Day 681 Sunday November 18, 2018 910 Days to Go
The Twentieth Century will be remembered for many things: two world wars, incredible inventions, and huge improvements in people’s lives. In that century the car and the airplane came into their own, as did electricity and radio, TV, and computers. Lives were transformed by the discovery of penicillin and sulfa-based drugs and antibiotics. We learned that we were a small tiny part of a much larger universe than we had ever imagined. We saw the advent of weapons so terrible that hopefully they will never be used again.
But also, and largely forgotten was the advent of manipulation by companies and the increase of preventable diseases. In WWI the troops were given cigarettes as part of their rations. Thus a generation, and generations after, were hooked on something that slowly killed them. We saw food go from healthy to empty. Sugar and bad fats were introduced into western diets. Diabetes and overweight people became a norm.
We’ve seen over and over again that companies can’t be trusted to be honest. The latest case is Facebook. Many thought the fresh young faces and tech savvy young would make the world better. It didn’t. They didn’t.
We now have the very institutions that made us as Americans different and great under constant attack. One party is now controlled by kooks and the petrochemical lobby. Talk about a rock and a hard spot! Either you go with a nutty idea based on religion, no knowledge, or something cooked up by a group of individuals or their companies designed to enrich them. So what if the Earth burns up? We’ll be rich! And God will come down and lift us all up to heaven (not you, you didn’t believe! Sorry.)
There is hope but we have to fight for it. We have to speak to everyone, not just those that agree with us.
I keep coming back to some simple sayings. One was when I was an intern on my first real job. I was working in a factory. We had a problem. I criticized the fellow in charge of part of it. It was an ad hominem comment. I don’t remember what I said but I remember what I was asked by the person who operationally had to carry out what ever was decided.
He said, “What would you do?”
He looked at me for what seemed an eternity (8? 10 seconds?). I had nothing. I was speechless. He closed his eyes and turned away.
I also remember soccer moms yelling at their kids, “Don’t bunch up!”
Okay great, what should the kids do?
The Republicans have been in charge for two years and what have they done?
They’ve packed the courts with hard right conservative hand picked by big corporation lawyers. In other words, men out of touch with the mainstream of political thought in this country.
They have passed a massive tax cut for the rich and paid for some of it by taking away the middle class deductions that most folks use (state tax deduction and mortgage interest deduction).
They have put people in cabinet posts who either have little knowledge of the job or are dead set on destroying the agency and its mission.
They have done everything they can to destroy the Affordable Care Act and have not come up with anything better.
They’ve even screwed over the rural areas where farmers are struggling by starting trade wars over agricultural products.
They’ve screwed over manufacturers by starting trade wars over steel and other metals and minerals.
Trade wars end up costing the consumer in this country more.
It’s interesting that the folks worst hit by these things are living in the reddest states. If a conversation can be had that points out these simple facts and that there is another path, a better way, then maybe we can turn this country around.
In the Democratic Party there are those that say Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t be the next Speaker of the House. Then the question becomes, “Who else?” One name has been floated, but what has this person done to deserve the job, other than being not Nancy Pelosi? I haven’t heard.
It’s funny how Dave Brat ran against “the liberal policies of Nancy Pelosi” and lost. What exactly were the policies that Dave didn’t like? I don’t know, he never said, as far as I know. But now folks are saying, “You know it was Nancy Pelosi that got the Affordable Care Act through Congress.” She’s responsible for pre-existing conditions being covered. In fact, she has been the most effective Speaker of the House in modern times. (John Boehner and Paul Ryan take note.)
I do hope that she works to groom new younger people within the party to take on more responsibility.
We’ll have to wait and see on that.
Meanwhile, it seems that Mueller is getting ready to unleash a bunch of subpoenas or indictments and I suspect that the circle around the president will get smaller and tighter. When rats are caged without food they eat each other, I wonder what will happen when Don Jr. is indicted, or the Donald himself? Who will throw whom under the bus? Or will they go down together? What about Jared and Ivanka? It will be loud, bloody, and outrageous followed by a whimper.
I wish I knew what Agnew’s supporters thought when he pleaded in court. He was lucky. they let him plead no contest. I hope the goods are so damning that they won’t let Trump and his band of crooks to get away with that.
910 Days to Go
PS The kid at Coba. A huge site, which you can get driven around on bike rickshaws. I got there late in the day and didn’t have time to make this climb, only enough time for a victory picture.