Saturday, February 13, 2021

Changed My Mind!

A few days ago I wrote that the impeachment trial was a waste of time - because the Senators had already made up their minds.  Trump will be acquitted, I said, so what's the point.

Today he was acquitted, so on that I was right.  However, for at least the part of the American public that was paying any attention to this trial as it unfolded, the powerful weight of the evidence put forth by the House Managers was a worthwhile exercise.  So in that sense the trial was not a waste of time.

It is nice to see the Republicans go to war with themselves.  Will a viable center-right party survive or will the extreme right take over?  I'll watch with amusement as this next chapter unfolds. 

Monday, February 08, 2021

A Waste of Time!

I agree.  Trump should be held responsible for his behavior.  So you can make an argument that he should be impeached.  I get it.  I'm with you.  But, this upcoming impeachment trial is a waste of time.

A lot of attention is being paid to what the House lawyers are going to do at the trial.  And what Trump's defense team is going to do.  This would all be worth it if the jurors hadn't already made up their mind - on both sides.  

The trial arguments won't change any minds.  No matter how persuasive.  So in that regard its a farce, a waste of time.  He will not be convicted.  So he'll claim victory.  Like the last time.

And so what?  Like I say, a waste of time!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Only in San Francisco!

I don't mind the snide remarks that non-San Franciscans make about my fair city.  I love it here and wouldn't want to live anywhere else.  Sometimes, however, we deserve the scorn.  And so it is in the latest chapter of the Naming the Schools saga.

For months the School Board has been trying to decide whether schools named for people who did bad things in the past should be renamed to be politically correct.  So if you owned slaves or discriminated against Indians or oppressed some people, your name should not grace our schools and tarnish the minds of our innocent students.

On the surface, a worthy cause, yes?  But in the hands of a bunch of progressive crazies the good idea is an excuse for craziness.  My old friend Bill Coffin once said, "Don't be so broad minded your brains are falling out."  And so it is here.

The School Board met for seven hours the other day and voted to rename 44 schools.  Now banished are Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and many more.  For sure, some names are inappropriate and should be removed.  But in many cases the decisions are, well, nuts.  San Francisco nuts.

They argued for seven hours!  What should have they been talking about?  How about discussing what its going to take to open up the schools that are closed because of Covid?  Or upgrading the infrastructure of schools that are falling apart?  Or improving the quality of teachers?  And so on . . .

So for those of you who don't like San Francisco, go for it.  This time we deserve it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A Farce!

Farce is defined as "an absurd event."  So the upcoming impeachment trial fits the definition.

Its not a farce because it shouldn't happen.  Its not a farce because it isn't called for.  Its not a farce because it doesn't measure up to what is impeachable.

Its a farce because what is going to happen is predictable.  Its supposed to be a fair trial.  It won't be.  It is supposed to be an example of our democracy being true to itself.  It won't be.  It is supposed to be an opportunity for facts to be presented and judged on their merit.  It won't be.

There is no way that 17 Republicans will join with the Democrats to convict Trump.  Not because they think he is innocent.  No.  Because they are afraid any other path will alienate people they need to get reelected.  They are wrong, but it doesn't matter.  Fear is their guiding principle.  Fear.  No guts, no spine, no integrity, no adherence to the oath they took to protect the country.  Fear.

So they will vote to acquit.  And their master will bellow "Victory."

Maybe, just maybe, enough people will see through the scam to have them pay for their perfidy.  But I'm, not counting on it.  It will take something more than that to get them - us - back on track.  I have hope but no confidence.

Maybe . . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Celebrate!

"I, Joseph Robinette Biden, do solemnly swear."  With those words the sun comes out from behind the clouds and I smile.  Finally.  The day that sometimes seemed would never come.  Finally.  Celebrate!

I know that miracles won't happen overnight.  I know that this divided country won't magically heal.  I know that.  And I know that my default position in recent years - cynicism and anger at never ending bad news - will not instantly be disabled.

But let's not let the good news go unacknowledged.  The good guys got the White House.  The good guys got the Senate.  The good guys kept the House.  The evil one got impeached again.  There is reason to cheer.  There is reason to Celebrate!

And after the Celebration, then what?  Is it possible that America can again be a place that makes me proud?  Maybe.  I'd like to say "of course it can" but I'm not there yet.  While it doesn't look like a sure thing, I am willing to say "it's possible."  I'd call that a step forward.

So, onward . . .

Thursday, January 14, 2021

On Edge!

The mood is nervous.  Wherever we look, people are on edge.

Will there be violence leading up to the Inauguration?

Will there be violence on Jan. 20?

What will happen after the Inauguration?

Washington is like an armed camp.  Troops and their gear sprawled everywhere.  First we heard they would be bringing in 10,000 national guard soldiers.  Then they said it would be 20,000.  Now I hear  there may be 30,000.  And warnings to all 50 states that they should prepare for trouble.

Will there be armed conflict as we move forward?  After the events of Jan. 6 it would be foolish to bet against it.  Domestic terrorism has always been with us.  But what is different now is that it has come out of the shadows and is flexing its muscles.

Those who are alienated enough to want to tear this country apart do not need a Trump to spur them on.  They are all in and ready to fight, to die and kill, in the name of their cause.  They are not a short-term threat.  They will be with us for a very long time.  Any other conclusion is just wishful thinking.

This is the final nail in the coffin of American exceptionalism.  What is happening here has happened elsewhere.  In that respect we are not unique.  But it isn't a lost cause.  If there is to be a war to preserve what we tell ourselves America stands for, we can beat back the enemy.  But it has to start with telling the truth to ourselves:

About systemic racism.

About economic inequality.

About the lack of equal opportunity for those who are born poor.

About housing and education and health and wages . . . and more.

In the meantime, good luck to us all!

 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Humpty Dumpty Time!

Its Humpty Dumpty time.  Its broken in too many pieces.  We can't put it together again.  Rummaging around in the past for guidance about how to create a better future is a thankless task that won't work. 

What am I talking about?  I'm talking about the events of the past week and the countless opinions by the pundits about what to do now.  Are the Democrats moving too fast or too slow?  If he doesn't resign, impeach.  If we impeach will that alienate too many people?  If we don't impeach are we making it OK for similar behavior in the future?  Will taking strong action get in the way of Biden's agenda?  Etc., etc.

The country is deeply divided and it will stay deeply divided for a long time.  Nothing that Democrats, independents or Republicans do will win over the Trump lovers.  Not now, not ever.  A new era is in place and has been for some time.  The puss-filled sore that got lanced this week isn't new.  Its just that now no one can hide from it as it continues to fester and ooze evil.

So Republicans, don't try to put your Humpty Dumpty party together again.  Those 30% or 40% of you who have opted for fascism are gone.  Let 'em go.  Put together a viable conservative or right-center party that has ideals consistent with American democracy and be a loyal opposition.  That would be a good thing - for you and for the rest of us.

And Democrats?  Don't worry about the fallout from strong action.  As the bard said:

This above all: to thine own self be true

And it must follow, as the night the day

Thou canst not then be false to any man