Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Partisan Tribalism And Injustice

Courtesy NY Magazine
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.   Martin Luther King, Jr
Despite our efforts to eradicate them, the indelible memories are those of distasteful, pernicious events implanted in the our minds return, often unannounced, flooding our thoughts with the same emotions we experienced when they occurred.

For me, the most hated, unpleasant of memories is that of the unforgettable stench of racism and xenophobia which permeated life as a teen during the nineteen-fifties and sixties.  Hovering in the air like a poisonous gas surreptitiously invading our souls the moment we disregarded the dangers and breathed in the noxious fumes of bigotry.  The poison didn’t just exist, it thrived when I was young.  For decades we erroneously thought it was subdued, relegated to the dark, foul sewage that is bad memories.  However; in truth, it was simply laying in wait to continue its destructive invasion, awaiting willing hosts to spread to spread it among the unwitting.

Bigotry’s twin, injustice, seemed to wane a bit as well, but together they now creep along the paths of humanity, seeking the slightest of opportunities to infect.

Well camouflaged amongst assumption and opinion, injustice is unconditionally destructive to individuals and entire civilizations deluded by its capricious nature as it worms into the cracks and crevices created by naïveté and opinion.

Capitalizing on those naive and opinionated are those who seek to advance their self-serving agendas. The guilty, the sanctimonious and the egotistical, using rhetorical dogma and diversion to segregate themselves from truth and justice, attempt to create the illusion that justice is injustice for them, thereby perverting justice for all.

In what has become a political circus in our nation’s capital, we witness, virtually every day, attempts to pervert justice. Yet; even more worrisome are those utterly blinded by acceptance of unfounded, fallacious claims of “justice”.

We’ve grown accustomed to watching justice unfold before our eyes in the various forms of media.  Likewise; we’ve grown accustomed to inserting our opinions, judging juries, and denigrating the courts.  But justice must remain blind; it cannot be commutated using hegemony and opinion disguised as justice and it must be allowed to run its course, despite our discomfort with the outcome.

As we watch our elected officials attempt to disrupt and thwart justice for the sake of partisan dogma, take care that your own patrimonial naïveté, brought about by the same tribalistic partisanship, doesn’t permit the worms of injustice to creep into and consume your mind, for injustice can easily disguises itself as justice, living comfortably among the complacent.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Red Herrings, Red Hens and Moral Equivalence

see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Several articles regarding the "confrontation" between Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and the staff of the Red Hen made their way into the news this past week, the writers of which seem to have grave concerns over our health and the direction our morals are heading, writing;

“Now, in a free country, business owners should be able to decide whom they wish to serve.  But the Left disagrees with that fundamental premise”. 

Providing its own brand of political perspective on the actions of Red Hen employees while comparing it to another recent issue concerning bakeries and gay couples, the National Review also contends; 

The question is why some people on the Left seem to believe that standing up against Sanders’s dinner order is laudable, but refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding ought to be punished by the government.

Well, the National Review got it partly right - they choose to stand up to Huckabee-sanders, but certainly not for the absurd reasons stated.  No one know on the left that I know would even suggest punishment by anyone, much less the government, for participation in same-sex weddings.  In fact; I think the would say it’s none of their damned business.  

One thing's for certain; this writer seems to have the left entirely misconstrued.

Surprising for me is the opinion expressed by the Washington Post Editorial Board, which seems to be saying that such behavior is not only inappropriate, but unhealthy for society.

We understand the strength of the feelings, but we don’t think the spilling is a healthy development

Really?  You think everyone should just close their eyes to the things they perceive as wrong?

Is this the same WaPo of the sixties and seventies?  The WaPo we’ve come to admire as the bastion of government watchdogs?  Or is this institutional self-righteous might exposed in the heat of the moment?

Whatever it is, I’m truly shocked.

Reason was just, well very reasonable in their reaction to the situation, coming closer to the bullseye than any of the others;

The insistence that wedding vendors be required by law to work gay weddings is often framed in terms of civility as well, with appeals to the deep emotional harm and "deprivation of personal dignity" that can come from being refused service.
I can’t speak for “the “left”, or the “right” nor do I even wish to try, as I’m just one more person with yet another opinion about this, a who's, fed up with fed a diet of stories that imply we must be either right or left.  No labels, no hyperbole, I just see this debate in a far different light.

And here is that light:

Coming to the defense of the gay patron was not an attack on the baker as an individual, rather it was protest against the institutional bigotry that played such a prominent role in society decades ago.

Likewise, the act of the employees and patrons of Red Hen politely asking Huckabee-Sanders to leave, was not because she’s Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.  It was, however, a voice of opposition to the ideology she embraces.  Not simply a representative, but a distinguishable leader of a very aggressive and oppressive institutional ideology.

The writer at National Review states “The answer, aside from tribal partisan politics, is the misapplication of the Golden Rule.”

Obviously, he’s far from having the “answer” himself.  In fact, if he thinks turning our heads, allowing bakers to degrade others and covering our eyes while Huckabee-Sanders preaches politics of hate is the answer, he not only has the answers wrong, he’s got the wrong test and is in the wrong school. The Golden Rule is not and never has been about institutionalized ideology, rather it’s about quite the opposite.  It’s about treating others fairly, period, end of story.

Ideology such as that Huckabee-Sanders is promoting attempts to redefine “kindness” to mean “kind behavior towards all, as long as that person harbors similar beliefs”.  That's the target in the actions  taken by those protesting the baker and in that of the employees at Red Hen.  IT IS NOT, as media prefers, protesting the individuals, so protest is not just acceptable, it is righteous.

Application of the Rule cannot be dependent upon one’s interpretation of faith, reality, politics, gender, skin color, culture, or other qualifiers.  Therein lies the real enemy in this battle of misconstrued moral equivalence, the institutions determining how, when and who to accept into the private club of humanity.  The very essence of what has driven revolutions across time and geography.

As the baker believes, so Huckabee-Sanders believes. They both opted to represent intolerance by singling out those who don't fit the parameters of exclusivity and exceptionalism.  So, when they receive the eire of those in opposition to their brand of self-righteous indignation, I will find no remorse in calling them out too.

Perhaps I’m personalizing it too much.  Perhaps the columnists are right and we should refrain from acting when others are wronged.  Perhaps Trump apologists, and the intolerant have it right and we should see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.


Perhaps!  But, while the herd sleeps, the Tiger eats.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Rail Monster Within Us All



Hot, humid, Oklahoma air slows the cottonwood seeds mid descent, their fall hindered by the thick air until they very nearly hover in place.  Lazily drifting past me, hundreds of white gossamer umbrellas tumble lazily to the ground like a mid-summer snow flurry.

Sitting on exposed roots of a blackjack oak poking out from under the rust-red clay that stretches for hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles in the southern plains, I’m utterly mesmerized by the white, cotton-like seeds from cottonwood trees gently floating to the ground, the white in stark contrast against the red clay.

It’s now early September and summer is stubbornly refusing to capitulate to the inevitable changing of the guards.  With the Sun now low in the sky, the muscles in my face are beginning to throb from constant squinting, the light glinting from broken glass, crystals, and even from the crowns of railroad tracks, slamming onto the retinas of my eyes like ricocheting bullets.

I’m hiding in vegetation so thick it creates a cave of twisted Johnson grass, kudzu vines and chokeberry bushes; a green cave created by the undergrowth of a hellish and almost impenetrable fortress.  And there’s good reason to hide until the time is right.

The cave is not the most comfortable of “homes”, but the heat, the constant drone of the cicadas and watching the endless parade of parachutes falling from the cottonwood trees begins to take a toll on on my eyelids.  I can’t focus and my body jerks each time I realize I’m falling asleep. I’m but a few seconds away from an involuntary nap when suddenly it arrives. 

I’ve been waiting patiently for it and it didn’t disappoint.  It edges its way towards me, closing the distance between the gnashing teeth and the wailing mourn. Like a siren luring a sailor into the black depths beneath his ship, the sound is faint, even soothing and caressing.  At first.  But then; as it draws nearer, the sorrowful, whine bellows out, loudly! 

As it approaches, the sorrowful whine is replaced by the harsh shrill of steel wheels on steel tracks and a low throbbing rumble from the .  It’s just past the edge of the forest now and I can feel the huge beast as it shakes the earth beneath my feet.

It’s in front of me now and the thick, humid air is laden with the smell of diesel.  After three gorgeous Rock Island engines and ten or fifteen freight cars pass me by I leap from my green cave and run alongside the freight car. The handles of the ladders were made blistering hot by the sun, but I dare not let go lest I become a tasty meal for the demons residing below and the screeching, clicking, hissing and gnashing from those demons are constant reminders of the pending doom, the horrendously painful death that awaits any miscue on my part.

With a leap, a quick grab of the ladder, and a pull, I’m safely on the first rung on one of hundreds of ladders, on hundreds of railcars.  Quickly making my way to the top of the boxcar, I sit facing the direction of travel and lean back on my hands and arms while the ride washes over me like a tangible dream from which I never want to wake; the cooling wind created by the motion of the train displaces the hot, still, humid summer air.

The rhythmic clacking of the wheels on the track’s expansion joints, the swaying from side to side of the car and most of all, the sheer freedom of the ride contain all elements of riding the high seas in a landlocked world.

The farms, forests and prairies pass by in a multi-dimensional panoramic video.  The animals in the pastures, oblivious to the events around, continue their routines.  The people, mouths agape, frantically point fingers and I know they’re all, children and adults alike, wishing like hell they could enjoy the freedom too. 


As I look back on these rides, they were dangerous as hell, but I never felt danger, from either the train, or the “career train-hoppers”.  The rides, from Shawnee to Earlsboro, Oklahoma, just short of nine miles, were never long enough and they sometimes resulted in a bit of a hike home, or, if I was lucky, a train-hop in the opposite direction, but one thing’s for certain; I always detested the end of the ride.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Protectionism, or Personal Gain; Motives Behind Trump’s Tariff Binge?



Buffoon in Chief Donkey Hotey
(image courtesy United Steel Workers)


"seeing a rising tide of imports as a threat to the domestic metals industry"  Washington Post
Via Wilbur Ross, yet another ventriloquist dummy pursuing power and security at our expense, we’re forced to endure one more whiff of the unbearable stench being emitted in a perpetual zephyr of bullshit flowing freely from Trump’s mouth.

I’ll be the first to admit that I know little about either industry (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night).  It does require, however, a bit more than the average skill required to read, write, and understand the two-hundred eighty character limitations in Twitter.

"Imports account for more than 90% of the 5.5 million tons of aluminum used by U.S. companies……at least 2.5 million jobs depend upon steel and aluminum.” Fortune
Fulfilling his juvenile ambition to antagonize our allies, friends, and even adversaries, Trump’s malignant narcissism and his impulsive behavior is, once again, severely retarding the ability of the United States to compete in global markets, or develop new domestic markets, thereby placing many of the nation's industries, employees, consumers, and even national security at risk.

Warnings from those who actually know the steel and aluminum industries - the industry executives, economists, investors, and The Heritage Foundation, are clear.
"Restrictions on basic steel imports will actually adversely impact national security, the economy, and the steel industry itself because it will undermine our competitiveness and limit our ability to make value-added products here. In that event, these products will be made elsewhere, resulting in lost business and jobs for our members and reduced purchases from the domestic basic steel industry. Everyone in the U.S. steel supply chain will be damaged by restrictions on steel imports.”  Letter to Trump from industries relying on steel BEFORE he imposed tariffs.  The Heritage Foundation
Steel production in the U.S. is currently less than ten percent of the volume produced by China’s 831.7 million tons.  Also; the nation imports 90% of all the primary aluminum used for manufacturing.  Finished products such as aircraft, trucks, tractors, construction material, and automobiles require high-quality product, thus we are incapable of supporting current needs for exportation or domestic consumption and it would take years to rebuild the manufacturing, logistics, and support systems required to meet the needs of such an industry.

"The United States has maintained a persistent trade deficit in steel products. Since 2009, imports have returned to the average levels seen prior to the 2008 global recession while exports have remained relatively flat in comparison, and the trade deficit has widened accordingly. Imports grew by 134% between 2009 and 2017, and the steel trade deficit grew by 327%"   United States International Trade Administration

And precisely the same situation is clearly evident in production of aluminum.
“Aluminum Association conceded that not all the needed aluminum needed can be produced in the U.S.”  Fortune

Once again, ”Businessman/deal-maker” continues to demonstrate his amateur business skills by boorishly pushing through ill-planned executive orders.  The questions Trump and his bad of morons don't seem to be considering; "what will happen when our trading partners decide to retaliate? Will we be prepared and equipped to handle retaliations?  If you read the information just provided, the answer is a resounding NO.

Is his behavior simply further demonstration of his inextinguishable proclivity to act foolishly, or should we be asking; “exactly what does Trump have to gain personally from his latest whims?”

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Fossil Fuels of the Future

T-rump Courtesy Daily KOS


Culture; commonly defined as customary beliefs, social forms and norms, material traits of a racial, religious, or social group, foods, and laws shared by people in a place or time.  

All humans, whomever and wherever we are, tend to establish these defining characteristics as an extension of who we are by assuming our cultural identities as our own, sometimes to the detriment of the very cultures with which we identify.

Throughout human history, cultures have influenced virtually every aspect of our lives.  It determines what and how we eat, how we view and interact with one another, our religious and political preferences, our housing and even our sexual behavior.

We can certainly reject some of the attributes of our cultures, however, none can authoritatively claim the overly coveted “self-determined individual”, for there are far too many factors influencing our lives.  From the moment we’re born, until we’re pushing up daisies, we become little more than the sum of our surroundings, influenced by other people and the cultures in which we’re born.

Likewise; merging and converging cultures, or “transculturation”, has unavoidable effects on all aspects of life for us.   As with each human, cultures influence and change other cultures as well.  Through the technological advances influencing today’s trade, exploration/tourism, migration, and even war, cultures change via appropriation of the attributes of other cultures.

From food to dress; from religion to politics, cultures have and will continue to impact others.

This phenomenon is not without conflict, however, and those vociferously opposing the idea of blending cultures, desiring to remain isolated, fail to realize that all modern cultures are, and will continue to be, representative of almost every other culture on the planet.

And this fact creates opportunity for two very distinct choices; hegemony and harmony.

The convergence of cultures screams opportunities in education, personal growth, and expansion of one’s understanding of the world; in short, wisdom.  And, in todays world, it also screams necessity for change, for acceptance of and growth within this challenge, much in the same manner as biological evolution, will ensure survival of the culturally fit.

Regardless of personal preferences, converging cultures WILL evolve and survive.  It is inevitable, for one cultural identity simply cannot exist in a global society of many cultures, and we are now, much to the dismay of some, a global community.

The technological advances shrinking Planet Earth have ensured inevitable changes, and they will continue to drive cultural evolution, leaving behind those who cannot, or will not, evolve.

And what of those who are themselves products of the very enculturation of generations before them, yet, in their own hegemonic bigotry, intolerance, and xenophobia, choose to ignore this evolutionary fact?

Like the prima donna dinosaurs they are, they will be left to decay, leaving behind nothing but fossils for a culturally advanced civilization to marvel upon.


Insert Trump comments below.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

THIS IS MY STORY & I’M STICKING TO IT

Let’s make one thing very clear from the start; this is my blog, so the opinions within are, without question, correct and accurate.  It is abundantly clear to all that my insight into the topic is thorough, precise and unquestionably accurate and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.  You cannot electronically enter the Net and punch my ticket; you cannot call the local law enforcement for harassing you; you cannot even swear at me effectively; can you?

You don’t like it?  Too damned bad!

So; let’s get on with it; shall we?

1. The Electoral College has, once again, proven its worthless existence by placing the biggest buffoon ever into the Oval Office, that buffoon being, of course, Donald Trump. 

2. Said buffoon is the biggest embarrassment to the nation; at least since leisure suits were a thing anyway.

3. The only thing more embarrassing than leisure suits would be the President of the United States  tripping on his own tie.



Or is it his opponent wearing bath robes to campaign rallies?

MY well-researched perspective is: We have entered a veritable political Twilight Zone wherein we all speak a common language, yet we have no idea what in Hell we’re saying to one another.  So, in order to clarify, we repeat the same position even more firmly and vociferously with each reiteration.  After all; that’s how we, as “rulers of the animal kingdom”, are supposed to communicate, isn’t it?  That’s how we begin to understand one another as fellow human beings/U.S. citizens/liberals and conservatives, right?

To forcefully reaffirm our own thoroughly enlightened perspective so those who are not as intellectually gifted as ourselves will inevitably see the error of their ways is how we reach common ground; is it not?


"The positive and negative aspects of existence as a human being, esp. the inevitable events such as birth, childhood, adolescence, love, sex, reproduction, aging, and death AND POLITICS"
A fascinating thing about humans; we inherently choose a tribe in which to function and with which to identify.  Imbedded in our very DNA is an undeniable survival characteristic, that of belonging to a group.

Our prehistoric ancestors established this trait simply for the need to survive the harsh environment in which they lived and, adhering to the genetic code, we continue to do so likewise, but we now select and promote truly pointless abstracts too, as though our lives depend upon our tribal selection; our schools as if our lives depended upon the selection (I know!  I repeated myself.  It made you understand; right?); our nation of origin; our favored football team; our political affiliation.

The implication of the tribal “politics” is filled with treachery and devastation for the human race.  Our membership in that particular tribe seems to require that we freely and vehemently deny the one truly important group its due validation - “tribe humanity”.

There’s even a place where I can aggressively offend you; the only place I can demean you without threat of retaliation, or embarrassment; the place which provides anonymity for all perspective-mongers.

The Net!

I can think of nowhere that provides such freedom, yet such destructive capability, as the “World Wide Net”.  Here, we can express our thoughts, ideas and opinions without mercy, without respect for another’s perspective.

The once unwritten rule of human interaction and communication; “the rule of respect for one another’s perspectives” has been left at the firewall.  Our ability to communicate effectively has been reduced to an unwanted virus, or malware.

I reiterate!  My opinion is the one that matters.  It is without doubt accurate and valid.  My opinion trumps yours (pun intended).  My group is far more important to the existence of humanity than yours will ever be.

So deal with it. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Day the Dog Pulled the Curtain on the Fraud

I have a couple very good and very important books going right now, books I think every U.S. citizen should read as soon as they can possibly get their hands on a copy, or e-copy; “Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris, by Ian Kershaw and On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder.

Hitler is a bit of a slow read (most definitely not due to interest, rather due to the detail one must pay very close attention to) both books are a vital read, given the political scenario in which we find ourselves and our nation today.

While reading “On Tyranny”, I kept thinking of the old B&W movie “The Wizard of Oz”.  I’m normally not one who typically picks up on subtle symbolism in movies, or books.  It takes books with the obvious, such as 1984, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, etc., the kind of books intended to engage our imagination via symbolic characters and scenarios.

But; for some reason “On Tyranny” kept bringing “The Wizard of Oz” to mind for me.

In Oz, there’s apparently symbolism in almost every character, blade of grass and flower in the story, symbolism that has been debated for generations unbeknownst to me :-)

“Hitler Hubris”, no symbolism whatsoever is attempted.  It’s straight out in the open, even spelling it all out for the reader.  However; what it does expose is an extraordinarily frightening parallel between Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump; two men who’s contribution to society will live in infamy as long as there is even but one human being left on this planet with either a memory or the ability to read.

There have been and will always be characters in the history of humanity who will forever live in infamy. 

Some characters aren’t just equated with the worst of what society has to offer, but those who literally define the worst of the worst; sociopathic characters straight from Hell providing the very story of hate, deceit, treachery, ardent narcissism, arrogance, truculence, cruelty, dishonesty, aggression, pusillanimous, ignorance, ruthlessness, etc. etc. etc.

Most of those characters are already historic as of today; names such as Franco, Pinochet, Duvalier, Stalin, Pot, Amin, Mussolini, and of course Hitler.

However; one is creating his own repulsive story as you read this - Donald Trump; a “great and almighty wizard” who is certain he knows all and can even grant people’s most outrageous of wishes, simply by doing nothing but turning knobs, pushing buttons, pulling handles, and communicating from behind a curtain, in fear of dogs; dogs, like you and me, who have already pulled the curtain hiding his fraudulent existence.

Fortunately for the illiterate buffoon that he is, the curtain is limited to one-hundred forty characters or less, so his illiteracy, ignorance, and raw stupidity remain hidden to the less observant, and the foolishly devoted.  

I always use quotes in my posts, but I rarely use one to the extent that I’m using this, but it’s reason and relevance will appear very quickly.  

As you read the following, think of Charlottesville, Trumps campaigns wherein he gleefully threw voices of opposition out of his rallies and compared law abiding liberals to Right Wing hate groups such as the Alt-Right, KKK, and White Supremacists, a tactic used by ultra-nationalists to reduce to their level, all opposition, both in present and in historical pre-WWII Germany, as they rounded up all those they claimed were in need of elimination in order to  cleanse the Motherland of racial impurities.

“Most governments, most of the time, seek to monopolize violence. If only the government can legitimately use force, and this use is constrained by law, then the forms of politics that we take for granted become possible. It is impossible to carry out democratic elections, try cases at court, design and enforce laws, or indeed manage any of the other quiet business of government when agencies beyond the state also have access to violence. For just this reason, people and parties who wish to undermine democracy and the rule of law create and fund violent organizations that involve themselves in politics. Such groups can take the form of a paramilitary wing of a political party, the personal bodyguard of a particular politician— or apparently spontaneous citizens’ initiatives, which usually turn out to have been organized by a party or its leader.
Armed groups first degrade a political order, and then transform it. Violent right-wing groups, such as the Iron Guard in interwar Romania or the Arrow Cross in interwar Hungary, intimidated their rivals. Nazi storm troopers began as a security detail clearing the halls of Hitler’s opponents during his rallies. As paramilitaries known as the SA and the SS, they created a climate of fear that helped the Nazi Party in the parliamentary elections of 1932 and 1933. In Austria in 1938 it was the local SA that quickly took advantage of the absence of the usual local authority to loot, beat, and humiliate Jews, thereby changing the rules of politics and preparing the way for the Nazi takeover of the country. It was the SS that ran the German concentration camps— lawless zones where ordinary rules did not apply. During the Second World War, the SS extended the lawlessness it had pioneered in the camps to whole European countries under German occupation. The SS began as an organization outside the law, became an organization that transcended the law, and ended up as an organization that undid the law.
Because the American federal government uses mercenaries in warfare and American state governments pay corporations to run prisons, the use of violence in the United States is already highly privatized. What is novel is a president who wishes to maintain, while in office, a personal security force which during his campaign used force against dissenters. As a candidate, the president ordered a private security detail to clear opponents from rallies, but also encouraged the audience itself to remove people who expressed different opinions. A protestor would first be greeted with boos, then with frenetic cries of “USA,” and then be forced to leave the rally. At one campaign rally the candidate said, “There’s a remnant left over. Maybe get the remnant out. Get the remnant out.” The crowd, taking its cue, then tried to root out other people who might be dissenters, all the while crying “USA.” The candidate interjected: “Isn’t this more fun than a regular boring rally? To me, it’s fun.” This kind of mob violence was meant to transform the political atmosphere, and it did.
For violence to transform not just the atmosphere but also the system, the emotions of rallies and the ideology of exclusion have to be incorporated into the training of armed guards. These first challenge the police and military, then penetrate the police and military, and finally transform the police and military.”

Snyder, Timothy. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (pp. 45-46). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.