Author Archives: The Head Seminarian
Yesterday, the noose around Donald Trumps’ organization got a little tighter. I doubt that this will be cause for pause from Republicans continuing to genuflect to Donald Trump.
It baffles the minds of the political observers- why would they do that, given that Trump is a proven loser?
The answer is rather simple. It’s math. They don’t have a chance to win without his sycophantic, wild-eyed supporters. Those people will absolutely not show up for Republicans if Donald is repudiated in any significant way.
Many are sounding the klaxon that Republicans can still win in their current configuration. They cite all of the restrictive voting measures passed by a number of Republican controlled states. Personally, I’m panicking a little that the Biden administration is going to founder and lose its goodwill among voters once the memory of their stimulus check fades and the masks have come off. Because it sure looks like nothing will get passed by the divided Senate without the elimination of the filibuster. What’s to be done? Nothing, I guess, for the time being. I try not to panic too much, because the Republicans are planning to field some of the most charmless fucks ever to seek office in 2024. I’m talking about lilywhite jokers like Ron DeSantis, Tommy Cotton, and Rick Scott. But 2022 is important too. As we all know, the voters tend to turn against whoever occupies the Oval Office in the midterms. The best defense against this is a highly successful administration and I do worry we won’t rack up enough Ws to work against the historical tides. Voters have a short memory and are forever asking, “But what have you done for me lately?”
It’s all cause for concern. The possible future we face if the pendulum swings too hard is a Republican controlled government who will not hesitate to eliminate the filibuster themselves. Then again, actual philosophical conservatives might balk and it’s back to the norm of gridlock. After all, their goal is to strangle and stymie government regardless of whether it does good things or not.
But they will never get anywhere fast if they don’t bring the MAGA billy boys to the dance. It’s probably half of their support. And should Republicans forsake them and their clown prince of a leader, they lose.
Once again, conservatives have turned a innocuous word into some sort of slur. It’s quite the trick how they manipulate language.
They did this with “liberal” and “antifa”. Nowadays, it’s “woke”. This is woke. That’s woke. Woke all the live long day. It’s making me crazy.
How does one become woke? What does it mean, what does it represent?
They’ve been saying it so much that I don’t think they even know what they mean anymore. Being woke, as I understand it, is being sensitive to the trials of other people. It’s really nothing more than walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and trying to do something to lessen the impact upon them.
You are merely culturally aware. That’s all that woke is. What the hell is so bad about that? I dunno, you should ask one of these fucking chuckleheads. The answer may amuse you.
It may be too late for the term woke. Now that conservatives have adopted it as a pejorative, they’ve stripped the meaning out of the word and we all have to listen to them go on and on about it as if it is something to be feared.
I mean, call me fucking woke any day. That’s a compliment. My biggest problem may be that I’m not woke enough.
Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting. I don’t know what’s happening to me. Day after day, I succumb to the silent scroll of Twitter without finding one damn thing that I can stretch my legs on.
Oh sure, Tucker Carlson has gone from inert asshole to dangerous asshole, telling viewers of his show to call CPS on people who mask their children outside. He’s also developed some weird, inappropriate high pitched cackle when he thinks he’s said something clever or trenchant. You know, I never really expected him to be this big of an asshole. But he’s going places that Bill O’ Reilly, the demagogue he replaced, would surely have feared to tread.
What have I got for you otherwise? I’m blanking.
Maybe I’m just lazy. Or maybe I’m missing out on the best of the internet by allowing social media to determine what I see and learn. Could be both.
Things are stable, if a little stale. Bipolar is under control, anxiety has been quelled. I suddenly lost my only friend outside this house, one hell of a battle buddy. It is unknown why he left us just yet. I hope that his demons did not cause him to die by his own hand. He was deployed one too many times, and I do know that and he was struggling trying to find help for his PTSD. I will miss his constant contact-we’d bond regularly over weed and Coltrane. It will be weird to not ask him how he’s holding up. Clearly he kept that information from me. He was supposed to give me BBQ tips too. I’ll probably always think of him when I see the smoker I’m going to buy. There’s actually been a bit more death real close-the wife lost her stepdad too. It’s not been the greatest two weeks.
Other than that, the family is in good shape. My oldest graduates high school next month, and I’ll be putting another kid in a driver’s seat come summertime. The wife and I are on a quest to drop some weight. Now that we are vaccinated, we feel OK about returning to the gym.
Musically, I’m currently sampling some Buzzcocks (Operator’s Manual), Smiths (Hatful Of Hollow), and John Cale (Vintage Violence). They’re all ok, nothing mindblowing on the first spin, but none of them made me end the album in medias res. I already knew what the Buzzcocks were capable of so that was like returning to an old friend. Hoping the Cale will show its flavor on the second go-round. The Smiths, I have never been really into and I’m not sure this collection, though important for “How Soon Is Now?”, is going to change my mind.
Have to pick up the damn guitar again. I found a new, easier way to play the main riff of The Stooges’ “Search And Destroy” by watching James Williamson run through it on YouTube so I gotta keep working on all the parts of that legendary tune.
There. Five hundred words of who cares. See you around, or not.
But pick up the pace, Biden administration.
I don’t want to sound like the kind of person that needs to have things the way I want them all the time, but it’s time to see the president’s next trick.
During the rosy period that came about near the passage of the ARP, there wasn’t an ounce of oxygen for conservatives. They spent their time grousing about the sex of Mr. Potato Head and “cancel culture”, whatever that means. Now that we have gotten our checks and people are lining up in droves to get newly available vaccine, we’ve been able to enjoy the fruits of our 2020 victory. But we cannot rest on our laurels.
The next signature achievement should be teed up right now. I know the administration is still building and slowly accessing its power, but there needs to be a parallel effort to show the American people that it’s smart to have Democrats in charge. That it’s smart again to have a government that works.
This lag in the administration’s performance may not be purposeful, as the legislative body must do its job if anything is to get done. It’s entirely possible that we are simply waiting for more Democrats to come around to the idea of either eliminating the filibuster or drastically reforming it. It doesn’t matter anymore if the minority party has the power to spike legislation while barely lifting a finger. We have a badly broken country, and there’s really no time to allow the opposition to do nothing but obstruct progress. You can bet your bottom dollar that we will weaken at the polls in 2022 if we don’t keep the good times going.
Conservatives, Republicans and Donald Trump have already gotten people’s attention turned to the border, where unaccompanied minors are now being allowed to cross without immediate repatriation. Now maybe we don’t have the infrastructure to administer an endeavor like this; but what should should be a relatively uncontroversial policy change has morphed into a crisis that threatens to destroy the country if we don’t stop it. Any goings-on at the border seem to get the nation’s racist amygdala to begin furiously pumping panic into the body politic. Sadly, it’s an effective wedge issue. Here’s a decent read on the “crisis”. In point of fact, it’s not even a new issue-scads of unaccompanied minors began arriving beginning in 2019 when fucko was president.
We’ve got to fight fire with fire; the wheel must continue to turn. If we don’t have something good cooked up time and time again, the opposition will inject their narrative and the press will happily chase theirs over ours if we fail to hold their attention.
UPDATE: Looks like next on deck is infrastructure! Figuring out who pays and how much is currently being debated.
We now return you to our somewhat irregular, yet popular installments of “Tucker Carlson Is An Asshole”. There’s a LOT of searching for that phrase, much more than you might imagine.
Today, we’ll dunk on him for disparaging women (and trans servicemembers as well) in uniform. Tucker said something so beyond the pale the Army chief of staff and the Pentagon had to respond to his chickenfeed.
“So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits. Pregnant women are gonna fight our wars,” said Mr Carlson, seemingly making fun of servicewomen. “It’s a mockery of the US military”.
The Fox News anchor, once infamously rejected by the CIA before starting a media career, went on to compare the US military with that of China, who he complained was becoming “more masculine”.
“While China’s military becomes more masculine, as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military needs to become more feminine, whatever feminine means anymore,” said Mr Carlson, who went on to make transphobic comments.
If anyone shouldn’t be making bullshit macho statements, it’s Tucker fucking Carlson. Take a look at that guy. If the word “soft” had a picture next to it in the dictionary, Tucker’s face would be there. He’d wash out of basic in the first two weeks, while the females in his platoon ran the gauntlet successfully. He is decidedly not the authority on what makes a military functional or lethal.
No one is sending pregnant women to the front lines, you insufferable prig. The military accommodates women who become pregnant and they serve in other important roles during their pregnancy. I don’t understand what the deal is with these people who can’t handle the military being sexually inclusive. Dozens of countries have an integrated military and it doesn’t suffer one whit as a result.
To that end, I’ve got news for Tucker.
This isn’t the first time we have heard this from a Republican, but it’s testament to the profound degree to how out of touch these frilly clowns are with regular people:
During an appearance on Fox News, host Martha McCallum posed the question to McConnell.
“Do you think the checks that are going out — you know, there’s some unemployment benefits, additional benefits that would run out in March — do you believe that these checks prevents some people from wanting to work?” McCallum asked.
“Well, there is a concern,” McConnell replied, “about making it more advantageous to stay home rather than going back to work.”
None, I repeat none of us are going to kick up our heels and give up our jobs or give up looking because of a very, very minor windfall. That money that’s coming can’t even sustain an ordinary household for two months. And the unemployment benefit pays for a week of groceries for a family of four. Furthermore, most folks are going to find plenty of uses for that money for things they are putting off, like bills and repairs. There is no upside to staying out of work. Ever. All working stiffs know this.
Why don’t they know? Is it that fat salary with the perks getting in the way?
I am, for all intents and purposes, finished working. The VA retired me in 2016 at the tender age of 45.
Now a lot of you out there might think that sounds awesome and think it is the goal that everyone is working towards. But being retired is not something you should be if you can’t structure your time properly. It can be as cruel a hell as working at a job you can’t stand. Filling up a day with activity can be very hard, it turns out. You can avoid forward motion quite easily.
I’m in a rut right now. I got into a fender bender a few weeks ago and it shook me up a little. I’m doing more “hiding”, something I have done before. When I was deployed to Korea in 2005, the stress of that tour made me into a pathetic recluse and I would keep the lights off so no one would know I was in my room. I would turn up the heat so high you could probably feel it wafting from under the door. I don’t know what I was really doing, maybe recreating the feeling of the womb or something. Now the urge to hide is back again. I can’t get out of bed in the morning and when everyone has left to do their day at school or work, I beeline for the couch and hunker under a blanket and nap for three hours or more. I got off Clozapine so I could wake up so this behavior is unacceptable bullshit. There’s a difference now- I can get up easily, I just won’t. Back in the Clozapine days there was no won’t…just can’t. So basically I have no excuses for what I am doing.
I have plenty of things I can do but I can’t seem to motivate myself. I’m writing this, so it augurs something positive. You may have noticed the posts are few and far between, occasional reader. I damn near quit writing a few weeks ago. It may take some time to tell stories and share news again, but I’ll get back there and damn it all to hell if I don’t. I’m gonna pick up the freaking guitar and work on my scales until my fingers just know where to go without me thinking about it. I have a house to keep up too.
Dying takes on many forms and indeed, people die more than one death in a figurative sense. We are often changed forever by the things that happen to us or the things we do or don’t do. Sometimes you die a little from that, but the same mechanism allows us to be reborn anew. And that’s what I’m banking on.
This blog is dying.
It’s an odd feeling, not having much to say on paper anymore. I have been writing, for better or worse, for over 30 years. Along with music, it is my way of expressing myself because I’m not very good at that in person. I have to wait for thoughts to coagulate into something that I want to put into the world. What I have realized is that I’m a nervous wreck and people freak me out. It’s no way to live, but I am probably stuck with this social paralysis and awkward thinking patterns.
I look over my old writing and I love some of the more passionate work I have done. I did some decent political commentary. Plenty of duds, though. I do hope that this pause in writing is merely writer’s block and not me clamming up for fear that I may say something clumsy. If I can’t do this anymore, how will I communicate effectively? That’s a scary thought.
It’s also just hard to maintain a blog in general. The form has been dead for years. I keep telling myself that I will get back to reading the ones on my ‘roll for commentary, but I cannot seem to get away from social media. I don’t know what the fuck my problem is, but I am probably not alone. I bought a print newspaper subscription to decrease my screen time, but I don’t make it past the op-eds and I don’t give a damn about sports so it’s very nearly a waste of time as social media breaks news at lightning speed…and I guess that is the reason I can’t disengage. Maybe it’s a peculiarly American way of behaving-demanding quickness and convenience. I get my fix easily. However, that all means I feel completely beaten to the punch and before I know it the next story is a click away and I’ve probably moved on from a thread that I should have had a few words to drop about it. I think one of my problems is that I want to have a lot to say about an issue and that’s just not how communication works in the main anymore. Far easier to just drop fifty words on a tweet than search for the meat and potatoes that makes a blog post something people want to see more of. That word counter in the corner there is a harsh master; if I can’t string at least 400 words together that is indicative of a problem.
I can’t help but think my current psychological state is not serving me well. I’m withdrawing from everything that has something to do with other people. I’m almost grateful for COVID because it gives me an excuse to avoid people. Age has weighed heavy on me. Music I used to enjoy now annoys me. I hit periods of hopelessness when everything going on in my inner circle is fine. I don’t know what other medicine I could take to unlock me because I’m on a decent antipsychotic drug that keeps me not nuts and I can’t seem to get the VA to come off further for some much needed anxiety medication.
Many problems. It’s all interrupting my flow.
Being retired is still hard work. Oh, maybe it’s better than a lot of jobs but I have too much time to think myself into a hole. I suppose all this is not my fault; the loss of external stimuli has left me a little empty inside. I just don’t have a lot to say about anything. However, experience says I will be back. Things are cyclical and as my wife says, this too shall pass.
Hurrah! We are free of Donald Trump and his minions.
I mean, Trumpism will live on in some mutated form, no doubt about that. And there are some congressional members who may have established themselves riding on the coattails of Trump, but I think their days are numbered. What we know is that Trumpism is ultimately a political failure because its leader was soundly defeated at the ballot box, turning in such a terrible performance in the last four years that he caused a deep south state to end the public careers of its Trump loving GOP senators.
Trump’s thumb-twiddling in the White House is a mixed blessing. He was too lazy to enact his own policies, preferring instead to claw and tear at everything his successful and popular predecessor ushered in. He also allowed the coronavirus to ravage America. And he nearly caused an insurrection with irresponsible rhetoric. Nonetheless, his idleness and general lack of interest in his job was to our benefit. Thankfully he didn’t do anything monumentally stupid like start a hot war with Iran which could have ended in the nuclear fashion.
So now we have come to the part of the game where suddenly, one of the congressional parties develops a set of principles that they’d utterly abandoned while their party was in power. That’s right, the GOP has found its old hobbyhorse Deficit Hawk, and his sidekick, Unity . The fuck your feelings crew is now begging for us not to fuck their feelings, and I’m not terribly inclined to join them and I certainly don’t think Democrats should pay this twaddle any mind- not after the way Mitch McConnell brought the legislature to a grinding halt at a time when Americans needed them quite possibly more than they had ever needed them. He better go along to get along, because the filibuster can be sidestepped much in the same manner that McConnell employed to get Trump and the corporate establishment their judges. Obstruction simply will not do, and I fear that’s the only tool he has in his toolbox. The country needs a makeover, now.
All this aside, the country seems brighter already, on a surer footing than we have been in years. That’s not enough, as we are still at the bottom a ravine figuratively speaking and all we know is there’s help coming. By all appearances the Biden administration is the right fit for the tasks ahead; it’s now up to them to show the public that they can do good things with their taxes. If they whip the coronavirus in short order, they can ride that shit straight through 2024. It truly is the issue of a lifetime.
If I could just go out for tacos without worrying I’m gonna die or kill someone else, that would be great. The bar’s kinda low for me.
That was a hell of a week, wasn’t it?
Not content with Congressional attempts to monkeyfuck the vote, thousands of Trump’s unofficial “militia” overran the Capitol grounds, climbed the walls, broke into the building, shit and pissed on things, stole property and posed for selfies in MOC offices. Lawmakers hid in the chambers with gas masks, waiting for the mob to be dispersed. Only a few pistols and barricaded doorways stood between them and the rioters. It was truly a close call.
Now, Trump himself has done more than anyone to bring the events of January 6th to fruition, but even he is now saying that his goon squad shouldn’t have defiled the Capitol. His Doltishness clearly did not know who he was winding up with his incendiary rhetoric. Apparently it’s taken 74 years for Trump to discover that lit matches can burn you.
Nonetheless, I am thankful that it was mostly just a bunch of hooligans on a wilding spree rather than actual revolutionaries ready to establish a new government. Because some of these motherfuckers were out for scalps. One was seen carrying zip ties and a gallows was erected. And I hear they’re gearing up for more direct action, this time with guns. I am hoping that our law enforcement and military will be ready to defend the seat of government from these crazies, even if those self-same soldiers and officers are sympathetic to their cause.
Now I don’t want to give succor or legitimacy to this crew of madcaps, but this is the most threatened our government has been since 1860. The BLM protests over police brutality don’t even hold a candle. This here is a rightist “revolution”, and the roots for it are a little deeper than there ever were for leftist insurrection activity. We’ve been working up this crowd for decades with irresponsible news outlets, talk radio, and permissive social media. It’s got to stop.
The Republican party has some thinking to do. Many of its members hitched themselves to Trump’s star and now lives have been lost for following and encouraging him in his quest to usurp power. What happened is unacceptable in the extreme. As I write, Democrats are huddling to impeach Trump a second time, this time on a count of insurrection. It’s very late, but perhaps it must be done to make a statement. Will he be lucky twice? That’s up to Republicans-and they’d better do the soul searching required to make sure that a thing like President Trump never, ever gets to pretend to the highest office in the land again. Now that his reign is ending, it should be an easy choice. But there’s still lots of Trumpists in Congress without shame, so I am not holding my breath for justice to be done, even as the evidence gathered over the past four years cannot be ignored.