My favorite TV show

I have a very short attention span. I get bored very easily when watching anything or reading anything. Once favorite TV shows have run their course in my mind, I find them repetitive and currently with an annoying partisan social message that I do not need or want. Consequently I have dropped most from my nightly ritual. Then enters The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This show is not for the timid and it raises the roof on any conventionality or political correctness. Thank God.

Set in the 1950’s, the show is about New York City’s affluent Jewish community. Miriam “Midge” Maisel is a typical 1950’s woman. Never leaves her home without makeup, hat, gloves, high heels, and nails. She marries Joel Maisel whose father is in the clothing business. They have two kids and live upstairs from her parents’ upper West side apartment. Her father, Abe Weissman, is a mathematics professor at Columbia University. This is the time when Columbia University was thoroughbred and students wore suits and dresses and were not radical pinheads. But I digress.

The show is staunchly Jewish carrying all the stereo typical Jewish traits of drama, money, and self-afflicting jokes. Which brings us back to Midge. Midge’s husband Joel wanted to pursue stand up comedy. In the evening the young couple led a double life. They went to the pseudo night club Gaslight and Joel did his routine which Midge inadvertently wrote. But that is as far as Joel went.

Without divulging the entire story and ruining the series, needless to say, it was Midge who became the stand up comic and performed as Mrs. Maisel. When her husband left her on Yom Kippur, she went to the Gaslight, got drunk, and blew the roof off with a comic routine which was taped illegally and sold on long playing records.

The show is not just fabulous for the clothing, the nostalgia, and the cutting-edge humor; it opens up a window into what being a professional woman was like in the 1950’s. The writers who are of course Jewish, brought out the nuances of women 60 years ago. In one episode, Midge’s mother who was also an art student at Columbia, convinced the women students into transferring to the university’s business school to find men. But as frivolous as that seemed, her message was more scathing. She was questioning women receiving graduate degrees if the only thing they wanted to do was to get married. She was also questioning their aspirations. One of them aspired to be a teacher “maybe at the university” . Really, replied the mother. “Have you ever seen any women professors?” Or something to that effect.

What the show does is bring forward the strength and tenacity of the 1950 woman. Women used their gender to manipulate their lives and shape themselves into whatever they wanted to be. They also rebelled. In today’s hard core militant female world, the 1950 woman would seem to be a weak frivolous thing. But she wasn’t. From the backrooms, kitchens, parlors, and secretarial typing pads, women ruled discreetly and with purpose. They used their gender wisely.

The show is a combination of profanity, comedy, stereo typing, and rawness that is refreshing and entertaining. There is nothing political about it. The Jewish community lived and lives in a world of its own. They fight among each other. They gossip endlessly. And they are always conscious of the fact that as Jews they are on the outside looking in on a society of goy (gentiles) who are uptight and set in their strange ways. They flourish in a city that accepts them for what they are and what they produce. They are a migrant mix of eastern European and new generations of Jewish Americans living the American dream. In one episode the wives were talking about their husbands wanting to die in Israel. “Why would anyone want to be buried in the desert?” To Joel’s father who was the biggest pain in the ass, Midge’s mother asked: “I hear you want to be buried in Israel. So when is that going to happen?” Nobody writes like that anymore.

The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel is void of gun violence or digitally enhanced anything. It is a story about an America that with all its post war trauma was much simpler. Less hung up on itself. Less hung up on individual needs. More together. More familiar. More lovable. Gentler and with more absorbed diversity than the irritating diverse activism of today. Nobody had to tell them to like each other. Most of them didn’t. But they were still united in a perception that hard work and hope can give you a better life in America. Midge Maisel is my heroine; elegance wrapped in tenacity and hutzpah!

Who is responsible? The truth behind mass shootings

El Paso, Texas

I am sure that I will be pissing off many people, but I am sick of the political rhetoric and finger pointing after every mass shooting.  I am sick of race baiters and haters who turn a tragedy into an excuse to score political points.  And I am sick of listening to all mainstream media and cable news trying to justify their spin on partisan loyalty. Hardly has a shooter been caught or killed when the media, without any substantiated information start their own airwave bloviating in aid of partisanship. It is sickening. 

Discrepancy in reporting to fit political narratives turns on the volume on a division that has become dangerous to all Americans. The two mass murders were perpetrated by two nut cases.  Nobody can dispute that.  Although more emphasis has been put on who is to blame than the assholes who actually did the killing. Both creeps blamed society for their warped brain.  But according to law enforcement, not both seemed to have been racially motivated. However, both managed to cause havoc within 24 hours of each other.  Coincidence? I doubt we will ever know. But there is one thing that cannot be explained, and that is the relative silence on Dayton’s perp.  Why? 

Amid the political finger pointing and race baiting crap is a shred of truthful analysis by no other than The Washington Post.  It is refreshing. An August 4th in depth article by Marc Fisher strips every layer of unfounded media spin.  Fisher, with the help of researchers on terrorism, explained the phenomenon of these and other mass shootings.  The “lone-wolf” shooters, as they are referred to.  Inspired by everyone and no one, by everything and nothing.  While mass media hysteria points fingers at video games, the president, guns, and a surge in racism, the truth is that nutcases take it upon themselves to see the world through their own crazy notions of utopia.

Contrary to the pseudo analysts and commentators on major news networks and cable, they generally do not belong to any organized group.  They might share the views of a specific group but act alone. They assimilate with an ideology but act on their own volition.  Most are being “recruited” ideologically through the internet.  The hateful indoctrination is on both sides of the fence.  Visceral left wing and right wing hatred gives lone-wolves a platform that they otherwise would not have.  It is home grown terrorism on the same level and platform as the recruitment by ISIS and Hamas.  Very convincing and alluring.  Add mental illness, dysfunctional families, poverty, and depression, and the recipe for home grown terrorism is born.

2017 Supremacists march in Charlottesville

The “replacement” syndrome among white supremacists and far left anti-Semites is not new and has very little to do with Trump’s inane tweets. In 2012, a book entitled “The Great Replacement” by French writer Renaud Camus, argues that the influx of immigrants in Europe are replacing the now “minority” whites.  He found it threatening to Europe’s sovereignty. His mantra was taken on in 2017 by the white supremacists who marched through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us”.  It is possible and probably true that Trump’s strong stance on immigration and campaign remarks gave these yahoos a misled courage that they otherwise might not have had to raise the ante on anti-Semitism. Trump made an egregious mistake when he did not denounce them fiercely and resolutely. But then Obama did not really denounce the thugs who rioted in the streets and burnt cities under his watch.  But I digress.  Two wrongs do not make a right. For good measure, Camus has publicly denied having anything to do with the El Paso shooting.

But what about Dayton? The media is relatively quiet on Dayton because as far as we know, the murderer did not seem to have a specific motive, and the police (as of this writing) are ruling out racism.  No racism, no news, no pundits, no interest.  The perp had a history of “weird” which like all mass murderers, is not unusual.  Eventually, the police will discover some sordid crazy background that was either overlooked or not reported. Not one is sane one day and crazy the next because two years ago Donald Trump called illegal immigrants rapists. And this is where the disingenuous racism uproar is exposed for what it is; political.

Mass shooting aftermath in Dayton

So far Dayton seems less significant because the racism card cannot be played to its full potential.  However, local politicians, all Democrat, had to bring it up as a point of contention for wanting the President to visit their city; if there is no fire let’s create one. Police found no white supremacist manifesto, no right wing rant, and immigrants were not targeted.  He was a nutcase who managed to acquire a gun and kill his own sister.  According to Marc Fisher, the killer was driven by “personal grievances rather than political ideology”.  Fisher puts everything in perspective; the shooter joins a long list of mass murderers who are being taught online (through video games, and movies) how to “escalate personal beefs into community-shattering events”.  Heard that Hollywood? Still too early to tell.

The same weekend that 29 people died of gunshot wounds, Chicago had 40 shootings.  Three dead.  Chicago has been a den of human misery for years.  Bush did nothing, and Obama did even less. Those shot were neither Hispanics nor immigrants; they were African American in poor neighborhoods. Not a peep, not a wink, not a breathe, not even a sigh for Chicago by CNN, MSNBC, or Fox.  Wonder why?  Where is the race analysis? Where is the gun debate?  Where is the finger pointing? Chicago’s poor black neighborhoods are war zones without relief.  Law enforcement is often reluctant to enter these danger zones.  Fisher calls it “tragically quotidian”. A city that has been run to the ground by policies and politics rife in corruption and promises.  No matter who gets elected as mayor, they are of the same party and dole out the same crap that keeps these poor folk in conditions akin to the Middle East and often more dangerous.  How do the gangs and thugs manage to get guns when Illinois has the strictest gun laws? These aren’t white privileged.  They are blacks killing blacks.  Yet the same politicians who “cry me a river” at the border manage to sleep very well at night about Chicago.  Hypocrisy wrapped in partisan and disingenuous media quagmire.

So who is responsible for the mass murders?  Everyone.  President Trump must be held partly accountable because his inane tweets and bullish rhetoric can be legitimately or illegitimately  misconstrued; he knows it and yet still goes at it.  There are crazies out there Mr. President, and they do not need a nudge and a push to become crazier.  Mr. President, it is your responsibility to make sure that the country is not thrown into a racial divide. You can fix the border with dignity and without unnecessary disparaging tweets or comments about those literally dying to get into the US. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they want a better life rather than destruction of our way of life.  True leadership comes with compassion.  As a New Yorker, it’s about time you took a hard look at the beautiful lady in New York harbor. Then take a long stroll through Ellis Island and use it to inspire you to come up with a humane and viable solution at the  border.  You always boast of how great you are, well, put your money where your mouth is. While you’re at it, start talking seriously about race relations.  It’s no use having a good economy if American families are not safe to shop for school supplies at Wal-Mart.

Responsibility also lies with the main stream media who fuel unnecessary race baiting and hatred.  You are irresponsible and must also be held accountable for unsubstantiated race innuendo to satisfy your egos and ratings.  You are supposed to be impartial.  I can’t stand watching any of you, because the majority of you have turned into disingenuous partisan assholes.  You do not report, you pontificate.  You do not tell the truth, you spin.  You are not fair or balanced because most of your programming and guests are of the same political persuasion. You cannot be impartial when you donate to political parties.  You cannot be trusted when most of what you “report” is founded in hearsay.  You wallow in disasters because they give you an ego centric platform.  You have made a mockery of the First Amendment. You have contributed to the division of a nation that has survived internal and external wars but always stood firm under one flag and one God.  You managed to disgrace both. 

Politicians on both side of the house are equally responsible for the racial divide.  The “white privilege” mantra is an obscenity perpetrated by white politicians to buy votes. It is patronizing.  While one party wallows in anti-Semitism, race baiting, and bigotry; the other is afraid to speak out against their party’s leadership. Both parties hold the American public hostage to political zeal for no other reason but to further their own partisan agenda.   Sick of both.

I will not lose hope in America. Every generation has gone through a period of immigration anxiety and bigotry. From the mid-19th century anti-Irish Catholic riots by Protestants in Philadelphia, to the massacres of Chinese immigrants in 1871.  It is born out of fear.  A fear often fueled by politicians who reject violence but still adopt the “anti-other” rhetoric.  Sounds familiar? Four new congresswomen and our President come to mind.

Fisher, M. August 4, 2019. A Weekend of Mass Murder Reflects How American Violence goes Viral. The Washington Post. (Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-weekend-of-mass-murder-reflects-how-american-violence-goes-viral/2019/08/04/d2ecfa3a-b6d7-11e9-b3b4-2bb69e8c4e39_story.html?noredirect=on)

50 years later and still relevant – the moon landing

International News

The 1969 moon landing was a moment in time we all remember. From sea to shining sea people watched in awe and prayed for three men who took a giant step for humanity.  The landing was not an American success; it was a world success.  Schools, churches, businesses, and ordinary life, paused for a brief moment to witness the unthinkable and the excitable. Black and white television sets in shop windows, diners, restaurants, and class rooms gave us mere mortals a glimpse of “out there”.  As Captain Kirk so aptly put it, “where no man has gone before”.

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The space race started in the late fifties with the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, and later the first earth orbit by a young 27 year-old Soviet, Yuri Gagarin.  A test pilot and industrial technician, Gagarin made an 89 minute historic orbit around the earth.  It was 2 April, 1961. Space exploration had begun in earnest. Eventually it turned into an unspoken race between the Soviet Union and America. The “space race” was more than an attempt to conquer the elusive void.  It was validating which super power was superior.  Although the Soviet Union had the early advantage, America had the tenacity, technology, and Americans behind it.  

Speech to Congress, May 1961

President elect JFK understood the significance of successful space travel and the impact it would have on global politics, especially on the Cold War.  On May 25, 1961, in an address to Congress, JFK put forth the now iconic objective that “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before the decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth”. He asked for funding, and the rest is history.  Within a year, names like John Glen, Alan Shepard, Walter Schirra, and Virgil Grissom joined a long list of potential astronauts. They embarked on an intensive program of space training that would eventually put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.

The race for space supremacy went beyond romantic idealism.  It was also psychological. It was assumed that whoever “dominated” space would ultimately “dominate” the world. The notion that a super power could determine our fate was daunting.  It was “quasi” science fiction. As the Iron Curtain descended on Europe, the hope that America would win the space race became more prevalent. That feeling gathered momentum when our hazy black and white television screens showed the Berlin Wall going up. JFK’s visit to Berlin became a testimonial to America’s commitment to fight Communism and the freedom of the Eastern Bloc.  The Soviet Union had lost the public relations battle.

Kennedy Space Center Florida

In mid-1980’s, space travel became “up close and personal” for our military family. Albeit military life could be stressful and nomadic, it also gave us unique opportunities that we otherwise would not have had.  In 1984, we were assigned to Patrick Air Force Base in Central Florida.  We lived barely 20 miles from Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and the Kennedy Space Center.  The Cape and Space Center were visible from the beach at the end of our road. I can vividly remember the first time the kids and I stood on the beach anticipating a launch of a Space Shuttle from across the horizon.  The distance was inconsequential as we heard the rumbling and saw the simultaneous flash that indicated the shuttle launch.  As the rocket carrying the shuttle rose upward toward the hot Florida sky, it changed its trajectory and arched toward a new path right on top of us.  There were no words to describe the wonder of that moment.  We were to relive that launch many times in the following months. The Air Force provided special transport and passes to watch shuttle launches directly from the Cape.  We were close enough to feel the launch vibration without being in danger.  Regardless of how many times we watched the launces, each launch brought a feeling of excitement and anticipation.  They were moments of incredulity. 

Kennedy Space Center

The incredulity increased when we had the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center and see early Space Program rockets and capsules.  We developed a new respect for those who volunteered to train and go into space.  There is a fine line between courage and insanity. I believe that those astronauts were on the edge of both. Apollo capsules were no bigger than a closet. Strapped in cramped places and subject to drastic temperatures in entering and re-entering atmospheres, the danger of launching into space was obvious. Drastic atmospheric conditions caused outer layers to burn and heat resistant tiles to fall off.  Crude and rudimentary technology left astronauts vulnerable to dangers beyond our comprehension.  The chances of being burnt or frozen alive were an equal probability. They relied on control centers in Florida and Houston for support because they had neither equipment nor the space to fix much of anything in an emergency.  Years later, Neil Armstrong admitted that making it back home alive from the moon landing was a primary concern. You think?

Apollo 1 after a fire in the cabin during a routine ground test.

The Space Program was not without tragedy.  On January 27, 1967, three astronauts, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chafee were killed in a routine ground test.  Fire broke inside the capsule and they suffocated.  On January 28, 1986, and only six months after we had left Florida and Patrick AFB, the Challenger carrying the first teacher Christa McAuliffe burst into flames a few seconds after launch.  Challenger was one of the shuttles we had often watched being launched at the Cape. On February 1, 2003, the Columbia broke apart upon re-entry killing all astronauts on board to include Israeli Ilan Ramon.

1969 Woodstock

1969 was on the edge between our parents’ Baby Boomer generation and us.  We were between the old and the new.  The traditional and the “modern”. Our parents could not understand our fascination for loud and often disconnected music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the myriad of other long-haired pot smoking entertainers.  Woodstock crushed all barriers of what was traditional.  While women’s skirts grew shorter, men’s hair grew longer. An upside down world was unfolding.

Apollo II Launch

But on that hot 20th July in 1969, the crazy 60’s world found solace in the hazy black and white images of a small space craft landing on the moon.  As Neil Armstrong stepped out, we held our breath and wiped off tears of joy and thanksgiving.  America was united in pride.  There was no partisanship.  Vietnam, feminism, and other political agendas were temporarily set aside, and for a few days Americans were united in watching three of their brave countrymen  land on the moon and return safely back to earth.  I can only recall one other significant moment of unity in American modern history: after 9/11.

50 years ago nobody questioned the authenticity of the moon landing.  We believed in the success of American ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and optimism. There was a genuine love of country that JFK reiterated in his inaugural address; “…ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country”. These singularly and distinctive American traditional qualities have unfortunately been eroded by social entitlement and coddling.  The sense of adventure has dissipated in narcissist expectations that fail to permit failure as a learning experience. JFK’s message has fallen short on this generation’s ego centric expectations.  

As naïve as it might sound, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, did what they did for “love of country”.  I am hoping, futile as it might seem; that on this 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, educators take time to tell the story.  The story how the impossible became possible.  How the improbable became fact.  How the Moon landing was not about America, but about mankind. Before leaving the moon surface for the return journey home, the astronauts left an American flag on the surface. They also left a patch commemorating those who perished in Apollo 1 just two years prior. But most importantly, they left a plaque with a message:  “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 AD.  We came in peace  for all mankind.”

To all the men and women who dedicated their lives to making the Space Program a reality and bringing astronauts home safely: Thank You.

Apollo Mission Control Kennedy Space Center

The bashing of America to suit idiots

Courtesy: VOX

So Nike succumbed to revised historical blackmail by no other than the “has been” pinhead Colin Kaepernick.  Nike launched a new commemorative shoe this week. The debut was short-lived.  Enters the former quarter back whose career had been in decline since 2015, and booted out in 2016.  Listed as the worst quarterback in the NFL, Colin had an issue with the shoe.  Nike, in an equally unprecedented stupid move, decided to make this pseudo activist ignoramus its spokesperson.  Nike actually developed a line of sports ware with this idiot’s face on it.  So I ask; why would anyone associate themselves athletically with a loser?  But I digress. The inanity started when Nike launched a special Independence Day patriotic shoe depicting the original 13-star flag on the back.  The “Betsy Ross” flag as it is so often referred to.  At this point I must beg forgiveness from the seamstress herself. Sorry Betsy, but according to the now all too familiar visceral rhetoric of the far left loons; which includes the ex-NFL moron, you were obviously a white supremacist. Who’d have thought? 

The hypocrisy and stupidity of Colin’s genre is the intentional modification of history to suit one’s agenda.  Everything is generalized for maximum impact with limited capacity for thought or intelligence.  But the hypocrisy lies square on Nike’s back. For years, Nike produced its shoes in Vietnam, the Philippines, and China. In the late 90’s they, like other brands and high-end designers, were exposed and caught in a scandal that revealed unhindered business practices in third world countries. They were caught hiring cheap and often slave labor to produce their brands which they in turn sold to idiots in the west, and at exorbitant prices. This small fact seems to escape the disingenuous victimized complex of Colin and his ilk. It also seems to have skipped Nike’s mind. So pardon me for not taking Nike seriously as they ride patriotically into our 4th of July sunset claiming solidarity with those who find offense with Betsy Ross or the birth of our first flag. 

Betsy Ross

To continue debunking Nike and its inane and nebulous intent of activism, it made a public statement that it did not want to “…offend and distract from the nation’s patriotic holiday”.  So it is okay to celebrate Independence Day, which is commemorating the nation’s birth, which prompted the first 13-star flag, but it is not okay to display the flag because it is offensive? If you are scratching your head, you are not the only one.  The story about Betsy Ross and her patriotic sewing prowess has never really been verified historically, but it is accepted as lore which adds to the charm of the birth of our nation.  We all find comfort in envisioning a simple woman sitting in her rocking chair sewing our first flag.  But Colin, the one-man crusader for justice who earned millions while accomplishing very little; has a problem with Betsy and her flag. It offends him. This is the man who screwed up the only thing he was paid to do right: play ball. Go figure. The man who led a good life on the backs of those he insults. The man who complains about the country that has blessed him with the ability to make money as an incompetent idiot. We should be so lucky.

What country is bereft from dark history?  What peoples are not guilty of past atrocities?  How many countries have risen out of the ashes of civil wars and slavery to become a beacon of hope for millions?  I do not see anyone trying to leave America.  I see millions literally dying to get in.  If America is so bad, why the thousands at the Southern Border? Colin and his compatriots are the shallow elite disguised as historic victims.  They are not activists, they are opportunists. They care very little for truth.  They are narcissists. They claim to be the tolerant but in reality the most intolerant.  The diverse who want nothing to do with anyone who thinks differently.  The saviors of humanity as long as humanity plays to their tune.  In short; charlatans.

So Nike and Colin are suddenly the sensitive police. The moral compass of our nation. What a load of crap.  Enough is enough.   America and Americans, at least those of us who have to work for a living, have had it up to their nostrils in this garbage.  Liberals call the right protectionists.  Are you kidding me?  I hate to break it to you MSNBC, but activism is protectionism.  Activists want to protect an ideology.  They will go to all lengths to tell the rest of us that we are not worthy to breath the same air as them. The far left has one thing in common with the far right; they are both extreme idealists who have very little tolerance for the rest of us.  They operate on visceral hate.

We are witnessing activists who claim to fight for “injustice” and “rights” of Americans but hate America.  The current clique of pseudo social justice warriors are conveniently choosy.  Their narrative is very selective.  Unless one aspires to their dogma, their ideals, and their fights, then one is not worth fighting for.  A point in fact is the current anti-Semitic rhetoric by a few in Congress and on liberal campuses.  As Bernie Goldberg once said; liberals fight for minorities but not if you are Jewish. The selective few are worth saving, the rest can go to hell.

The demonization of America is home grown. It slowly crept in partisan politics and quickly flourished under President Obama.  His “apology” tour was meant to purposely bring down America’s might and “humble” it to make it look “good”. He even went after Christians for past atrocities while extreme Islamists were beheading people just because they could.

D-Day

He travelled around the world apologizing for America and Americans.  The America and Americans who freed Europe and Japan from tyranny.  The America and Americans who brought the end to the Cold War.  The America and Americans who formed and joined the Peace Corp in aid of third world countries and their plight. The America and Americans who developed the Marshall Plan and rebuilt Europe from the ashes of war.  The America and Americans who donate billions to countries that often kill Americans.  The America and Americans who send their sons and daughters to die in countries we can’t pronounce just because it is the right thing to do.  The America and Americans that gave young people like Colin the opportunity to be well educated and earn millions wearing tights and throwing a ball.  The America and Americans who are there first when tragedy strikes anywhere in the world. The America and Americans who defend unconditionally those who ask for help.

The age of grievance and entitlement was born out of inane rhetoric by our leadership, and continued through the deliberate distortion of historical truth and bias to satisfy a political agenda fraught with nebulous social justice and talk of reparation.  A social justice boondoggle that brought us to present day stupid and Colin Kaepernick.

Nike will still sell shoes but its pandering to the left loons will take its toll.  The problem with companies like Nike, Starbucks, Gillette, and other brand names that identify with political correctness activism is that they inadvertently exclude a majority of their market. They fail to realize that their in-your-face attempt at “educating” us mere mortals on our obvious moral and social short comings is offensive and does not impress us. We find it condescending and annoying.  There is more to America than Oregon, California, New York, and Washington.  There is the America that buys shoes at Target, drinks a cup of Joe at the local diner, and buys the cheapest blade because it works just fine.  In short, heartland America and Americans have never needed brands to identify with.  They identify with the founding fathers and the idealism that made America a country where the impossible is possible, and success depends on individuality not the government.

In the land of the free and the brave we have the blessing of freedom of speech and choice.  Nike and Colin choose to belittle and demonize our past.  I and the majority of sane Americans choose and have the freedom to ignore both.  We choose to celebrate our country’s independence cherishing our blessings as Americans, in a country called America.  Independence Day is more than a shoe and a self-proclaimed activist fool; it is also about those who fought and still fight for our country.  Some died so that the Colin Kaepernicks have the freedom to be ungrateful idiots and others like me to be able to say so.  Happy 4th of July!

Somebody had to do it!

Image result for jon stewart in congress
Jon Stewart testifying before congress

Somebody had to do it, and Jon Stewart sure did.  He ripped Congress ass when most of them failed to show up to discuss and approve funding for 9/11 first responders.  Surrounded by emergency workers and fire fighters, his passionate plea for decency threw us back to the horrors of 9/11.  Jon peeled off layers of Congressional hypocrisy.  Between anger and anguish he took them to task and dragged their sorry asses through the proverbial political mud. 

Jon brought to our attention political callousness and a sick  realization that unless an agenda is politically charged, it holds very little interest to those elected pinheads.  The meeting was attended by only 14 sub-committee members of the House Judiciary Committee, mostly Democrats.  The Never Forget the Heroes Act of 2019 re-authorizes the Victim Compensation Fund that helps 9/11 First Responders and their families beat medical costs due to illnesses caused by the debris, and other chemicals they were exposed to during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  GOP representative Peter King, Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand,  Democratic representatives Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, all support the VCF.  All five are New Yorkers.  But as Jon so eloquently put it; Al Qaida  did not shout “death to Tribica” but “death  to America”.  He was referring to some members of congress kicking the can down the “this is a New York issue” road of excuses. 

When the first plane hit the first Twin Tower,  it only took five seconds for the wave of First Responders to respond.  412 emergency workers would eventually lose their lives helping others.  343 of them were fire fighters.  For those of us who were in NYC months after the attacks, we can recall making our gut wrenching way downtown toward Ground Zero; reading long list of names on every Fire Station wall in lower Manhattan.  There was not one Fire Station that had not lost someone or many. The nation came together in sorrow and resolve.  As Jon pointed out; if it weren’t for the endless work and sacrifice of those first responders, the nation would not have gone on its feet as quickly as it did.  It was not a New York thing then and it sure isn’t now.

The insidious political game that both parties play has been exposed by a “funny” guy who for 30 minutes shed his entertainment persona and became a New Yorker, and a patriotic American.  He did not need some goofy red hat or activist hash tag rhetoric.  He was a pissed off American looking out for those who gave their all and left to rot in the great bipartisan political void.   Like the Vietnam vets before them, these First Responders had their illnesses trivialized, patronized, and eventually left at the mercy of overpaid “civil” servants, to mull over and by the goodness of their heart, approve.  A short reprieve until the next time these silent heroes have to beg.  Disgusting comes to mind.

The silent voices of 9/11 First Responders do not make headlines.  They are not abortion, women’s rights, immigration, “the wall”, impeachment, transgender, gay rights, or any other news worthy cause that gets congressional dickheads out in front of the microphone.  They do not hold rallies or cause traffic jams in annoying protests.  They dedicated their lives to saving others and have not asked much in return, but to be assisted in their time of need. One would think it reasonable. But good people very seldom  score political points. 

Emergency workers from NYC and New Jersey do not have a voice loud enough to even make a mention in the evening news. Actually I doubt that we would be discussing this hearing or I would be writing about it had it not been for Jon Stewart. Jon was bi-partisan.  Sans any correctness filter Jon became a raw angry American. He was the brash millennian John  Wayne fighting for those who are getting too weak to fight.  Both sides of the aisle should take a good look at themselves and realize who they really are and who they represent.  Basic decency should be bi-partisan.  Hell, common decency should be universal. 

To those Republicans who wrap themselves in the America Great mantra: where the hell where you?  You pride yourselves on moral Christian Judeo values; are the lives of these First Responders not valuable enough for you? Not American enough?  To the Democrats who are always preaching their social tolerance and justice: where the hell where you?  Not news worthy enough like all the “rights” you seem to define on a daily basis; some genuine and some the flavor of the month?  You both send “sub” committee members? These First Responders are not worth your while to get your sorry asses out of bed and listen to?  You don’t have time? As Jon pointed out: neither do those standing with him.  Their time is running out as they combat cancer and other traumatic diseases. Hash tag that!

Yes, somebody had to do it, and I am so glad that Jon Stewart did.  His spontaneous anger came from the heart.  The heart of an American who watched with  pain as his city and country were attacked. We all stood together as the Twin Towers fell.  On 9/11 we cried and bled as a nation.  Jon is a true red, white, and blue American who at a crucial moment in time forgot his public persona and stood for what should be good in America.  All the flag waiving, hands on heart, and patriotic posturing in the world has not done what Jon did in 30 minutes.  He demonstrated his unconditional love of New York, but most of all, his deep love of America.  You want to make America Great Again, how about we start by taking care of those who risk their lives taking care of America?  Thank you Jon Stewart, I wish there were more of you and less of the partisan pinheads paid to serve and who decided not to. 

God bless America, and God bless all our First Responders, and those who put their lives on the line every time they leave their front doors. 

Remembering my childhood in post war Malta

The George Cross awarded to Malta for valor: 1942

Sunday morning is “my” time. A quiet cup of coffee, a good book, creating some amazing dishes, and always listening to Campus FM, a University of Malta radio station.  Campus FM is my umbilical cord to my Maltese roots and language.  My mother’s passing left me with no one to speak Maltese with on regular basis. Sadly enough I have lost the ability to write it, read it, and quite often understanding it.  Campus FM enlightens my life with Maltese history, art, daily news, and local folklore.  As I sit with my coffee on this beautiful sunny Sunday morning, I listen to Patricia Salomone’s  journal-like story of her childhood “My Pizza and Toffee Apples in the 1950’s”.  A vivid recounting of her life in post WWII British Malta. 

RAF Valiant Bomber

She could have written about my life. Except for the nanny and living in another part of the island, Maltese 50’s children  all grew up the same way.  We were the post war generation.  Patricia’s family was similar to every other Maltese family in the 1950’s.  After the war, Malta was part of the Marshall Plan and rationing was still in effect.  I remember the local grocer measuring  our “rationed” portions of flour, rice, and sugar from large calico bags embossed with an American flag and large  black letters “Donated by the people of the United States of America”. The rationing went into the late 50’s and eventually and slowly disappeared in the early 60’s.  Like the rest of us, Patricia remembers a childhood without television and a country trying to recuperate from Luftwaffe bombings and destruction. 

Unidentified village in Malta after a bombing

The island suffered over 14,000 bombs, 1,500 casualties (of a population of less than 300,000), and 30,000 destroyed buildings.  There is only one other country that has been bombed more than Malta in the last century: Laos, during the Vietnam War. The George Cross, a medal and award normally awarded to individuals for valor was awarded to the entire island, for enduring months of day and night bombings meant to bring it to its knees. In April, 1942, King George VI made the singular personal decision to award the highest honor to Malta. Conditions were so dire that even Churchill was considering surrendering the island, just to feed its people.  Up to the day she died in 2016, my mother abhorred the sight of canned beef. A poignant reminder of a time when food was scarce and her weekly ration was a can of something. With no food and Italy just 60 miles away preparing to invade and occupy, the Maltese dug in, endured, and survived the barrage of attacks by the Axis.  This was the Malta that most of us were born into.  But rubble and destruction led the way to an era of hope.

Chalet at Ghar id-dud

Patricia Salamone took me on a journey into my own childhood.  The simple enjoyment of late summer walks on the promenade by the sea in Sliema.  The treat of going to Valletta on a multi-colored bus without doors and windows that let in fresh air, smells, and noise.  The wonderful aromas of traditional Maltese food sans McDonalds, Pizza Hut, or Subways.  I can still remember walking to the end of the promenade at Ghar id-Dud, where the Chalet stood in its classic white limestone elegance.  A dance and music hall suspended above the rocks and sea below.  The music reached out into the wonderful warm summer nights as couples danced to Italian melodies and rock’n’roll.  In the winter, it doubled as a skating rink for those few lucky ones who owned a pair of roller skates.  In bad winter weather, the sea would rise up in defiance and cover the dancing floor with foamy waves, knowing full well that there would still be dancing the next summer. 

Post war British Malta was an enigma. Just as Patricia recalled, children were only allowed to speak English at school . This was the British idea of easy assimilation.  Maltese children were expected to sit and pass the same school leaving exams (GCE) as the rest of the British Empire.  An annual summer ritual that caused raw nerves as students anxiously waited for their GCE exam results from Oxford, London, and Cambridge universities. Those results opened doors to a future. Through it all Maltese remained on the back burner of our education erroneously assuming that it was spoken at home.

Maltese cheese pastries Pastizzi

The Maltese still found ways to cling  to their Mediterranean roots, and generally through the kitchen.  Maltese dishes like lampuki*, cerna*, fenek*, qarnita*, and the ultimate hobz biz-zejt u tadam*, were imbedded in our childhood.  But the influx of British military and their families also provided neighborhood Fish’n’chip shops, English sausages, beans, and the inevitable red telephone kiosks and mail boxes; crested with the royal crest of whoever happened to be on the throne.  But the Italian influence would not disappear either.  Italian music and pizza were essential to our well being and realization that we were still Mediterranean.

Toffee apples  held a significance akin to the local pastizzi*  we bought from a vendor’s cart. Every summer, and mostly in Sliema, possibly because of its proximity to the sea, we were treated to a Luna Park, loose translation: “moon park“.  There was nothing extraterrestrial about it, but it was meant to conjure up adventure and fun that winter months could not provide.  An escapism so to speak. Everyone’s favorite ride was the bumper cars.  Without cell phones, iPads, X-Box, or the latest Avengers movie; 50’s teenagers in Malta quickly realized that bumper cars were the closest thing to a driver’s license.  Malta in the 50’s did not have many privately owned cars or telephones for that matter.  In some small villages there may have been one of each. But I digress. Of course, the Luna Park was a family affair.  Especially on Sundays, rides were chock-a-block full.  Kiosks with soft drinks in real glass bottles and paper straws were also busy selling candy floss and toffee apples. Smells I still cherish from my childhood.

Mosta Church today
Mosta Church inside
One of the bombs that went through the Mosta Dome

Malta in the early 50’s, was like the rest of Europe; attempting to rebuild and return to normalcy. Our parents would often show us the aftermath of the war.  We all knew where the Italians had dropped the first bombs, or which village sustained the most damage, or often who died where.  Later we learned how two large German bombs possibly targeting the neighboring British airfield at Ta’ Qali, were instead dropped through the dome of the Mosta Church. But they failed to explode.  250 people were at mass when the bombs came through the roof and rolled on the marble floor without exploding.  A miracle? 

We grew up British singing the God Save the King or Queen as the case might have been.  Some 50’s Maltese children were raised speaking English rather than Maltese.  With schools demanding that English be spoken in lieu of Maltese, I unfortunately have never learned to write my language well enough. Reading it is also a chore. If truth be told, most of us cherished the fact that Maltese was not mandatory because we found it more difficult to master than English.  However we learned other languages, most common were French and Italian. Italian was easy because we listened to Italian music on the radio, plus the close proximity of both countries made travel to Italy frequent.  In the mid-60’s Italian television was introduced in Malta. RAI* remained the sole provider of television programming for the next 30+ years. No one would have thought that just a few years prior we were at war with our dolce vita*  neighbors.  Live and let live and we still enjoy Italian music, movies, and food.

St. Julian’s circa 1950

Technology and 21st century problems have unfortunately reached the wonderful shores of Malta.  English and Maltese are the official languages, but Italian, German, French, Swedish, and even Chinese is now being taught and spoken.   Malta evolved with the times which I often regret.  I miss summer evening walks at  Ghar id-Dud.  I miss the early morning cry of the fisherman or milkman rather than the irritating horn of a BMW SUV in a hurry to go nowhere.  I miss when we could still take drives to the kampanja* and play in the open fields at Bin Gemma;  looking out at the island of Gozo in the distance.  Now we try to dodge 5-Star hotels in a futile attempt at a peek at the sea. I miss being able to eat locally made Maltese cheeses and sausages without an EU stamp of approval.  I mostly miss the simplicity and clarity that life in post war Malta gave those of us born out of the ashes of war.

My dad driving his Triumph motorcycle shortly after the war.

As I sit in the silence of a warm Sunday morning with my cup of coffee, I listen with nostalgia and warmth to what could have been my childhood.  Yes, Patricia’s life mirrored my own.  I gently sip the warm coffee and as I turn my eyes to my parents’ 1938 wedding picture, I realize that they had gone through the terror of war, but we had gone through the aftermath. At that moment I also realized that I missed them both terribly, and that my story was also theirs.  Thank you Patricia Salamone and Campus FM; because for a few minutes on a Sunday morning, you brought back fond memories of my parents and my childhood.

GLOSSARY:

Cerna: Mediterranean fish Grouper

Lampuki: Mediterranean fish Dorado

Fenek: Rabbit

Qarnita: Octopus

Hobs biz-zejt u tadam: bread with oil and tomatoes aka “bruschetta”

RAI: Radio Televisione Italiana

Dolce Vita: the sweet life

Kampanja: country side

The good, bad, & ugly of Eurovision 2019

Courtesy of BBC News (May 19, 2019)

Well, I have made it through another Eurovision Song Contest without managing to throw up.  Armed with a bottle of good red wine, I braced myself for the next three plus hours of musical pain. Eurovision is the annual European “competition” (and I use that term loosely), that supposedly launches the best singer in Europe.  If we are to be geographically accurate neither Australia nor Israel are in Europe,  but they both participate. We can lend a blind eye to the latter being across the Mediterranean and closer to Europe, but Australia is a quaint anomaly. This intentional “blind eye” what makes Eurovision more insidiously curious to follow.  Like a car wreck; one is unexplainably unable to fight the compulsion to watch.

Michaela Pace (Wikipedia)

Eurovision is a combination of European kumbaya and back slapping that can be simultaneously borderline nauseating and hilarious. The country that hosts the event is the winner of the previous year.  Hence this year, Eurovision was in Tel-Aviv, Israel.  Amid political rhetoric and talk of boycotts by the far left loons like the BDS, the event sort of went off without a hitch. 

My initial intentions were honorable. I endured the four quasi torturous hours because a young Maltese girl by the name of Michaela Pace qualified for the finals.  Michaela has a beautiful clear voice which should not have bothered to participate in this competition.  Eurovision singing expectations rate on the same level as your tone deaf uncle singing Elvis in the shower.  Equally painful and ugly. Very few Eurovision winners ever gather any momentum or global success.  Abba was a unique phenomenon that has never been duplicated or repeated.  My patriotic sense allowed me to sit and listen through 25 more compositions. The wine numbed the pain.  

The Eurovision commission put out a strict warning against politicizing the event .  Whatever good it does, but Eurovision is all about image rather than substance.  They did not disappoint us.  Eurovision is all about perception.  We are one happy family. The EU Waltons. The four presenters remained true to their role with fake smiles and camp jokes that played well with the uber enthusiastic audience.  Flags waived.  Love was in the air.  Contestants performed and true to Eurovision fashion, at the end of each song cried out to the audience on how much they loved them and how much they loved Israel.  Whatever.  This was the good.   The bad was yet to come.

Courtesy of BBC News (May 19, 2019)

Madonna, the middle-aged icon was scheduled to perform mid-way through the event. To be fair, despite harsh criticism from far left anti-Israel BDS Hollywood pin heads, Madonna has often entertained in Israel.  She made the decision to perform at Eurovision amid similar visceral critiques which she waved aside as political inanity that has no place in music.  On the final night at Eurovision, between the contagious excitement of voting and winning, Madonna gave a pep talk to the contestants telling them they were all winners, and that music brings everyone together.  And that’s where Madonna’s cultist mystique ended for the night.

Like the rest and best of us, Madonna is getting on in years which is more than okay, because it irks the shit out of me that women in show business are expected to look 20 for the rest of their lives.  I actually hope that she does not turn into a quilt like Cher.  I have a disturbing image of Cher sleeping wrapped in Saran Wrap in case her face falls off.  I am digressing.  I also understand that ‘over the top” is a prerequisite to successful show business, but dressing like an over-aged Viking pirate did not win Madonna any points.  Her long blond braid wig and eye patch did very little to enhance either the few extra pounds she managed to stuff in her brass brassiere, or her performance.  The Madonna “what the fuck” experience was yet to tragically unfold on stage. The crescendo in excitement was evident in the presenters’ inability to breath the same air as the iconic Madonna.  They couldn’t even utter her name without breaking into reverential sweat. 

Madonna went back into her past with the 1989 hit “Like a Prayer”, unfortunately by the first note it was evident that she needed more than prayers to deliver the song.  Out of tune, out of breath, and flat, she would have been fiercely given the red buzzer by Simon Cowell in the first ten seconds of her rendition.   Must give her kudos for finishing the song; anemic as it was.  Going into her new release “Future” with US rapper Quavo, the performance marginally improved but her struggle was still ongoing.  What was supposed to be non-political became history when two of her pinhead dancers left the stage displaying a flag each on their backs: one Palestinian and one Israeli.  Charming. At this point I was wondering what had been worse; Madonna’s performance, or the now all too familiar pandering Colgate smiles of the presenters, attempting to say something other than “Oy Vey”!  But this is Eurovision and everyone must remain happy and upbeat.

Courtesy of BBC News (May 19, 2019)

After three plus hours of bad singing, bad music, and Madonna, we had to brace ourselves to the voting. An exercise in futility.  The voting is allegedly part public and part judges.  Each country gives 12 points to the “best” song.  Of course that is a matter of opinion, but then after Madonna’s performance even the grunting anti-Semite Iceland heavy metal twits began to sound good. 

As usual the Nordic countries think it’s cool to raise the bar on bizarre.  It’s chic. They stretch their Viking birthright to stupid.  But hey, each to his own.  They could not contain their anti-Israel feeling any longer.  So they displayed the Palestinian flag as the votes were cast. They went beyond Nordic pixilation; someone should have taught them some manners.  If they intended to be rude to their hosts they should have stayed at home, no loss there. What happened to music being non-political? I guess they missed that memo. Iceland has the highest cost of living and inflation in Europe. They have to sell their first born to buy a beer, yet they have the unmitigated  gall to criticize Israel.  A country that leads the world in patents, technology, medicine, and music. What’s Iceland claim to fame? Their ancestors must have tied their Viking hats too tight.

As countries cast their votes, politics entered with a vengeance.  Former Eastern Bloc countries referred to their votes as voting “for a friend”, or “a friend of a friend”.   I guess Malta, UK, Spain, and Germany have no friends.  Who was surprised that Hungary would vote for the Czech Republic, or that Cyprus would vote for Greece, raise your hand?  But the pretense continues.  Under irritating comic camp, forced EU camaraderie,  and the pretense of one big happy family, is buried centuries of suspicion and dislike. Like Don Corleone, who would kiss you while driving a knife through your back, European hypocrisy disguised as intellectual acceptance is putrid.   

Courtesy BBC News (May 19, 2019)

When the voting started and with my wine gone, I switched to whiskey for strength and fortitude.  But after four plus hours of sheer torture, my body gave in to mental Eurovision fatigue. Every year we all know how it will end and we don’t give a shit, because like all good Europeans we will make plans for another evening of bad music, bad costumes, bad entertainment, and an opportunity to pan the hell out of the event in 2020.  I raise my glass of 12 year-old single malt to the winner and go to bed; hopefully a dreamless night.  

2020 election; Send in the clowns

Is it that time again? The presidential election time? The circus-like exercise in futility for many, and agonizing irritation for the rest of us? It seems like only yesterday when we went through the Hillary emails, Bernie’s rants, and Trump’s thumps. But here we are again, in desperation and mental anguish watching a bunch of self absorbed yahoos attempt to convince us that they are going to save us from whatever they think we need saving from.  A collection of political hacks and character misfits working their way through our lives.  We are supposed to decide and choose one of these pinheads, who on a good day I would ignore,  to lead our country. God please bless America.

Folks, the choice pickins are very slim. In the old days, character and moral fiber defined leadership.  We sought people who were reasonably intelligent, polite, and singularly and hopefully better than us.  We were looking for politicians that gave us the confidence that they will take care of us.  We never questioned their personal lives because deep inside we knew that they were probably flawed, but at the same time we expected and demanded behavior that instilled trust.  Rhetoric was left to polite political debate.  There was no name calling, no attacks on families, no hateful intentions; at least that we could see.  Campaigns were fraught with patriotic red, white, and blue promises that most likely would not be kept, but deep inside we still hoped they would.  All in all, campaigning was hard and loud, but never vulgar, or on a thug level.

I am dreading 2020 and the election year we are about to suffer through.  If you thought that 2016 was bad, hold on to your corsets because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  Every crazy on the left has thrown the hat and a portion of their brain into the ring.  The Democratic contenders are now approaching two dozen.  Except for Joe Biden, I do not even remotely attempt to label and package the rest of the Democratic ticket.  They are crazy socialist leftists, bent on  convincing us that socialist America would be grand.  The “free for all” crowd who want our money to give it to someone else.  Yes,  free education. Now I ask, why would I want to pay for someone else’s education, especially the way universities and colleges operate these days?  They offer subjects that are as useless as basket weaving.  I am always suspicious when someone tells me that they have a graduate degree in “studies”. My initial urge is to ask: so what have you learned? Catch the drift?  We have grads owing six figure loans bussing tables at Starbucks.  Ask any one of them what they studied in.  I doubt you will get science, plumbing, mechanics, or even medicine.  “Women in Africa Studies” is one of my favorites.  That will surely get you a job! So once again, why would I want to pay for some moron’s idea of education?

The country seems to have been hijacked by nut cases.  The bar has been lowered so much that Nancy Pelosi is beginning to make sense, and that is frightening.  The  congresswoman from Queens makes stupid look good.  The “green deal” goddess who predicts the end of the world in 12 years.  Why 12? Why not 10, or 13, or 32? She wants to remove every ounce of fossil fuel in 10 years because the world will be destroyed in 12.  Even if you failed math, the numbers don’t add up.  And by the way, didn’t Al Gore play that card 20 years ago?   I vote in Queens, and the ballot only had her name on it.  Not much choice.  She got elected then turned around and chased Amazon out, together with 25,000 jobs and six figure salaries.  She and the rest of her dolty clueless clique are scientifically, economically, and for sure historically deficient.  But they are popular among the equally inane masses.

Hot from the presses is the other elite intellectual pseudo ethnic idiot, Elizabeth Warren.  Here new soap box tirade is against nurses.  Nurses; the least appreciated and paid.  One has to be a special kind of moron to go after the people who are self less in a thankless career.  I don’t know about you, but nursing never crossed my mind because it is demanding and stressful. Yet thousands of individuals put themselves in debt and through school to follow a vocation in service of others.  They smile and take abuse from doctors, administrators, and patients.  And now a two-bit self-appointed crusader with an identity crises attacks the very individuals who one day will have the misfortune to wipe her ass while she drools in bed.  She accused white nurses of racism because allegedly black people do not heal as fast.  Somewhere inside that brain is a hamster on a wheel.  Hate mongering among the tolerant far left loons.  I can’t laugh about it any longer because it is too painful.  What’s even more painful is watching the equally equipped idiots cheering her on. 

The climate change narrative has now taken a life of its own.  While we are thumped on the head by the dolt in Queens, China remains the worst offender in emissions and just plain disgusting air.  Large cities like Beijing has its citizens walking around with face masks.  How about talking to them into a “green deal”? Car manufacturers in the west are already spending millions on eco friendly technology and reduced emissions.  Some work, while others are just a political ploy. The electric car or hybrid is  a good example of environmental boondoggle that sends a poker up my ass.  The uselessness behind the concept is mind boggling.  The batteries on these vehicles require up to seven hours in charging.  The charging requires electricity. I would assume that environmentalists realize that the energy required to charge these vehicles is substantial and more than a tank of gas. The vehicles cannot be driven on battery alone because they can only go approximately 30 miles on a charge.  The rest of the time they are driven in a hybrid mode which increases horse power and gas guzzling. I know this because I am in the car business. But neither the loony left nor Hollywood pinheads can tell the difference.  The US government is currently dishing  out up to $5,000 in tax incentives to buy hybrids, resulting in  higher electric usage in homes and public charges.  I am sure that this has escaped the “green deal” gurus.

Except for Donald Trump, no  Republican has come forward to run for president.  I don’t know whether it is genius or cowardice. Let’s face it, we have already regurgitated Huckabee, Romney, and Cruz.  Who is left? Who will take a swipe at Trump?  Who wants to take a swipe at Trump? The man can be as irritating as hell.  The incessant tweets and childish comebacks are getting old.  To be fair, his ride has been anything but smooth.  The continual investigations and persecution of his family is not only unprecedented but visceral. It is obvious that it has very little to do with justice but more with the blatant hatred of the man. Tax payers’ money has been thrown in investigations that brought nothing to the table.  If the opposition had spent as much time and money working on health care, labor, and immigration than investigating Trump, they might have something to show for their five months in office. At least under Trump, the economy is thriving, employment is up, and NATO is finally paying its share. I doubt middle America cares much about Trump’s tax returns either.  However, I am sure that they would like to know how members of congress making less than $200,000 a year become the one percenters?  I think we should demand that all members of congress show us their tax returns, because I for one am curious at how a civil servant’s salary can turn you into a multi-millionaire like Nancy Pelosi and the senile socialist Sanders. But I digress. 

I do have a message for Mr. Trump the incumbent. Mr. President, now that Joe Biden has joined the fray, I do not want to hear “sleepy Joe” again.  As a matter of fact I do not want you labeling anyone ever again. It’s annoying as hell.  I don’t want to hear how great you are, look, and feel either.  It is equally a pain in the ass.  I want you to tell me why I should keep you in the White House.  I suggest you spend less time tweeting and watch reruns of Reagan as president instead.  He was true to himself but never disrespectful or brash.  He was likeable because he was a nice person. He also allowed his people to do their job.  He listened to those around him. These are attributes of leadership. He managed to win the Cold War that way. Better still, take a look at Margaret Thatcher.  She kicked ass with aplomb.   What I am trying to tell you is that you can be yourself without being a boorish disturbing version of yourself.  I appreciate you wanting to be genuine but some “genuine” needs to remain under wraps.  Your administration is like a revolving door.  I can’t remember all the names of who have gone in and out of the White House. You had some good people like General Mattis who left you.  That was a big mistake.  He is an exceptional honest and honorable man. Is it possible that there is something wrong with the way you manage and lead?  I suggest you gnaw on that thought for a while. I appreciate your business savvy but the White House is not one of your casinos.   Wizen up or you are fired.

So here is the 2020 election selection in a nutshell.  A Twilight Zone of political zombies.  If by now you are not dreading 2020 you must be either hypnotized, high, or brain dead.  I would love to line them up and slap them respectively and repeatedly with a two by four.  I would love to cause them as much pain as they will be causing me. There is much to say about hibernation.  Maybe I can sleep through the election. I am making a list and checking it twice. Movies, television reruns, books, and plenty of single malt whiskey.  That ought to get me through the election blues.  Wake me up when it’s over!

The imploding Democratic Party

Biden

Poor Joe Biden.  Another fallen victim to the #MeToo movement. They are out to get another “white privileged” male.   ‘Uncle” Joe is in trouble; even Madam Pelosi warned him to “stop being so touchy-feely”. Mark my words, moderate Democrats are slowly and systematically being replaced by the new loony left.  The new socialist generation who are short on history and long on ignorant rhetoric.  But back to Uncle Joe.  Can anyone imagine JFK or FDR in today’s political “gotcha” climate? The women’s movement would have had a field day with both men.  JFK had a virtual White House revolving door for floozies, and by what I have read, FDR was no better.  I can almost forgive FDR because from what I’ve seen, Eleanor was no  Marylyn Monroe. 

Years ago the American voter seemed to differentiate between the politician and the man.  Ladies we might have come a long way baby but we have also turned into whiny pain in the asses.  For the life of me I cannot understand the dual entitlement that this generation of women demand.  Equality with benefits.  We want to be in a man’s world that suits our gentle sensibilities.  It is beyond annoying.  It is excruciatingly painful to watch.  We demand to be taken seriously but do not have the grit to tell a man to fuck off when he gets stupid.  Women accept male manipulation to get ahead but then cry foul years later.  Hollywood comes to mind. The myriad of actresses who had very little problem with Harvey Weinstein launching them into stardom. Their morality was conveniently put on the back burner of their rising careers.  Their activism dormant in anticipation of a hit movie. Oh, yes the awakening of the Hollywood conscience was alarming.

Now we get into politics and the sudden surge in female values.  The female politician incensed by Joe Biden’s “affections”. What a crock. How are voters to take these females seriously?  Their fragility on demand will only take us so far. They want to become our leaders, even presidents. Somehow I can’t imagine them going against Russia or Iran.  Putin’s bare chest and knowing Cossack smile suddenly comes to mind.

Democrats Amy Lappos and Lucy Flores are supposed to represent the new generation of kick-ass political women. Women who have risen from the ashes of the 60’s women’s movement.  Instead they conveniently wait in the wings until an election is on the horizon. Then they make pathetic allegations against one of their own.  I am no fan of Joe Biden the politician.  He is the bookend to another idiot, Dan Quayle.  He often thinks and speaks through the recesses of his prostate. But he is like that old relative who tells the same joke at every family gathering and gets a laugh because he is harmless.  Joe Biden is a good man. If these two females had an “episode” with him they could have told him to knock it off years ago, and not waited until his name is almost on a ballot.  What exactly do they have against this man? These two fools are supported by no other than the left wing ethnically undecided, Elizabeth Warren.  Remember her? Another genius of the far left who has the gall to go after Joe when she has been the most disingenuous woman on the planet.  This woman feeds on malcontent.  She creates nothing.  She salivates on taking what is mine. She hopes to save the world but only for the chosen few. 

The Democratic Party has been hijacked by lunatics, bigots, socialists, and idiots.  Biden’s spokesman Bill Russo is another gem. He went after the proverbial “right wing trolls”. What a surprise.  Isn’t there a Democrat with some imagination? Why don’t you go after your party’s kooks, Bill?  That irks the crap out of me.  In 1994, Hillary tried to blame her husband’s untimely blow job on a Republican conspiracy.  Right!  Let us blame accusations by two Democrats on “right wing trolls”.  Forrest Gump was correct, stupid is as stupid does.  The Democrats seems to be doing quite well in screwing themselves up without any help from the far right.

The party of Truman, JFK, and FDR is slowly morphing into the party of Fidel Castro.  Serious moderate Democrats are being pushed aside in lieu of fanatical pseudo intellectual socialist morons.  No one is in charge. In the past 10 years, and thanks to Mr. Obama, the Messiah,  the party shifted toward socialist and politically correct agendas rather than sustainability.  Democratic cities are rife in crime, poverty, and greedy entitlements.  Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore come to mind. Held by Democrats for years, they have raised a constituency that thrives on welfare and hopelessness. Some areas have been turned into war zones unprotected by an impotent police force afraid to intercede for fear of repercussions. How these cities keep on voting these clowns in is beyond me.

Democrats support a Women’s Movement run by the three most vicious, vile, and bigoted anti-Semite females in the country. Friends to Farrakhan, another charmer who makes the KKK look like the PTA.  Democrat’s freedom of speech is conveniently evoked only if it is anti-Trump, anti- conservative, anti pro life, anti Christian, and in recent months, anti Israel.  Four months into the biggest win in Congress, the Democrats have managed to accomplish squat. Their agenda has been the Mueller report, hatred for Trump, impeachment of Trump, going after Trump’s family, going after Trump’s assets, indicting Trump,  and for good measure hating Trump one more time.  The Trump Derangement Syndrome is alive and well in the Democratic Party. 

So why are we surprised that poor Uncle Joe is thrown under the bus?  He is dispensable.  He is the proverbial white privileged.  The unclean.  As the insane unfolds before our very eyes,  the opposition should wait quietly in the wings.  Politicians fail to understand that normal Americans have a way of assessing crazy.  The East and West Coast may make the loudest noise, but middle America sits quietly and waits.  It is evident that there is no longer any significant leadership in the Democratic party. I almost feel sorry for Nancy Pelosi. She should call Theresa May for comfort because they are both ineffectual in their respective parties and government. Anarchy and visceral hatred will only be tolerated for so long. Sane Americans can only take so much crap.  Democrats were indirectly responsible for electing Trump in 2016, and if they are not careful, their crazy will elect him again in 2020.   

Socialist Greed & the loony left


Courtesy: https://www.thoughtco.com/republic-vs-democracy-4169936

Yea it is time for a tirade.  When is the Democratic Party disassociating itself from socialists and the loony left.?  Once the proud party that defied and won against Nazism, Fascism, and even sent man on the moon, has been reduced to a continuous episode of Homer Simpson.  Duh! There are still Democrats upholding principles found in the Constitution, but they are few and far between. Regretfully, they are being bullied by the new loony left faction of the party.  The dominant and prominent loons are Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. The four musketeers of socialism, anti-Semitism, and  greed.  Yes folks, the loony left is greedy.

The United States is a Constitutional  Republic and not a  Democracy.  Surprised? I suppose it irks the pinheads above to no end.  The fundamental differences between a Constitutional Republic and a Democracy are founded in the philosophy and definition of both types of governments.  A Democracy is defined as a system ruled by the majority, “allowing any individual and group of individuals composing any minority, that have no protection against the power of the majority.” A Constitutional Republic has a written constitution of “basic rights that protect minority from being unrepresented or abused by the majority”. (https://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic)  This was the reason why our founders had enough foresight and intellect to create the Electoral College, an instrument that protected  smaller and rural states voters from being overruled by the highly populated urban areas and states. The check and balances of a Republic.  The cry to abolish the Electoral College is simply a futile and insidious attempt by the highly populated ultra liberal states on the east and west coast to impose their will on the rest of us.  But I digress.

Add a socialist agenda to a Democracy and you end up with chaos disguised as justice.  I will cut some slack to the three idiotic women mentioned above because they have not lived long enough to remember Communism or the Cold War.  I have socks older than they are.  But Bernie Sanders is another story.  He is an enigma to me because he has been on this earth longer than I have, and I remember Eisenhower as President! What is his excuse? Unless Vermont was somehow sheltered from Walter Cronkite or any other mainstream media, he ought to know and remember how socialism operated.  He should remember the pain and suffering Eastern Europe was under for more than 40 years.  As a matter of fact some former Eastern Bloc countries have yet to completely recover.  The Berlin Wall was not built to keep people out (as some idiots have you to believe when they compare it to Trump’s “wall), the wall was to keep people in.  People attempting to escape across the wall were shot. 134 of them to be exact. Venezuela is the latest casualty to socialism.  So what drives the loony left toward socialism? The answer is quite simple; greed.  Greed, you say?

Socialists are greedy bastards. They want what they cannot get on their own.  A good example of such greed is the constraint on property rights.  A social democracy can limit those rights and take over property if the government deems it unworthy that an individual should have it.  A Constitutional Republic prohibits interfering with property rights.  What is yours is yours.  Socialism is built on the false pretense of equality.  Equality through greed and avarice.  I want it and deserve what you have because I am your equal and therefore you must share it with me. The mantra of the loony left: free, free, free.  Margaret Thatcher said it well; “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” In this case our money.  There is no such thing as a free lunch, someone always pays for it.  According to socialism the “rich” must pay for it.  But now we must define “rich”.  Ms. Ocasio Cortez or AOC as she is so fondly referred to, has put $10 million as the magic “rich” number.  You cannot earn more than that because we will tax you until you drop. According to AOC no one should be allowed to have more. Who needs more? I would like to know how Pelosi, Gore, Clinton, and the rest of her Democratic millionaire buddies feel about that.  What happens when the “rich” are no longer rich?  I would love to ask her that question but I would have to endure her banal answer.

Socialism creates nothing.  It just takes from others.  Why are socialists so eager to make everyone poorer?  Why are they against successful people who create our jobs and better our lives? Why are socialists miserable? And why would I want to share their obvious misery? Socialists are inherently greedy.  They yearn to have mine, yours, and ours. I do not believe their equality narrative, because those in charge never give up what they have, but force me to give up mine.  I have never seen a poor socialist leader. I would love to see Al gore endorse AOC’s “green deal”. Say good bye to your private jets, Hummers, and mansions Mr. Gore. Oh, and forget your royalties from your inane global warming books. Those dollars will melt away as easy as the melting glaciers you predicted in 2012. Nancy Pelosi might want to consider donating her winery and property and distribute her wealth as our former president advocated and the current pinheads want.  What about Bernie Sanders who owns half of Vermont, maybe he would share his good fortune with the likes of us?  Unless born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or inherited your wife’s fortune ala Al Gore, most of us have worked hard for what we have earned.  I refuse to share my years of hard work with some free loading scumbag who refuses to go through the same crap I went through.

So what’s the beef social democrats?  Why so bent on ruining what America was so uniquely great at: self-sufficiency?  Why drive Amazon out of town when they were prepared to pay six figure salaries to 70% blacks and minorities in Queens?  But hey, this was AOC’s finest moment. She was all smiles because she “won”. What an idiot! Amazon was ready to provide 25,000 jobs to a major city in desperate need of a boost in business. And to think that people in Queens voted for this moron. The same people she had no problem shafting.

Taking trips to former East Berlin in the 70’s and 80’s was an eye opener for all of us Western elite.  You could not find a fresh fruit or vegetable if your life depended on it.  Long human lines were everywhere.  Housewives stood in line without knowing what they were lining up for.  The idea was that if there was a line, then there must be something at the end of the line that was not available the day before.  Even if you did not need it you bought it anyway.  On one of my many trips to East Berlin, I stood in line in a store with the best of them.  I inquired about a small pair of boy’s pants for my nephew.  The rack only carried one size and I needed a different size.  My request was met with an abrupt unsmiling face (no one smiled in East Germany, probably they were prohibited from doing so) and a persuasive “nein”. An older lady behind me explained that whatever was on the shelves was normally what was available. “Suppose you want another size?” I inanely asked. “You wait” came the reply.  I asked her how long they would wait.  She shrugged, who knows, a day, a week, a year; you get the gist.  East Germans waited 15 years to get a Trabi. A vehicle made out of recycled material that ran on an alcohol based fuel that stunk to high heaven and back.  The joke went like this: a man ordered his vehicle from the central office.  He was given a 15 year delivery date.  He asked the clerk if it would be delivered in the morning or the afternoon on that day.  The clerk asked why.  The man replied that he had an appointment for a plumber that same afternoon! And this is AOC and Bernie’s dream for us! Dream on morons.

The Democratic party is now a parody.  Three months  into leading congress and nothing to show for it but inane investigations that go nowhere.  We have been at it for three years. We could have paid for a wall around the country with the billions spent on this crap. They have gone after Trump’s campaign, university, daughter, wife, and if he had a dog, they would have gone after him too.  They would offer immunity to the White House gardener if they thought he could dig some dirt up.  They would make great editors in chief of the National Inquirer.  In the meantime, they allow the likes of  Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to trash Israel and Jews, and the certifiable AOC to threaten and bully decent people in her own party with McCarthyism tactics if they do not go along with her crazy ideas.  It is an Alice in Wonderland moment.  She puts the Mad Hatter to shame.

The Democratic party and Nancy Pelosi needs to cut these idiots loose.  Let them form their own loony left party.  They can call it the new Socialist Democratic Party or whatever flavor of the month they chose. After all they love to brag how socialist they are.  Better still, send them on a congressional fact finding trip to Venezuela.  One way ticket only please!

The pope’s summit – another Vatican boondoggle

"A publicity stunt": Why some doubt Pope Francis' Vatican summit on systemic sex abuse

“A publicity stunt”: Why some doubt Pope Francis’ Vatican summit on systemic sex abuse

The Vatican’s summit on sexual abuse is over.  Hold the presses and your breath.  How long has this shit been going on? This pope, who I must admit, I do not like, has been responsible for concealing information on scumbag priests who for years molested the vulnerable and the young.  This man disguised as the champion on human rights has the gall to lecture the US on the border fence, but is yet to admit that he was partially responsible for the proliferation of abuse by “men of the cloth”. Now, he wants to talk about it.  Right.

I have always reiterated that I love my faith but often dislike my church.  That has grown since the outbreak of disturbing news on abuse.  Abuse perpetrated by men who were held in esteem by children, parishioners, and lay ministers.  For years, parishes have allowed these men to prey on innocent altar boys and young girls, and as we have found out of late; even nuns.  Try to approach any Catholic clergy on the subject of women in the priesthood, and the curtain goes down faster than on a bad late night stand up comic.  The tongue-in-cheek explanation on women’s role in the church has been reduced to the male holistic one track mind that men are the center of the Catholic faith universe.  I will not even go into the mundane and now so familiar rhetoric of how traditionally, the apostles were men.  Go figure.  Two thousand years ago a man could buy a woman for two cows and a camel.  Does the Vatican find that adequately traditional as well? 

This pope, which I refuse to even mention his name, is an oddity and not in a good way.  His idea of women’s rights in the Catholic church amounts to telling mothers that they can nurse in the pews. How thoughtful.  I am sure that with the current sexual ripple of perversity, that gesture is true progress in the war against sexual abuse!  In the meantime, the church is suffering from the lowest attendance  and lowest number of vocations to the priest hood.  Of course, in today’s “judge first” than investigate later #MeToo world, no man in his right mind would even dream of joining anything that might expose him even minutely to allegations.  And to be fair, some of the current accusations against priests have not been fully investigated, but the reputational damage has already been done.

Whenever I attempt a discussion (and always a heated one) with one of our local priests on the subject of women and priesthood, I get the same talking points from the same playbook.  Tradition.  The apostles. Women have other roles.  You get the gist.  The same bullshit we have been listening to for years.  Yet every Sunday we pray for men’s vocations.  What hypocrisy. What about women’s  vocations?  What about young girls who aspire to serve the church as priests?  Where in the New Testament is written that only men can serve?  Oh yes, I forgot, the apostles were men. Christ did not ask any of his women folk to follow him. What nonsense. In the meantime, the church bemoans its diminishing popularity. You think?

The Vatican can kill two birds with one stone.  Ordain women, and stop celibacy.  The former will increase vocations and servitude to the Lord, and the latter will surely eliminate most of the sexual abuse, and also increase vocations to boot.  Of course, one must also admit that the pedophiles who harmed children would still remain pedophiles regardless of their status. 

I refuse to keep on praying for more men in the church.  I am praying to God to make his leading shepherd, aka the pope, to wake up and realize the implications of paternal stubbornness in continuing to refuse women to the priesthood and priests to marry.  An unescapable insidious irony is the pope’s latest trip to rich Dubai. He found comfort in embracing the Imam and expressing unity and understanding under one God.  Really?  He has empathy with Islam?  A faith regarded as the most abusive against women, girls, and gays.  He should have been in Iran this week when the Imams publicly hung two young men for being gay.  Would he also consider embracing those sons of bitches as united under one God? Is that something he wants to have in common with Islam? Frankly, I have no wish to have their kind of god in my life.

I am still confused about this summit which was led by none other than Maltese Archbishop Caruana.    He is the head investigator.  The sexual abuse inquisitor so to speak.  His role is as vague as the summit itself. Was it an investigatory summit or a training session? As part Maltese, I know that although the Catholic Church in Malta is very powerful, the young generation of Maltese have stopped attending.  Most of the reasons are basically the same like that of the rest of the world.  The abuse of children, and allowing male priests to continue their totalitarian hold on communities that include schools, convents, and politics.  I do not know Archbishop Caruana, but I am hoping that Maltese tenacity will help him decipher between a serious attempt at bringing to justice church perverts or just a papal publicity stunt. 

There is a special hell for anyone who abuses the weak and the vulnerable.  A recent article noted that the abuse had extended to assault on young nuns. Often forced to have sex and then equally forced to have abortions to cover up cassock indiscretions.  Something out of a sordid mediaeval  novel. Torrid and evil.  As always, the man may be the villain but the woman ends up paying the price.  The problem with sex turned bad is that the woman always ends up with the short end of the stick (excuse the vulgar pun).  Whether rape, incest, or consensual, the sexual act has more impact on the female than the male.  He walks away sated and she is left with whatever she is left with.  Celibate priests and monks  felt the need and the nuns were available.  Very convenient.  Children were more vulnerable because they were frightened.  Most attended parochial schools run by Jesuit priests.  The intellectuals of the Catholic church. Which is not  a surprise to discover that allegedly Jesuits seem to make up for the majority of sex offenders.  I guess they were thinking with their dicks not their heads. Most of the boys were young altar boys without recourse to divulge the abuse to anyone. Sends bile to one’s throat.

The Catholic Church is going through a public relations nightmare.  This is worse than Bill Cosby and Jeff Bezos combined.  It is rocking the church’s very foundation of trust, truth, and faith.  The summit albeit vague, was supposed to be training church leaders on how to prevent sex abuse.  What a load of crap.  If the Vatican really wants to drain the swamp, it must open its doors to all the faithful and not the interpreted chosen few.  Let the air out of the gender bubble and allow women and young girls to answer their call to sacramental service.  Allow good men with families to serve as priests and servants of the Lord.  Dismantle the empire and build a true united church of Christ and his followers.   

In the meantime we must endure the appearance of action by the Vatican in the hope of appeasing us malcontents.  Catholics have the right to demand more of their church and especially of their pope.  His gratuitous lip service has become as meaningless and annoying as his pandering to the flavor of the month activism.  I have very little time and patience with this man and with every other promotable ‘man of the cloth’.  Faith has very little to do with tradition.  I will keep the faith, but I will never subject myself to the twisted thought that married men or women are somehow less godlike than celibate men. How has celibacy worked so far? It is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

We only had  a “summit” because the pontiff got caught with his hand in the cover-up cookie jar.  Now he wants to listen to ‘the cry of the young who want justice”.   If it wasn’t so abhorrently sad it would be ludicrous.  One last thought: the pope is said not to expect any “miracles” from this summit. How insidiously obtuse! Thank you pontiff, you sure know how to restore our faith in you and our church!