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Thoughts on Events the Week of January 8

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 19, 2018

The President of the United States: is a racist bigot. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. The “Shithole countries” slur is only further evidence, as if any were needed.

Many, perhaps most, of Trump’s base thinks like Trump does. We may infer this, because Republican lawmakers are silent as the grave about Trump’s racist, xenophobic outburst. Not one has called him out. Two Republican Senators in the room at the time deny it was ever said, which requires lying through their teeth. Republican politicians know Trump’s voters, and they are terrified of standing up to Trump for fear of offending Trump’s base.

(Note: a very good friend and fellow blogger, The Wizard, writes that racism had little to do with motivating Trump’s base, but the evidence is piling up against this position.)

Trump got one thing right, at least partially. Some of the countries to which he alluded are unfortunate states, indeed. Some we might call “failed states.” They are ravaged by drought, storms, corruption and other misfortunes and failures. Presumably, that’s the reason people want to leave them.

But Trump wasn’t talking about the countries, was he? No, he was talking about the human beings who live in them and want to leave them for a chance at a better life.

Perhaps I am the greater fool here. I have read the documents, both official and spiritual, which are the cornerstones of our country’s laws. They espouse freedom and liberty and equality, and condemn discrimination, and I have believed in them. I have studied the history and economics of immigration and concluded to my own satisfaction that our country is a net beneficiary of in-migration to a very great degree. Immigration is, in large measure, what makes us great.

I am ashamed that our president speaks for our country. I am embarrassed that he speaks to and for so many of us. But he does not speak for me.

North and South Korea: While Trump was insulting one and criticizing the other, the two Koreas got together to discuss the upcoming Winter Olympics. North Korea committed to attending the games, and the two countries will march in together during the opening ceremony. I predict they will get a loud, welcoming reception.

More important, the Koreas agreed that after the Olympics they might get together to discuss more parochial political issues. Update: North Korea announced that it will send a “performance group” to the games, presumably to sing and/or dance during the festivities.

I wish each Korea’s team good luck. I dislike seeing the Olympics used as a political tool. It is counterproductive and unfair to the athletes. Ask Jimmy Carter. The Olympics is an opportunity to rise above politics and express our global good will and citizenship.

This is another example, a significant one, of the consequences of Trump’s America First policy. The world seems to have decided that during Trump’s presidency, America is as useless as tits a boar hog and are moving on without us, more in sadness and disappointment than anger, but with animus toward our president.

In this specific instance, the two countries moving on together without us are one of our greatest adversaries and one of our closest allies. This should give thinking people pause. We may discover one day that humanity’s parade has passed us and we are standing on the curb alone, waving a tattered and forgotten flag.

Humans in Hawai’i: In a related story, residents and tourists in the Aloha State got a warning that a nuclear missile had been launched at them from North Korea. Turned out to be a false alarm, but not before causing a considerable amount of angst, not to mentions pants peeing. It was human error.

As long as human beings are involved, there will be human error at some point. It’s impractical to remove all the humans humanely, which is another excellent reason to remove the missiles.

The President and the Hooker: I’m skeptical about the story that Trump paid a woman $130,000 to keep her quiet about their tryst. I’m not skeptical about the hooker, just the money. Trump is famous for skipping out on his debts. (I wonder what Melania thinks about all this. BTW, my spell checker still doesn’t recognize “Melania” as a word. What’s up with that?)

Football: Though my Dallas Cowboys are no longer in the hunt (participation is reserved for the better teams), the NFL playoffs are well worth watching. The format narrows the field progressively to the best teams, and unlike the regular season, each game is always “win or go home.” The teams all play with serious purpose, and it produces some excellent games, not to mention some really good commercials and perhaps a (brief but unmistakable) look at Janet Jackson’s bare tit at the end.

(Did I just use the word “tit” twice in the same blog?)

Status of the States: Another friend writes that Iowa should be added to the worst states, because Iowa’s Republican Senator Chuck Grassley teamed with Lindsay Graham to ask the DOJ to investigate the author of the infamous “dossier,” which won SC the cup last week. Below is my response to why this can’t be:

“I didn’t include Senator Grassley – who, I agree with you is a sorry excuse for a politician – he was on the judiciary committee that smeared Anita Hill for Clarence Thomas, after all – because Iowa doesn’t qualify as a “Worst State.” Iowa is far from a good state, but it does take its responsibility in presidential primary elections seriously, even though it is not demographically qualified.

The worst states are limited to the bottom 10% (ish): Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. On rare occasions, one worst state is replaced by a newly worse one. Mississippi was eliminated and replaced by Alabama. I ponder on occasion replacing South Carolina with its northern namesake.”

 

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  1. George Brose said, on January 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Stephen, This is coming from a U.S. citizen living in a mooseshit country north of the US border. In your current post you have referred the countries where our current president does not want people to immigrate from as “failed states. They are ravaged by drought, storms, corruption and other misfortunes….” Does not the US meet that description? We have been ravaged by storms this year in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico and now the Eastern seabord to the tune of billions of dollars, we have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of children going to bed every night malnourished and hungry, we have corruption in our governments at the city, state and national level, and the few are taking advantage of the many. We have more people in prison than almost any nation in the world. In our recent history we have invaded nations on false assumptions that they have attacked us We’ve recruited young men and women to do our bidding in those invaded countries and sent wet behind the ears christian civil servants there to teach them to be like us. We’ve taught and encouraged those young men an women to torture their perceived enemies and incarcerate them without trial.

    Our government agencies may have conspired to make opiate drugs readily and cheaply available not just for those with chronic pain but also to keep the rest of us from thinking about what is going on in this world. They’ve tried to eliminate the first broad based health care system this country has ever had. Our public schools have been gutted and tax money has been directed into the hands of a few who tried to create charter schools and faith based schools to replace public schools.

    Unfortunately when we cast desparaging remarks about those shithole countries we are only seeing our own reflection. Maybe a little darker reflection, but if we only consider the human condition, it is the same.

    I wonder sometimes if the US ever really had high ideals or was it always just a smoke screen to delude our citizens.

    • EloiSVM42 said, on January 22, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you for your comments, George. I hope nothing I have ever written gave you the idea I think America is a shining city on a hill. I stopped thinking that about the time I stopped believing in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, certainly before Ronald Reagan ever said it. Like you, I came of age in the 60s. We know better.
      Sovereign states are but two rungs up the ladder of civilization from tribes. Even the best have some jagged history. There are no perfect “As.” States must be graded on the curve. Finland and Denmark – As; Somalia and Haiti – Fs. I give us an A- overall. Though we are having a very bad semester at present, I don’t see us going the way of the Romans any time soon.
      Among our good points are energy, imagination and, oddly, relative inclusiveness. Bad points are racism, of course, distain for education and punitive Puritan mean- spiritedness.
      The very best things about us, in my view, and what gives us an A grade, are that I can write about how shitty our government is or say Fuck Jesus if I want to, and not be thrown into jail for it. I’ll live forever grateful for these precious rights.
      That said, I don’t see in my lifetime, our reaching any of the goals I would like to see us attain. In fact, I have come to accept, though not understand, that today I am on the far leftward radical fringe, and that the majority of Americans just don’t want us to be where I want us to. This being a democracy, I’m SOL.
      On the bright side, history suggests that our growing inequality will spark a revolution soon. So, cheer up. There’s something to look forward to.


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