18 July 2020

olden times

i found this today, something i wrote in february ---- i thought everything was a mess then, and didn't even get to BLM and the covids and what not --- i also left out what matters most: people i care about --- all of the quarantining, masks, and social distancing take their toll but also put things back in perspective
I finished my 2019 income tax return this morning—first year without any working income, i.e., nothing but social security, annuity, and investment income—but still a shitload more income than I ever thought I would have in my younger days—I owe a few thousand to the feds, which I can pay, but nothing to the state—
I spend a few thousand a year on health insurance premiums, but those are deducted so I never see the money anyway—and a couple of thousand in copays for the eight or so meds I take every day (!), but I also am the beneficiary for what amounts to free medical care whenever I have, for example, a heart attack, which is no small thing I guess—I know
I own my condo free and clear and totally appreciate the services provided by the monthly HOA fee—
i can buy purty much all the groceries and liquor and what not I want—blueberries, yogurt, and granola for breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, and amy's chili rellenos for supper is just fine—for me, eating out on a regular basis would be a total chore, which is a big point of savings there—food is fuel and not much more for me
And I can buy all the books I want—I've got 1,482 on the premises at last count, and another on the way, a statistic I know since I just finished an inventory, during the course of which I discovered a number of books I had forgotten about and also too, discovered that I need to up my personal property coverage and get more bookshelves
I can get fancy seats at the benz for soccer and the stones, go to the symphony and the botanical garden and what not when I want to, and take almost daily walks around the park and the great neighborhoods around me here—I took Guinness out to the river a lot, but for whatever reason I've only taken the hound dog out there once and that was just for a short walk—the park and chicken-bone sidewalks are more his style—and so the fitbit routinely records in excess of 11 or 12,000 steps and five or six miles at least
The animals are always noodling around the house, taking up space, requiring attention, providing body heat—the unit itself is floor-to-ceiling glass looking out over midtown, with plants all over the place, even if the orchids aren't doing worth a shit right now—so I'm not sure what more I could expect for nirvana in living arrangements at this late date in my life
And yet there is trumpistan, casting its ugly shadow over everything—that so odious and immoral a person could be elected to lead what was once styled the "leader of the free world" will always be beyond my understanding—people saw him mocking a disabled reporter in front of thousands of people, they heard him brag about "grabbing by the pussy," they listened to a man that "tells it like it is" but was totally full of bullshit and lies in a way that was obvious to anyone that hadn't already been brainwashed by fox news—and jesus h christ all that and enough of them voted for him anyway—and then they've listened to him lie, virtually every time he opens his mouth,  thousands and thousands of lies that have degraded our political discourse beyond comprehension and brought nothing but confusion
"When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind."
That was Hamilton in 1796 or so
And the Republican party, by failing to convict him of his impeachment, has confirmed his belief that he is above the law—they have been cowed into submission, so that now he feels free to use the justice department and every other arm of government to pursue his enemies, fill his coffers at public expense,  and, really, do whatever he wants to do—we've gone from children in cages to deporting military veterans and pardoning war criminals for chrissake?
He has empowered white nationalists and Nazis and evil people at home and around the globe, although I'll grant he didn't do all that all by himself—I worry about the queers and what not out in the country not to mention other minorities of all sorts, from Puerto Rico to Mexico to Africa to the Middle East
He and the republican party are in denial about climate change—he trashes environmental regulations, ranging from dumping coal ash into rivers and streams to reviving the asbestos industry to eliminating protection for wetlands and endangered species—and since he has appointed foxes over all the henhouses in government, he is quickly undoing, first and foremost, anything Obama touched, as well as the advances from the 1960s right back to the entire New Deal, not excluding voting rights and Social Security
He is trashing our old allies, abandoning the Kurds and Ukraine and everyone else that might benefit from our support—cozying up to despots in north korea, russia, and turkey
How does this affect me, a white anglo male, you might ask? Financially secure, as far as that can be and a great place to live and what not 
But being gay, I am affected by the fact that he has now appointed about a quarter of the federal judiciary, including two supremes, simply because the republicans hated Obama so much they would not even give his judicial appointments a hearing, much less a vote --- and most of them would roll back any civil rights, including marriage, that gay people have gained over the last two or three decades—
I know that somewhere in the middle of all of the above, you were starting to argue, but it all goes back to the man himself—a public man we've all seen and heard for decades—deeply ignorant, narcissistic, arrogant, egotistical, and immoral—we saw and heard him throughout 2016, and he [and russia?] still gamed the system and won
And so I "keep harping on trump"—and anybody that isn't on fire about what is going on is deeply ignorant, in denial, or a part of the problem—this is not about "political differences"; it's all about compassion and morality and justice