Archive for July, 2016

29
Jul
16

Divided They Fall

divided

The Democratic Convention for 2016 tried it’s best to breath fire into the souls of all avid progressive voters but there is dissension among their troops. Supporters of Bernie Sanders are being chastised by hard line Democrats, making them feel like a kid being scolded by their mother for not playing nice with the other kids. Those who Felt the Bern are being asked to roll over and sign up with those on board the Clinton steam train to victory.

As far as the actual convention went, the Democrat Committees did their best to keep fever in this election; some of that fevered magic they saw when Barack Obama took off on his first Presidential win. They brought the heavy hitters on stage to address the audience; names like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama…we expected no less. The Republicans do the same thing for their pep rally. These conventions are proportionately geared heavier on fanfare than real substance and that, is one area where Democrats and Republicans are alike. Both of them run their conventions like a high school pep rally so everyone can rattle their sabers and feel good about the whole free election thing. So Bernie Sanders supporters, pretty much sold on the reality of him off the ticket, are on board to vote and keep Trump out by voting for Hillary, but they still have some issues. They want to say let’s all back the fuck up a few steps and look at some of these numbers that slid Clinton into the front runner position. There are still speculations about large numbers of electoral votes that were meant for Bernie Sanders, somehow mysteriously not being tallied. To say the lady doesn’t have an assload of scandal following her around is ludicrous. If Hillary Clinton worked with you, she would be the back stabbing, caustic employee that everyone despised. A power hungry career politician who sees the opportunity to go down in history as America’s First female President. She’s been forged in the most hallowed of political halls and withstood a gauntlet of accusations and still, she wades through it all like so much debris, and stares at you with these eyes that say “is that all you got?” This is what Bernie Sanders supporters are supposed to get up and get over for. Bernie’s out, quit whining and get on board the Trump derailment agenda…so will they?

Go back and look at the success of her husband, Bill Clinton, and how the campaign team of lizards that got him in operated. People like James Carville and George Stephanopolous. I use Bill mainly because I feel he is a good solid example of modern day political campaigns that were run successfully. Obama’s campaign was different because he utilized non-traditional means (the internet) to gain support and popularity . Bill Clinton was old school mixed with a dash of young and hip…hip for the times. The Clintons know how to win elections and that is a force to be addressed, as far as wise Republican strategists see it. Democrats are equally as concerned about this uncanny ability for Donald Trump to stay alive in the race. When he first sauntered off that escalator to announce his run, a lot of people felt he’d last a month or so and here we are, months away from November, and he is now the Republican choice for President…and Hillary is the other side of that coin. These are the two candidates this nation must decide on.

One of the big key issues associated with this election is the inevitable need to fill some Supreme Court seats once the next President, whoever that ends up being, gets elected. I feel it’s safe to say, whether Clinton or Trump, the selection process for Supreme Court Justice positions will be a time wasting process we’ll all be privy to watching in the upcoming years. Congress and even politicians not directly associated with the whole procedure, will want to stick their face on the screen to give their take on any potential nominee. Not much has been said recently about military projects, invasions, wars and such but I’m sure we all feel something new is just around the corner. The buckets of ISIS scare the Republicans marched out at their convention will undoubtedly lead to a skirmish on some foreign land, a sad reality. There are still record numbers of shootings, premeditated and accidental, but more seems to be happening on local levels helping those problems. Community organizations are working to keep violence out of there neighborhoods but it’s a slow process. At some point during the upcoming years, the next President will face even more adverse issues surrounding guns and gun ownership.

…but now I feel is the time to give those Sanders supporters a breather because yes, they will come on board to try and stop Donald Trump, but no, they do not feel good about having to side up with Hillary Clinton. I want to wait and see what happens after the dust settles and the whisky stops burning…

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22
Jul
16

Revisiting Trumpenstein pt. fini: Our Destiny?

trumpenstein-5

I walked away from this rally as the last words hitting my ears were the sound of Don encouraging the audience to chant that wall slogan one more time. Jesus fucking Christ, Don, give it a rest! Now it was time to go home and absorb the noise and fugue and wait for the Republican National Convention to kick off in a few days. The convention will consolidate the party and allow Donald J. Trumpenstein to win the GOP crown. He becomes the favored choice for the Republican Party so now, the final heat of this race can officially start. My need to see any more of this monster that day became outweighed by the desire to beat any traffic snafu getting out of the parking lot so Mike and I left quietly, humming from this car wreck of a rally.

Currently, more and more right wing voters have come around to feeling comfortable with Donald. Voting for Trump no longer needs hidden, like some embarrassment too shaming to talk about. I can’t map out the reasons for this; the whole ‘Authoritarian’ Scare take on Trump’s rise seems feasible to me, yet there must be more than mere Islamophobic rhetoric or waving a stern finger at China, blaming them for everything wrong. You can explain how panic is getting votes but recognizing doesn’t make it stop. Those who have been conditioned by all the ‘terror on our nation’ headlines refuse to believe things will get better in this country until we start lobbing the heads off foreign looking people-and that’s a scary fucking attitude for a nation to develop. Xenophobia will dismantle our country quicker than you might imagine and given the state of our market (in comparison to the rest of the world), it seems more people want to blame the ‘other’ guy-the other nation-for America’s problems.

Ah, Trumpenstein, you orange haired bastard. You now tower over all those conquered and in spite all your racist remarks, in spite the mockery and venom you threw out to the masses, you now stand alone as the leading Republican choice. This entire election is impossible for anyone to illustrate with any sense of logic. Who would’ve thought some pompous bully businessman from New York could make it in American politics; Trump’s name is more closely associated (in recent years) with a reality show than policy making or governing a country. Having some tycoon run a country seemed a bit far fetched to most people-yet here we are in 2016, watching as the countdown to November comes closer and Trump is now one inch away from the Oval Office. I suppose a non-pro politician, like Trump, is no crazier than a ‘b’ class actor like Ronald Regan stepping onto the scene to become a dual term President for this nation. The paradox with our society is, we don’t want a career politicians in our House and Senate any longer…yet we can’t afford to rely on having someone step into the game unless they are a career politician. You certainly wouldn’t want a non-union (or inexperienced) plumber coming into your house and rattling around your pipes when they break. You would expect a professional plumber to give you good service though, and a fair price. Our Senators and Representatives dropped the ball and after decades of the same tired shit spilling out their mouths, a large crowds have emerged to support this non-career politician..

The Republican Convention attendees now gathered behind Trump, for the most part, united to his candidacy. The only brave heart at the convention was Ted Cruz, who got up and pretty much washed his hands of the whole scene. Cruz made it known that he would not support Trump and with that, left the scene with a proverbial middle finger in the air. The side show went on, in spite Cruz’s protest and before we knew it, Don came out to accept the nomination as Presidential candidate, side by side with fellow racist/homophobe, Mike Pence. This has shades of 1950’s WASP-white America written all over it and the frightened huddled masses that inched their way behind supporting Trump just let it happen. Not much they could do at this point. They’ve grown too insensitive and no longer care about freedom and justice for all. Is their desire to vote against Hillary Clinton that strong?….apparently it is.

As I watched those closing moments of the convention, I noticed a new twist of strategy. Trumpenstein’s poise was now one of solemn confidence. He dropped the swagger and began to address the group in a more luring manner, referring to the right wing party as “we’, rather than “I”. He wanted to invoke a hive mentality, wanted to make this a collective effort and this may very well be the thing to upset a Hillary Clinton victory. I may not be able to explain the sense of security voters feel with Trump, but I certainly have the ability to see this ploy to secure support from those wanting to get away from Clinton. Drop the “I’ in your speeches and replace it with inferences of ‘we’…this could be a winning strategy, Don. I need to give this thing some time to develop. I want to see how Hillary will counter this jab to the ribs. Let’s all give it some time and watch in horror as our country sinks down the drain….

….Welcome to the Church.

19
Jul
16

Revisiting Trumpenstein pt. 2; Resolute Madness

trumpenstein-4

I don’t know why I panicked so hard about having a pipe and a prescription bottle of weed in my pocket. Trump Security was focused on weapons – foreign metal objects. My pot wasn’t in a metal container and my pipe is made out of soapstone, yet I pulled the pipe out of my pocket and tucked it in my sock, just as this thought ran through my head. I noticed a dozen or so sets of eyes watching me. Not my most sleuth like move. Fuck’em. No one wanted to cause a slowdown at this point and I wasn’t some Jihad-looking young man so I passed by security unscathed. I was tempted to go in the bathroom and light up a bowl now that I made it in, just to stir up some controversy at this shindig because I had a feeling this was going to be about as boring as one could imagine. I should fire up…give Carl something to tell the wife and kids at home tonight.

Mike and I got inside the area where the stage was set. I admired the structure of this building. The whole thing was like a virgin indoor field with some of the best looking/feeling artificial turf I’d ever seen. We milled through the crowd and decided to survey people to get a feel on the crowd’s opinion of Trump; whether they were hard core supporters, mild followers or what. As we walked around, we toyed with the ‘what if’ scenario where Donald the Man, the Monster, gets elected as President of the United States. Could voters become so discouraged and disgusted with American politics that they vote him in, just to see the whole thing burn down? This, to me, would be the true modern day Nihilist approach to our voting system. I’ve heard a lot of people try to bring up the idea (once again) of a third party system but I feel in order to do that, you need to strip everything down to raw metal. You can’t paint over rust. Maybe enough people out there will make a total mockery of Freedom and our ‘successful’ Capitalist society. Hell, I can imagine the undecided quotient, or maybe rabid Bernie Sanders enthusiasts, going off the deep end and saying ‘fuck it all, I’m taking it all apart!’.

I found about a third of the people there were avid supporters of Trump, one third were nervous Republican voters who wanted to see (in person) what their party was getting into by electing Trump, and another third were just watching the dog and pony show. I only saw one sign in the entire audience and there weren’t many colorful costumed people roaming the crowd. There was a mother (? Guardian?) parading seven children around wearing red shirts with the message MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN VOTE FOR TRUMP written on their shirts. I had a brief moment to run over and shake the hand of incumbent Republican Senator Dan Coats but felt no need to throw out any interviewing questions to him. Politicians of his caliber have developed smooth talk to the nth degree and could bounce me off with hardly an effort. Plus, I was here for the Trump monster. Show-face members of the Republican party, like Coats, may be sparkly to look and touch, but most will only give a brief nod of support at Trump. Trump’s an enigma wrapped in a puzzle and it’s easier to stay on the outskirts of standing in line with this man-at least healthier-for a politician. Show up and let voters admire you, then pop out. Plus, Coats had to know that the main event of the evening would be preceded with an introduction by Mike Pence. Pence was where the crowd’s attention would be focused. Pence and Trump; but until it would be officially announced, a few days from now (and we all find out that Pence did indeed, become selected by Trump), no one was really for certain if Pence was the chosen one. Trump could surprise the crowd and have the Big Man, Chris Christie, lumber on stage as his running mate. Some people there were hoping to hear Ben Carson added back into the mix. I now felt sure this recent swing through the Midwest by Trump was a timed response to Sanders dropping out of the main run of the race. To date of this posting, there are still those holding to hope, wanting enough numbers to put Sanders in the lead over everyone, but the odds on that seem greater than winning the lottery.

So Trump ended up going out there and be his typical, narcissistic self, feeding the crowd his standard lines. We heard about the shooting tragedies and how he blames Obama. He spouted off on Hillary Clinton, and he brought up that wall again – even got the crowd chanting along with him.
“-and what are we gonna do people?”
“BUILD….THAT….WALL.”.

This was right out of a movie script; resolute madness to a crowd from this man. The formation of Republican followers into an unstoppable synergy of support for something they don’t even believe in.
We watched on…..for a while…

14
Jul
16

Revisiting Trumpenstein pt. 1

revisiting-1

These are ill and bizarre times we’re living in and not many can see a bright spot on the horizon. Recent shootings of black Americans have been deemed (by majority) as unjustified and outright murder. Our country is at wit’s end; Acts of violence, both by and toward police, hit YouTube and prime time TV news leaving people on both ends of the spectrum screaming for retribution. Bandits in our state and federal offices, on our street corners, going unpunished for acts against the common people and all that led up to to a bunch of innocent African Americans getting killed and some officers getting shot down in Dallas, Texas. Yes these are creepy fucking times…a modern day twenty first century dystopia with no action toward a solution in sight. What a perfect time for me to go see Donald Trump again.

The Trump campaign was rolling through Indiana after a stop in Chicago. At this point in time, new momentum surged into the Clinton campaign as Bernie Sanders gracefully bowed out in a questionable concession to Hillary. With that action by Sanders, Democrats are now supposed to unite behind one candidate – the lady so many Americans love to hate. I kept wondering what Trump’s people would pull out in response to Sander’s action…would Donald announce a running mate? Trump’s short list for v.p. include Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Donald’s daughter (Ivanka), and despised Indiana Governor, Mike Pence. Pence and Trump would certainly make the most heinous combination one could dream up- like Bond villains set loose on the world. Pence’s homophobic attitude gained him national fame for a few seconds as a loathsome human, which would pair up nicely with the racist/sexist comments Trump has been making all along the campaign.

This time, the Donald machine would not be in the capital city where larger groups of lower income voters have access to seeing the legend in person. This stop would be just north of Indianapolis in a burg called Westfield. If you wanted to see and hear Trump this go around you would have to go up north a few miles where the crowds got whiter and the lawns more pristine. The household incomes in Westfield must be well above average because you don’t see grayish street flotsam in the gutters or people with pants hanging down on their ass. It’s a present day Norman Rockwell painting with undertones of punishing attitudes toward those different than themselves. I needed to survey the look and feel of Trump supporters in a more concentrated rural setting. Trump’s first 2016 visit to Indy exposed him to the heart of urban/metro Indianapolis. Up in this richer, more Mayberry RFD neighborhood, he should be getting a pure strain of Republican/conservative voters. None of the protesting lot here. No strong black American protest demanding restitution for all the recent black deaths, no callout from Latinos against the racial slurs Trump hit them with along the campaign…this thing could turn out to be as white as a Klan rally.

Again this time, my brother would be with me for the event. He is the perfect antagonist in a situation where crowds gather for a cause. He’s like the subconscious actions of that fabled Trickster of American Indian lore, the Coyote. When people get too smug and assured that they have all the answers, you need someone with enough balls to go in there and remind them that they don’t. This is what the Coyote does. This is what Mike can bring to the game-and he didn’t disappoint me.

The crowd was one continuous line of white people. We had to do something to pass the time while we waited to enter. A quick scan showed the only black faces at the event were ten vendors selling iconic political t-shirts and other paraphernalia. I asked one of the vendors how he felt being in a sea of white folks and he just smiled and told me he got used to it following the campaign trail. Mike and I started a conversation with two ladies while standing in line, waiting for our turn through the entrance. The conversation started pleasant enough, asking them if they felt Trump would announce a v.p. running mate and if so, who would they like that to be. The shorter of the two ladies beamed up right away and said she wanted to see Newt Gingrich get the bid. Mike immediately told her he didn’t like Gingrich at all and asked her what it was about the man she liked. She told us she liked Newt because he’s smart. Gingrich is the guy who wanted to put a base on the moon as one of his priorities when he ran for President. Gingrich is the guy who got caught cheating on his wife when she was in the hospital with cancer. Yeah, if you want to believe Gingrich is smart….

We all kept civil about our disagreements and soon, we were at the front of the line; the security checkpoint everyone had to go through. Metal detectors and empty your pockets…standard procedure for these events. It was at that point I remembered I had a pipe and a prescription bottle full of weed on me…in Whitey Whitey Whiteville.

01
Jul
16

Tech Monster Society; Another Tale From the Bus

tech-monster

That mythical character they call ‘the Trickster’ seems to live within the frightening world we’ve created on the internet. People online scour news feeds around the clock, being shoveled horror stories at a pace too rapid or safe for humans. Websites fight for your attention and lure you to click on that daring banner telling you “the rest of this image will shock you!”…which it rarely does, but too late. They got your click.

Headlines meet our screens in an endless stream of tragedy and shame. People in towns you never knew existed are suddenly main topic discussions on social media and network television is not too proud to play follow-up from viral stories off the web. Many become apathetic knowing the upcoming election holds little hope for a good and honest attempt to fix America…because the internet and television tell us so. Newest craze on the political fanfare has Hillary Clinton luring voters with leaked stories on a potential vice presidential choice. Names are thrown around, from the believable, (Sen. Mass. Elizabeth Warren) to the plausible, (Sen. Minn. Al Franken) to the absurd (Gov. Mo. Jay Nixon or frmr. President Bill Clinton). On the Republican side, stories leak out on Trump possibly cozying up to Chris “The Big Man” Christie, as a V.P. running mate. Mitt Romney, that bland filet-o-fish, dusted the cobwebs from his face and announced his family believes he should up (this late in the game) and go to bat as a Republican option. I’m not even sure the election committees of our country would allow that. Someone would drum up a law of precedence against it and Mitt would only cause more of a cluster-fuck for people to wade through while figuring out who to pull the lever for in November. Stories continue to pepper the internet showing Bernie Sanders not giving up and while this gives Sanders supporters a fresh breath of hope, it leaves them wondering if he could actually pull off a win. There is a lot of tainted media out there telling us he can’t win, he can win….this is the trouble we’ve created online. So many fear what the Democrats or the Republicans will do to shred their world apart but they don’t want to stop and say we the people are the ones doing the shredding. They post stories about ‘potential’ spots terrorism could happen in our country-stirring up the fright, getting you to click through to the next page in an attempt to make yourself informed, passing it along to friends online. The madness continues to pump out each day and I wondered where the humanity was in all this tech transfer and communication between us….but there is nothing human online, so there is very little humanity. I did, however, experience humanity today on the bus, with real humans.

In the past I have given hell to the local transit system in Indy and they deserve it to some degree, but not because of the folks on board or the drivers. The operation needs to be managed better and things could work out. The riders and drivers are actually what make you smile and put faith back in humanity. This week IndyGo bus is celebrating the opening of their new downtown central station by giving free rides until the fourth of July for anyone wanting to hop on board. That alone is a great gesture but it didn’t stop there. This morning the bus driver made it a point to stop when he saw a passenger hoofing it down the street and asked them if they wanted to climb on for a free ride. He didn’t have to do that-he could have drove right by, but didn’t…he acted humane. This generous attitude left everyone on board with good feelings and soon, riders and driver started joking and sharing secrets about how they cook ribs. Swapping recipes and shooting the shit and feeling good about things for a while. It made everyone there smile. This wasn’t like the fleeting smile you get watching a video of cute puppies online. This was a lasting smile that makes you feel good inside and wanting to do better for the world; makes you want to pass this feeling on to others.

Let’s all stop posting so many negative thoughts and shock stories and start reconnecting with one another. Let’s balance out our contact with humans because this online world so many of us hover in will drive us all to depression faster than anything and then some people out there lose hope and feel nothing but despair and then one day, maybe they find the gun and head for some place crowded. Plausible? Check the headlines. People are shooting folks up left and right.

..but not you or me…we have the Church

 

 




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