I weren’t beautiful?”  After much thought I do not hate her, nor wish her ill.  For some, marriage is a transaction and she wanted money which she got.  You cannot always have your cake and eat it too.  It was said that she “was in tears” when Donald won the election because it meant her life, the life she took on for money would disappear and she would be scrutinized.  She just wants to shop, go to swank parties and now all of that has been muted.  This all must be very hard for her and again, one should never wish another ill so I do hope she gets through all of this.

As for Donald, it looks like a reckoning is coming.  You cannot wash away all of your mistakes by simply denying or calling it ‘fake news.’  Or can you?  It seems that Republicans would abandon all, including being loyal to the good of our country in order to stay in power.  This government it seems has nobody who would fit a “profile in courage” as Kennedy wrote about so long ago.  Now, the ends justify the means and that end is to stay in power even if it meant destroying a country.  The Russian bots are working and a good portion of the American public are not smart enough to resist.

We just had another school mass shooting here in the USA and what will the governments response be?  It will be another moment of silence along with more thoughts and prayers.  The USA will continue its downward spiral and things will get worse.  The jobs of many have been relocated overseas and aren’t coming back no matter what promises are made by politicians.  Automation and the adoption of AI will exacerbate all of this.  Why?  Because of money, of short term profits.  Patriotism and doing what is the best for the country is quickly forgotten when it comes to the bottom line.  Money is king.

And so what can an individual do in all of this?  Nothing really, the tide will continue to roll in washing over the feet of those who try to stand against it.  I’ll continue to turn inward and tune out the news, trying to live a happy life.  I’ll continue to be kind to others, to try and help where I can but there is nothing that can really be done to stop this momentum.  Even one tool, one right we have as a democracy has been stripped away by gerrymandering where an individual vote really counts for nothing.  It is a waste of time to vote anymore.

Enough of that as I do not want to waste all my time on the dumpster fire that has become the national conversation. The world is a big place and I want to continue to explore, continue to learn and enjoy my life.  Yet, it is hard not to type in the website of a news outlet in the same way it is hard not to look at a car wreck.  What absurdity is happening now and equally what contortions is the Fox news network doing to explain it all away.  Everything that doesn’t fit your narrative is ‘fake news’ anyway.

As for my overall life paradigm things continue to make less and less sense.  Here we are at the height of human knowledge and science yet the masses still continue to follow religions, beliefs of people who knew little to next to nothing about the universe.  I saw many images this past Wednesday of people with ash smudges on their foreheads in the shape of an ancient torture device.  How can it be that when we have so much access to learning and knowledge that otherwise relatively intelligent people adhere to something that is just as ridiculous as worshiping Poseidon?  And they look down on the Poseidon worshipers!  Even that word, ‘worship’ irks me.  I see educated people on their knees praying to a human idea that is supposedly “all good,” when there are kids with cancer, wars and things happening that no “all good” God would allow.  You mention this and of course they have their reasons, reasons which they were taught, were programmed to believe.

And so taking a step back and looking at humanity as a whole we have the majority believing in an ancient, figment of our imagination, voting for despots who can seemingly do no wrong and who are becoming more and more isolated from each other on social networks whose only purpose seems to be to brag about ones self?  It is all very depressing.

And that, is what is running through my head in the middle of the night on a very early Saturday morning.  Zelda is also on my mind so perhaps I might spend the next hour or so exploring Hyrule.

Journal Entry – 8.22.2017

It is 12:59 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017.

For this post I just plan on free-writing, so it could be a bit of a ramble.

I’m very tired of the news and politics, so much so that I just want to shut it all out.  It makes me feel as though the entire country has gone crazy and we’re no longer in all this together as Americans.  America is a country where you just care about the individual and screw everyone else according to Republicans and the current President.  I really don’t like this type of thinking but since this is something I cannot control the only choice I have is to shut it out, to think differently and look for other places to belong instead of the umbrella “American” identification.

I believe that this way of thinking isn’t ‘American,’ at all.  Republicans will tell you that America is all about individualism and this is shown by the desire to cut 22 million people off of healthcare, of looking out only for the corporations and so on but I see things differently.  America was built also on groups and people looking out for each other.  This idea occurred to me as I’m exploring the local Cub Scout group.  What could be more American than the Cub and Boy Scouts!  They are about bettering the community, of being in a ‘pack,’ and about learning better skills as a group.  One also cannot ignore the historical value of the church in bringing people together and forming a community.  The church was where people worshiped yes, but also where they gathered, made friends and had a group to belong to.

Unfortunately the Republicans have created an atmosphere where you’re just in this for yourself and screw everyone else.  At least that is the way I see it.  And so I’m turning away from politics, just as current government has turned away from me.  Instead I’ll concentrate my attentions here locally, in groups of people that like to socialize, enjoy helping each other and making the community better.

It is hard to believe the state of things now days.  The current President has the support of the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups and a few people I know and trust will defend him even when there are KKK and Neo-Nazis running around.  They’ll point their finger at the anti-fa and say, see, see!  Nazis and KKK can never be defended even if another group is being violent and destructive.  To the clear thinking person, the KKK and Neo-Nazis hate people for who they are, for the color of their skin.  The anti-fa is also violent and destructive but one cannot defend or deflect hate groups by pointing fingers at another destructive group.  It amazes me how seemingly regular people are actually doing this these days.  There is no excuse.

In movies, stories and books a good human being always cheers for the kind person, the one who rises above the fray and helps others.  Someone like Superman who coincidentally was created on the American ideal.  People that defend the KKK and Neo-Nazis have forgotten this idea and have created a very twisted version of American history.  This is Fox News and other right wing outlets doing, they cannot shirk the blame here.  They have created a culture of hate and a President Trump and the current KKK and Neo-Nazi protests are a direct result.  To make matters worse politicians are elected that hold the same beliefs and it makes one lose complete faith in the system.  These leaders are not the wise old man of the great stories, they are in it for themselves, to hold on to their careers and this is not something you’d expect from the most powerful nation in the history of the planet.

Well, that is my ramble and I’m tired of thinking about it.

President Trump – Getting better!

I was absolutely heartbroken by the images of the chemical attack in Syria yesterday; especially by Abdul Hamid Youssef holding his dead two babies.

I fully support Trump launching the missiles at Syria and in doing so has taken action that Obama should have.  Although I was an Obama supporter he did let some international problems fester for too long without taking decisive action.

And so, I just want to say for the record that although I’ve not liked many, many of the steps the new President has taken I am behind him all the way for his actions in Syria and he has also scored other points with me as well.

I believe healthcare should be a universal right and with his health care bill he at least tried to get something done.  We have to get out of the cycle of Democrats and Republicans squabbling over what healthcare looks like and come to a solution.  In President Trumps bill he at least gave it a shot and so even though it failed he also gets points with me for trying.

I’ve never been a Trump supporter but with recent actions such as the ones mentioned above as well as clipping Bannon’s wings, letting experts do their jobs and so on, I’m more willing than ever to give him a chance.  Syria and North Korea are two incredible problems that are coming to a head.  Obama watched and did nothing on them.  And so again, I support this more aggressive posture from the USA in these two conflicts.  It is about time.

Journal Entry – 2.2.2017

The world is different now due to President Trump.  I miss the certainty and comfort of the way things were previously. Now I wake up and am anxious to see what the news will say.  At the moment the US is upsetting its allies and as for the enemies, I’m sure we’ll soon be at war.

I’m anxious for immigrants.  They’ve first banned Muslims under the guise of “extreme vetting.”  Next will come a database, deportation of Latinos and then next in line would be the Asians.  All of this has given the extreme right a lot of encouragement and I’ve started to look into those corners of the internet where they reside.  I’d like to understand them further and try to get a pulse on where things might lead.

I’m hoping that America really is exceptional and will show it in a fight against Trump and Bannon but at the moment I also think that hate against various groups could go further.

First the Muslims are scapegoated, then it will Latinos and I’m sure then the Asians.  The first step has already been taken and approved by Trump supporters.  They will then support Latino deportation.  This is all under the guise of “keeping America safe.”  The US has to get rid of/monitor this person and that person because after all, we must be safe right!

All of this will / is contributing to a hostile atmosphere for people of any shade living in the USA.  What is most hurtful is should this progression continue in the way I’ve described above, which is entirely possible, is that I have friends and family who support this madness.  Trump has just revoked green cards – a promise that one can live and work in America – for a certain group of people; he could easily do it to many other groups.  Some of my friends and even family believe this is to make America safe.  Well, should the progression continue this affects my family directly.  I wish I could say that they would renounce their support of Trump/Bannon should even my own family get caught up in trouble but to be completely honest, I’m really not sure if they would and this makes me incredibly sad; I think the madness could run that deep. I wonder if they would demand to see some proof of legality even from us!

What has happened this past week was inconceivable just two weeks ago.  Is it really unjustified that even more inconceivable events are on the horizon given the way things have gone so far?  There is no safety valve and this sort of thing flares up across the world and throughout history.  Is the US so naive to think that it is immune, that it is ‘exceptional?’  I really hope it turns out to be exceptional but so far it really doesn’t seem to be so.

Anyway, I decided to make my feelings about Trump/Bannon known on the FB.  Here is what I wrote so it may be preserved and I can look back on this in the future; hopefully in much better times.

These are very dark and sad times. Only a short while ago America was calling itself ‘exceptional,’ and it is breathtaking to see how quickly and deeply it is falling. We’ve always told ourselves we’re the ‘good guys,’ but with a number of executive orders mandated through a free and fair election, that ‘exceptional’ takes on a different meaning entirely. America is forced to look in the mirror and is seeing a side which it has tried to ignore for a long time. These orders will, and already are, having very bad consequences that Trump supporters and the White House itself do not seem able to grasp. This isn’t a game; our reputation as a country is being highly damaged and in only a few short months we could very well find ourselves at war, with very few friends.

The silver lining is that storms pass and perhaps this will serve as a wake up call which shakes a lethargic electorate and citizenry into action. It has shaken me and I will be doing all I can to fight against this very wrong turn the country has taken. The question now is how long and how severe this storm is going to be. A wry smile appears on my face when I think the most controversial item of the past 8 years was an attempt to give everyone healthcare; just one week later it is possible war, realignment of the world order and a change in the core principles of what it means to be American.

It is amazing to see how spineless the Grand Old Party has become. It used to be grand indeed but now is showing that its representatives in the federal government are cowards with absolutely no moral compass, no bravery, not much of anything really.

For the record I’ve been both Republican and Democrat; now I’m officially neither. The point of this post is to show my friends that I’m highly against Trump, his agenda, and will be fighting back. Hopefully, this is the only political post I’ll make here; I’ve long used a different venue outside of social media for my political opinions which I find to be preferable and more effective.

Attached is a picture of the sunrise I took at Pillar Point Harbor on October 23rd, 2015. The light from the sunrise is pushing up against the dark fog. At this point, either can overtake the other: the fog could advance and blot out the light, or the sunlight will push the fog back to the ocean. I for one, always root for the sunrise.

Fog vs. Sunrise @Pillar Point Harbor – October 23rd, 2015