The Three R’s

Greetings from Casa Tara, the Chula Vista Resort and Spa in beautiful San Antonio Tlayacapan, Mexico!

We’ve been busy here of late. Todd has been getting his room organized so it doesn’t look like a warehouse for half of his stuff anymore. And we’ve been going golfing a lots. Todd and I mostly suck at golf at about the same level most of the time. Our games are mildly competitive, but mostly relaxing. It’s been a lots of fun having him here.

I thought there would be more of a differentiation in our lives, you know, a Before Todd/After Todd kind of thing, but that hasn’t been the case. I almost think he found a way to use the top-secret time machine in the basement of the Minneapolis VAMC to alter the TimeSpace continuum so it seems like he’s always been here.

And it’s not just me. Todd and Lea both say the same thing. Right now, Todd is on his way to Minnesota to visit his kids and stuff. He’ll be gone about a week. I might be able to gain a bit more perspective about our new living arrangement by his absence, but probably not. I’m not all that interested in analyzing this. I have plenty of other things to ponder deeply.

My lovely supermodel wife has been working out some of the details for the window treatments for the master bedroom. She’s decided the job is too big for her to handle on her own, so she’s has enlisted the help of my third retirement wife, Susan. She’s an interior decorator, and she has some local contacts who can help complete Lea’s design vision.

I have no idea how long it will take. I don’t really care, either. Our bedroom looks fine to me the way it is, though I’m sure Lea’s design will be beautiful.

As for me, I have litter boxes to keep me busy when I’m not doing anything else. Four kit-tens produce roughly ten times as much waste products as two kit-tens. Yeah, I didn’t know that either.

I think all of our kit-tens are starting to get used to each other, but it’s hard to tell. One day they appear to be peacefully coexisting. The next day it’s something like unto a feline version of WWE Smackdown. They’re all trying to figure out how they all fit into their new world. You know, kind of like high school.

Except Sammy. He’s the king of the house, and he knows it.

Mika and Sadie seem to be the two kit-tens at the center of the remaining confrontations. Mika was the most vocal in her displeasure with the new kit-tens when they moved in. Now that Sadie has adjusted to this being her new home, it’s payback time.

No one has died yet, but one of Lea’s antique red glass vases became a casualty of war the other day…

I find it hard to believe that our new kit-tens have been here for less than a month, so it still seems feasible to me that after they’ve all been together for six months or so, they will actually all get along.

I’ll keep you posted.

* * * *

Way, way back when I was a kid, there were Three R’s: Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmatic. Way back when I was middle aged, there was a new set of Three R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.

Now that I’m an old guy, there seems to be an even newer set of the Three R’s. They appear to be the platform upon which Donald Trump has based his popularity: Religion, Racism and Ratings.

The Donald didn’t coin these terms, I did. Well, I think I did. They might have been someone else’s ideas and were somehow inserted into my mind. It happens to me all the time.

* * * *

I can’t say that Donald Trump is the most religious President in the history of the United States, though he claims to be a good Christian. He actually seems to be the least religiously grounded man that has ever sat in the Oval Office, but that hasn’t stopped him from using religion as a tool for his own ends.

* * * *

The Donald actually got into a pissing contest with the Pope because of his Great Southern Border Wall. The Pope said something to the effect of …any man who would rather build a wall than a bridge doesn’t seem like much of a Christian. And Donald replied with something to to the effect of Oh yeah? Who asked you? Who do think you are, the fuckin’ Pope?

The Pope kind of apologized, possibly because he thought Trump would invade The Vatican City. And The Donald kind of apologized, saying he thought the Pope was …a great guy.

* * * *

When Citizen Trump was running for President, he brought a Bible to the podium in September of 2015. All he did was show it to his audience to prove he had one. He didn’t read anything out of it. It was merely a prop, displayed with a flourish, then quickly forgotten.

In August of this year, he was asked about his love of the Bible because he said it was his favorite book. When he was asked what his favorite Bible verse was, he refused to answer the question. He said the Bible was too deeply personal for him to talk about, you know, in public.

Let me translate that for you. He doesn’t know even one verse in the Bible. Even atheists know at least one Bible verse!

* * * *

Interviewer: Can you tell me who wrote the Four Gospels?

Donald Trump: I’m not answering that question. You want to know why I’m not answering your question? A sixth grader could answer that question. It’s a no-brainer, so I’m not going to answer that. Ask me a tough question. What? We’re out of time? My people are telling I have to get to my next appointment…  By the way, the answer to your question is John, Paul, George and Ringo!

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I know a lots of Christians. All of them have a favorite Bible verse. Even the ones who suck at being good Christians. Like me. What’s my favorite Bible verse? Romans 12:2. See? That was easy.

Evangelical Christians are The Donald’s biggest middle class supporters. They are very conservative and fundamental in their beliefs. These are the people who see Donald Trump as their last bastion of hope for the world they want. He is the Chosen One that will protect their God-given rights and freedoms. 

Adamant Amendmentalists. That’s the best term I’ve been able to come up with to describe them, and I’m not sure that last word is even a word. But as far as the Constitutional Amendments go, they’re only interested in two. Maybe three.

The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech, and the Second Amendment: the Right to Bear Arms. That’s it. Those are the only two amendments they care about. If you were ask them if they support the Thirteenth Amendment…

Um, I want to take the fifth.

That’s the Fifth Amendment. And that’s as far as this road goes.

Oddly enough, these ardent defenders of some of the amendments don’t seem to understand that all of the amendments apply to all of the people, not just to them. Nor do they seem to be all that interested in listening to anyone who has an opinion that differs even a fraction from theirs. Much like unto their revered leader, their great and unmatched wisdom brooks no criticism.

* * * *

Little Known Fact About the US Constitution: there are twenty seven amendments. The only reason I’m saying this is because 37% of the people polled couldn’t name any of the rights protected by any of the amendments. The first ten amendments are called the Bill of Rights. And the thirteenth amendment? That abolished slavery.

* * * *

Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that he is not a racist, which I find laughable. Almost everyone in my generation was raised to be a racist because our parents were totally racist.

My dad was Archie Bunker. He didn’t like black people. He had no black friends, and none of his children did either. Roughly forty years ago, one of my sisters almost dated a black guy. I think we had to replace part of the roof when my dad found out about it.

I’ve spent a good part of my life trying not to become the kind of man my father was. I can tell you this: the things you learn when you’re young, they take forever to un-learn.

Donald Trump’s dad was probably a member of the Ku Klux Klan, so, no history of racism there…  Maybe The Donald doesn’t see himself as racist because he has never openly called black people niggers. Be that as it may, his politics are based on racist ideals, and the Walmart Intelligensia that supports him is most definitely populated with racists.

To quote myself, These are the people who see Donald Trump as their last bastion of hope for the world they want. And what they want is a world with good old fashioned 1950’s segregation. Of all the embarrassing things that America has become, this is easily the most embarrassing.

We fought one horrific, bloody civil war in the 1800’s to end slavery. One hundred years later we fought an equally horrific, though much less bloody battle to enforce the constitutional and legal rights for African Americans that white Americans already enjoyed.

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The fact that this still even an issue — I have no words for that.

White privilege. That’s what Trump’s supporters expect him to defend. They are better than these goddamn non-white immigrants who are sneaking into the country to steal their jobs, rape their daughters, and get their sons hooked on drugs. They are better because they’re white. That’s their justification.

The America our forefathers envisioned doesn’t exist. It can probably be argued that it never existed. America, apparently for the most part, is bitter. And cruel. And small-minded.

I didn’t move to Mexico because I disagreed with American politics, but I will never reside in the country of my birth again because I now strongly disagree with American politics.

You can quote me on that.

* * * *

Given the fact that The Donald is the least presidential-acting President that the United States of America has ever had, I’m not sure he understands that he’s actually the President. From my point of view, he acts like the star of reality TV show would act if that was the role he had to play.

That’s what he was, is, and forever shall be. A reality TV star who somehow ended up being arguably the most powerful person on the planet. His words and actions only make sense when viewed in the context of man getting advice from his producers to increase the market share for his failing TV show:

Say outrageous things! No, even more outrageous than that! It’ll boost our ratings!! Go over the top with your Twitter account! People love that kind of stuff!! But maybe you should use Spell Check…

For those of you who don’t follow @realDonaldTrump on the Twitter®, he misspells almost everything. Including the word outrageous. And moat. 

Ratings. That’s where it’s at, man. Ratings make the world go ’round. That’s what The Donald is really all about. He’s constantly posting poll results that show how much people love him. That’s why he’s your favorite President.

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Dallas

He’s actually called the himself that in a couple of his tweets.

* * * *

Just in cases you haven’t figured this out already, I am beyond sick of Donald Trump. My most fervent hope right now is that the Democrats aren’t as stupid as the Republicans, and if/when they decide to file Articles of Impeachment, they better not fuck this up.

If Donald Trump is as corrupt as I imagine him to be, the Democrats are the last hope America has. Trump has as much as admitted he did all of the things the Democrats want to investigate. That’s his defense. Yeah, I did it. And you know what? I’d do it again! And after he admitted his crimes, he said he wouldn’t do anything to cooperate with any investigation.

Americans expect greatness from their Presidents. And if they can’t get that, the very least they expect is humility. We have gotten neither from Donald Trump. He has done more, in less time, to tarnish an office that once was the most respected and admired office on the planet.

Time to wrap this Thanksgiving turkey up and get him the hell out of the White House by Christmas. It would be the best present America could ask for, and give everyone with a brain and a heart a renewed hope for the next year.

Here We Go Again

Thirty-one people were murdered in two separate mass shootings in the violent country of my birth this weekend.

Despite these shootings, and all of the others that have preceded them, America doesn’t have a gun problem. Be that as it may, even people who argue this point have to admit that America has a serious problem. To them, it’s everything except guns, but the problem is out there just the same.

I’ve written about this subject before. You could check it out if you don’t have anything better to do. I’m not going to rehash this entire issue. All I can say is I’m terribly saddened by this, and mystified how this can still be an unresolved problem in what was once the greatest country of the modern world.

Interestingly enough, for something that isn’t a problem, a few politicians are catching some serious heat for not doing anything to correct a situation that doesn’t exist.

* * * *

Donald Trump.

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During a rally in May in Panama City Beach, Florida, Trump spoke about the border patrol agents working to stop migrants from crossing the border illegally. When he asked the crowd, “How do you stop these people?” one rally attendee shouted, “Shoot them.” 

Any guesses how The Donald responded to that? He laughed!

On Saturday, one of his supporters drove ten hours from Dallas to El Paso so he could kill as many Hispanics as he possibly could. About twenty minutes before he fired his first shot, he posted a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto online.

His declaration spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It detailed a plan to separate America into territories by race, and also warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners.

Hmm…  Weren’t the first white people in America the original foreigners?

The shooter’s manifesto said politicians of both parties were to blame for the United States “rotting from the inside out,” and that “the heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold.”

His rambling manifesto — they’re always rambling — also railed against automation and embraced an argument familiar in anti-immigrant circles: that immigrants are taking jobs from “natives.”

The shooter wrapped up his declaration by saying, “My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president.”

Translation: I’m an asshat, but it’s not Donald Trump’s fault.

That’s like saying, I’m a drug addict, but drugs have nothing to do with it.

In response to these tragedies, President Trump didn’t travel to El Paso or Dayton to comfort the families, and reassure the nation. He tweeted that the victims must be honored and remembered, so he ordered flags to be lowered to half-mast. Then he went golfing.

Not one word about gun control or reform.

You realize that someone had to suggest lowering the flags to him, don’t you? If comforting the nation doesn’t involve grabbing it by the pussy, he has no clue what he’s supposed to do or say.

This morning, he tweeted that the victims of these shootings must not die in vain. What America needs to do is enact stronger immigration reform.

Yeah, he actually said that.

Neither of the shooters were immigrants. They were both domestic terrorists. Those boys were homegrown Americans. And yet, they’re not the problem. Neither are guns. 

It’s those goddamn criminal immigrants. That’s why we need that wall on the southern border. That will fix everything. Only a fool or a racist could say that and sincerely believe it to be true.

Donald Trump says he’s the least racist person he knows. Given his long and very well-documented history of inflammatory racist commentary, that doesn’t say much about his friends and associates.

A couple of weeks ago he told a group of Democratic congresswomen of color to go back where they came from. Yes, a schoolyard taunt from way back when I was in grade school. And then he said his statement wasn’t racist because, “…many people agree with me.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the people who agree with him are, you know, also racists.

* * * *

Mitch McConnell.

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Grampa Guns ‘n  Rheumatism

Mitch is the senior Republican Senator from Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, and official hand puppet of the NRA. He’s arguably the most powerful politician in the country. Perhaps the nicest thing I can say about Comrade McConnell is he probably isn’t a racist. He appears to hate everyone equally.

If there is one person who can be singled out for the lack of any meaningful gun control legislation, that man is Senator McConnell.

Mitch has essentially placed two bills regarding enhanced gun control in legislative limbo because he sold his soul to the National Rifle Association. He has also tabled any legislation aimed at election reform. Given all the allegations of Russian interference in the last election, this is perhaps his most confusing action.

Then again, maybe it’s not. He’s worth almost $27 million bucks. He didn’t get that rich by being an honest politician.

Where is Joe McCarthy when we really need him?

Rumor has that Senator McConnell fell and broke his shoulder the other day…

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* * * *

The president’s defenders said Trump shouldn’t be blamed for mass shootings, which have been a problem in the US long before he became President. Okay, I’ll concede that point.

On Sunday, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “Finger-pointing, name-calling & screaming with your keyboards is easy, yet it solves not a single problem, saves not a single life.”

Does she read her boss’s tweets? I do. Finger-pointing. Check. Name-calling and screaming. Check and mate. He does them all. I have to admit, whenever I read one of Trump’s tweets, I get a mental image of him sitting on the toilet.

You’re right. It’s not pretty.

On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also defended the president, saying the gunmen in this weekend’s shootings were “crazy people” who “should not be able to get guns,” and adding, “No politician is to blame for that.”

And yet, here we are. And that means every American politician is to blame for that. Every. Fucking. One. Of. Them. For not reforming gun control laws. For not banning any and all assault style weapons. For letting this problem that doesn’t exist become an epidemic that has claimed the lives of hundreds, probably thousands, of innocent people.

Whether by accident or design, the American political system in general, and Donald Trump in specific, have created a monster. And sooner or later, every monster bites the hand that feeds it.