Friday, July 22, 2016
For those of us who despise Donald J. Trump, we think his acceptance speech was terrific. He did nothing to widen his appeal and reinforced the many negatives that swirl around him.
He spent well over an hour huffing and puffing in a bombastic harangue that served up red meat hot button issues for the converted and was nothing more than a tired litany of talking points for others:
Immigration – Law and Order – Bad Hillary – Trade – More Law and Order – More Bad Hillary – America First – We are Losing – More Immigration – Kill the Bad Guys – More Bad Hillary – More Law and Order, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
Fortunately, his egomaniacal self couldn’t bring itself to express even a modicum of humility. Go Donald!
Fortunately, his slogans weren’t backed up with substantive solutions. Go Donald!
Fortunately, his fear mongering and dystopian view of today’s America weren’t leavened with a positive vision for the future. Go Donald!
Fortunately, he did nothing to improve his likeability numbers Go Donald!
Friday, July 15, 2016
Given the state of this country and the world it’s hard to know how to be. Possibilities include:
Cynical: As I grow older I find this is an easy default position. “Things are going to hell in a hand basket,” (how old is that saying?) or “Forget it, nothing is going to change,” or “It’ll probably get worse before it gets better,” etc.
Pessimistic: This is the glass is half empty position. “I’d like to have a positive outlook, but, really, can’t you see that the water is going in the wrong direction?”
Hopeful: “I know things don’t look good, but it has been worse than this and we came through OK.”
Not interested: “I’m not paying attention anymore. The media can’t be trusted. The politicians can’t be trusted. Businessmen can’t be trusted. Why bother to try and sort out the lies?”
A Pollyanna: “Don’t worry. If you have a positive outlook things will get better.”
I confess that I often bounce around between cynical and pessimistic. In recent times, however, I find myself just plain resigned.
Resigned: It will all turn out the way it’s going to turn out. I can’t change it. What’s the worst that can happen? Trump is elected? The world won’t come to an end. The terrorists blow up more and more people? The world won’t come to an end. Government dysfunction continues? The world won’t come to an end. We do nothing about climate change? Oops! In that case the world may indeed come to an end – or at least the part that’s alive.
Friday, July 08, 2016
A Waste of Time!
It’s a waste of time to use statistics to prove that blacks are more likely to suffer violence at the hands of the police than others. A no brainer.
It’s a waste of time to wait for the Wall Street Journal to provide evenhanded political coverage. Or, on the other side, Salon.
It’s a waste of time to expect Bill O’Reilly to be other than an egotistical blowhard.
It’s a waste of time to expect that getting your license renewed at the DMV will be a pleasant experience.
It’s a waste of time to think your airline miles will get you a free business class seat to Europe.
It’s a waste of time to expect a Giants fan to give the Dodgers a break. And vice versa. Same for Red Sox/Yankees fans. Go Giants!
It’s a waste of time to try and curtail the flow of drugs into the U.S. so long as we are the world’s #1 marketplace.
It’s a waste of time to predict we can control the machines we’ve created that can outthink us. Artificial intelligence rules.
Likewise, it’s a waste of time to think that gene manipulation can be controlled. Natural evolution will continue, but at a slower pace than its rivals.
Have a nice day!
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
No Place to Hide!
In the not so long ago days of yore we thought we could avoid trouble or catastrophe by avoiding certain places or situations. Don’t stray into a war zone. Stay away from mobs. Get inoculated. Don’t drink the water. Make sure the door is locked.
All that doesn’t work any more. If we move around, can we avoid airports or subways or movie theaters? If we live normal lives, can we avoid schools or malls or sporting events? Not a chance. There’s no place to hide.
Fatalism may be the best antidote. Hey, since I can get killed or maimed or otherwise harmed at any time in any place, I might as well just go on with my life and not worry about it. I can’t do anything about it. Whatever will be will be. Que sera, sera.
It’s either that or crawl into a cocoon, assume a fetal position and hope that nothing bad happens. Then, of course, there might be an earthquake. Oh, well . . .
Have a great day!
Friday, June 24, 2016
A bad move for Britain and Europe. An unnecessary political risk by David Cameron has come back to bite him in the ass, so it’s appropriate that he lose his job. The trouble is that his arrogance and stupidity carries with it a lot of collateral damage.
England’s love/hate relationship with the continent goes back to Roman times, so its no surprise that dissatisfied Brits want to take out their frustrations on their long-term scapegoat. The trouble is, is won’t help. In that sense it is the same phenomenon as angry Americans opting for Trump as an antidote to a dysfunctional government. Won’t fix the problem.
In the short term this vote will result in some chaos and disruption. Later, one can hope, self-interest and common sense will lead to ways in which life will go on – until the next stupid move unleashes a new cycle of foolishness. It’s hard not to be cynical about people learning from the past and not repeating it.
And so it goes . . .