The avalanche starts with a whistling wind through the trees on a quiet mountain top


I am a lifelong Republican. I voted for every Republican presidential candidate from 1968 to 2004. But I have watched what once was a sane, center-right party go off the rails, first to the extreme right, then to wherever Trump is, which is in another universe.

It’s tough, but we must end this dangerous presidency. Trump must be impeached and removed with all haste. But only Congress can initiate the process.

Our congressman, Steve Chabot, has been busy defending Trump from the media, which is simply reporting Trump’s machinations. It’s time for him to man-up and start drafting the articles of impeachment. As I remember, he did it for Clinton for far less than Trump has already done.

After the election, many hoped that Trump would “grow up” into the job – that he couldn’t possibly be as bad as some thought. Well, it’s gone the other way. The bully has become a more entitled bully. Anyone disagreeing is attacked. Policy is announced in illiterate tweets.

Read the rest here.

“This piece, written by Mark P. Painter, was posted on Cincinnati.com Tuesday. Painter is a lifelong Cincinnatian, and served as a judge for 30 years.”

The so-called hypocrisy of the left


I saw these two videos recently going around as cock-sure evidence that the left is sooooooooo hypocritical. As if we’re whiny babies about Donald J. Trump’s policies but glossy-eyed, pigeon-toed, gawking goober sluts when the leader from the democratic party showed signs of strength regarding immigration or border protection.

As the french say, “Holy shit balls, these videos are awesome!”

There’s not a lefty libtard I’ve ever met who didn’t agree and support the statements made here by President Clinton or President Obama. Strength of borders and concentrated, calculated approach to common sense ideas regarding these topics is what I expect from any sitting president.

Using these videos as some kind of proof of hypocrisy is dumbfounding, and it just shows how little thought any conservative seems to put into the discussion.

No one wants open borders, illegals skipping to their loo over borders.

The issue is the current commander in chief thinks it’d be a great investment to drop upwards of $25B on a goddamn wall. Here is an excellent write up on what the issues of building a wall are.

The other issue is the big, bad MAGA MAGA MAGA Muslim ban-cheese-balls- stir up the gun-totin’, dip spittin’, brainless cowherd that is the base of the rightwing dingdong parade. You know, the smarty-mc-smart cocks who post stuff like these videos and think, “That’ll show ’em!”

And now, let’s open this big dusty book to Matthew. Chapter 25.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

And then Jesus tells them that the lefties are going to hell.

Wait a minute!

I meant to say turn in your bible-pa-loozas to Luke chapter 10 verse 25:

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Gosh, I wish I knew more biblical references to taking care of all people, no matter the race or religion.

Whatever. It’s just Jesus.

That brings me back to these videos. Seriously? This is the best the right can come up with as “proof” of hypocrisy? I’m stupefied.

Common sensical approaches to immigration and border protection is just that: Common Fucking Sense.

Sweeping explosive bullshit Muslim bans on some, but not all, Muslim countries and throwing money down the toilet to build an “I’ve got little hands, an even smaller penis, and no brains” wall … that there is some level of stupid I’ve never experienced.

Not standing up to the Cheeto in the white house whether conservative or liberal, now that’s the conversation we should be having. And when Trump gets thrown out, by his own people, I’ll be waiting for some fucking apologies — or apologizes as the Department of Education spells it — when it happens.

To the Emasculated Working Men Who Looked to Trump


A portion of a post at Medium.com written by my friend Stephen Mucher:

Dear American working men of the heartland who feel emasculated by establishment politicians long ignoring your plight,

Do you think the obscenely rich economic insiders sitting around the White House cabinet table today snicker openly, or just wink, each time their leader explains to his base, in preachy third grader language, what new thing they have to be afraid of this week?

Does it sting somewhat when that bossy blonde with a law degree who serves as his spokeswoman lectures you about facts? (Didn’t you hate that girl in high school?)

Do you at least modestly question your manhood realizing you suddenly admire a born-rich prep-school-educated Manhattan performance artist who has never picked up a shovel or driven a pickup truck?

Do you ever wonder if Trump is really a tell-it-like-it-is outsider with a plan for his base beyond “shaking things up?” In other words, does the proud man inside you, who has been duped before, have concerns this is just another clever silver-spoon jerk with an expensive education confidently boasting about what is best for the working man? …

Read the rest.

It’s forever Caturday


Yesterday evening, we said goodbye to our beloved kitten companion of 17 years Zoe Ann Witteveen Serafini.

She died at exactly 6:30 p.m. February 4, 2017.

The hurt from this loss stands alone as a pain I hate more and more with every passing second.

Zoe has been sick for a long time, probably longer than we could ever understand. She started yowling at night at least two years ago. And for a while, we thought it was her being a big jerk. And over time, I came to the conclusion that she was actually in pain. She wouldn’t want to tell us about the pain, but I thinks she went deaf as well. And she probably didn’t realize how loud her calls were.

We live in an apartment of six units, and I’m sure there were hours of her cries when our neighbors below and next to us had to have heard her.

Tina and I had started living with it, accommodating it the best we could. We thought she was craving water, so we left water bowls every where. When we heard water fountains are good for this kind of thing, we bought one. We often left toilet seats up (I know, gross), and water dripping in a couple different sinks.

Making the decision to euthanize her practically killed our spirits. Surely we could have lived with the night screaming and her strained breathing a little longer?

But the consensus is that it’s better to help her go while she’s still standing a little than when she can no longer function well. And that’s the only glimmer of hope we have that we did the right thing.

It’s been a particularly painful week of intermittent crying spells due to a strained family situation that I finally had to conclude was hurting me more than I could bear. I decided years ago that there were members of my family that cared more about hurting me than trying to have a relationship that didn’t include sadistic heapings of disturbing infliction of pain. It became torturelike. And no amount of discussion solved the problem.

I’ve been having nightmares, terrors and sleep paralysis for years. There comes a point when crying in private must stop.

One can only take so much stabbing before they need hospitalization.

There’s a dark cloud around these parts. I hate it.

Hate. it. so. much.

 

 

Come in. Sit on the couch. Tell me what you think. You’ve got an hour.


Yesterday my brother called.

We shared a text conversation earlier in the day. He sent me a quote from Sufjan Stevens.

It started like this:

America,

There really is no such thing as an illegal immigrant, for we are all immigrants and refugees in a wildly changing world that is dominated by superfluous boundaries built by blood and war. We all come from somewhere else. The truest of “Americans” have either been destroyed by the white immigrant, incarcerated, isolated, held captive, or stolen and enslaved. 

Read the rest here.

I thanked him for sharing. It was a cool quote. And it even referred to Jesus (turning the other cheek, loving enemies, etc.) and also to prayer. The quote itself embodies my own politics. Even though I don’t believe in a deified Jesus. I value my root understanding of him and who he was as a radical mind.

It drives me nuts that Jesus was clear about how to act and do in the world. And yet, no Evangelical would ever actually have enough faith that behaving like him would be the best option in the world. You can’t stop terror or enemies by turning the other cheek, offering up your last article of clothing, paying for someone else’s medical bills, etc etc etc.

Wait, can you? Why did he teach that stuff? What was his point?

One time, a wise evangelical explained this outright (“You can’t be friends with Muslims. You must fight. You must go to war.” I nodded my head at the time in utter confusion. I’ve always been down on myself for not saying, “Are you sure?”

Realistically or maybe practically, you’re digging your own grave or expecting a good hurtin’ if you act like Jesus acted. That’s why he said, “Turn the other cheek.” That means, “If they hurt you once, offer them another body part to hurt.” If anyone did act like Jesus, Christianity would go extinct in a jicama heartbeat. No no no. Jesus’s commandments weren’t “commands” but recommendations if not a nice story or two to pass the time on a Sunday morning between cinnamon buns and a big lunch.

Later in the day, I text my brother:

With all that’s going on in the world, I’m seriously considering looking for a new therapist or maybe going back to one I used to go to. I’m finding that i’m obsessing over it. 

My brother text me back a few hours later and wrote:

Sorry, just saw this.  Sorry to hear about the therapist…I’m gonna call you!

He called almost immediately and wanted to chat about the therapist thing. I think he thought my situation was much more dire. “Sorry about this …” Like I was living on the brink of brain explosive, skyscraper jumping, madness.

I don’t have a negative view of therapy. It’s positive. Therapy is a good thing. It took me over half my total 41 years to arrive at this conclusion. And when I finally did, holy shit, it was life changing.

When I was growing up, I was taught therapy was negative. Jesus is the wonderful counselor, prince of peace and all that shit. But you can talk to Jesus all day long, and he’s not going to help guide a more thoughtful way of approach through two-way discussion, focused listening and guided meditation. He’s just going to, wait, he’s not going to do a fucking thing. Unless you describe to him abandonment issues and then you call opening your bible and reading about the time he walked on water or recommended the Israelites bash babies heads on rocks as the best thing you can try to alleviate this kind of pain.

My point was that I just need to talk to a professional listener for an hour a week.

What’s going on in the world is definitely affecting me. And it’s why you’re seeing more activity here on this blog. I need to raise my voice, if only for the few of you who may be stopping by.

It’s not just Trump. And it’s not just America. It’s world events. It’s the shooting in Quebec. It’s terror. It’s earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Whenever a mass something happens, I find myself pressing refresh on newsfeeds. It’s a 9/11 complex. And there’s so much 9/11-y type shit happening right now that I can’t stop clicking refresh.

I don’t watch TV News. I haven’t for eons. Visually, the redundancy is cataclysmic and it’s wrong. To listen to talking heads or to pundits is, quite possibly, the worst thing anyone can do for their brains.

I am a fan of NPR. No yelling. No screaming. Not a lot of out-of-control pundits. It’s not visual. It’s all aural. Once in a while I’ll find myself turning on a TV so I can see some visual that I can’t imagine.

My brother tried to console me a bit by repeating what some conservatives are repeating, which is: “Why not give Trump a chance? It’s only been a week, for pete’s sake!”

To that I say, “I’m strapped in. I’m doing my best to ride this tidal wave!”

My problem is I’ve read the 140 characters that emit from his fucked-up brain as they arrive on the twitter feeds. Way before that, I listened to him devalue the patriotism of John McCain. That alone should have disqualified any man from becoming a leader this country let alone a contender. I listened to him talk about assaulting women. I watched him make fun of a handicapped journalist.

I’ve even given credence to watching videos showing Trump making that same gesture when talking about so-called non-handicapped people, like Ted Cruz. Let me tell you, I’m not convinced. And even if Trump wasn’t making fun of Serge Kovaleski, stack the offensive behavior atop his inaugural speech atop his megalomaniacal obsession with deceiving the American public (e.g. inaugural crowd, alt facts, his own greatness, his executive orders, etc.), and we have a great case against a piece of shit of a man.

My approach is hardly ever going to be one of forgiveness and acceptance for his appalling behavior during the first 8 days of his unprecedented bizarreness that is his presidency.

As I’ve written on this blog, I was taught that leaders lead via strength of character, excellence in behavior, truth in perspective, focus from distraction, integrity, stoicism, authenticity, and accountability.

They should have a strong moral character. I can’t find these qualities in Donald Trump. It makes it really hard not to criticize him. But I’m listening. I’m watching. And I’m doing my best to be patient.

Okay. That sound means my hour is up. Thanks for letting me sit on your couch. See you next week.