Thursday, August 2, 2018


getting back on track
     Our democratic republic is so far off track even serious, sober and reasoned people talk about the nation coming unglued. 
      Before we get into that, we pause for some natural remedy and fresh air.

California poppies at the coast
artisan bench at Fiscalini Ranch 
avoiding the rocks

correcting a foundation
    I've been driving by one of the older homes on Cambria's main street and wondering if it was going to be moved.  
      It has been jacked up and looked like it was ready for a drive. 
    Instead the old foundation has been removed, a new foundation has been built and the house has been leveled. 
     One of the men working on the crew said it looked as though the old foundation, which he described as very old, had been home made. Over time it began to fail and needed to be replaced.

is there a lesson here?
       I think the work above is a personification of what needs to happen to the American experiment-we need to level our house and shore up our foundational principles.
danger signs
      Endorsed insanity:There have always been extremists and kooks but when someone makes the alt right or liberty caucus look normal that is a signal of how deep a descent we are in.  QAnon is madness, real insanity but it is part of the boutique of Trump supporters. 
        Shameful behavior: Sara Huckabee Sanders refusal to say the media is not the enemy of the people is deplorable and will likely earn her a place of ignominy. I felt bad that she was denied service at a restaurant despite the fact that she is paid to lie and willingly works for a known liar. There may have been worse or more conniving press secretaries, but none come to mind. She may face a fate similar to her predecessor who no one takes seriously. Neither of them have a shred of credibility. But refusing to say what even the President's daughter acknowledged, what all but the most bitter and partisan of Trumpistas say, was a new low for a women already at the bottom.  
        Dangerous Behavior: From the first time I saw candidate Trump vilify and use the media contingent following his campaign I was worried. I've been on the receiving end of politicians scorn. We in the media are used to criticism. But when you get an arena full of angry people and you incite more venom, you are way out of bounds and you are pandering, even baiting violence.
         The most recent episode is chilling. Some of those who were taunting, cursing, gesturing obscenely and making threats looked as though they could and would do violence to people who are simply doing their job, fulfilling one of the roles this nation depends on. The press is in the Bill of Rights and is known as the Fourth Estate, the public's watchdog for scoundrels, despots, cheaters and liars. A force to keep politicians and leaders in check. 
        If you have not seen the clips, I urge you to look it up and imagine yourself in the media compound surrounded by those people.
        Playing with fire: Donald Trump chums the crowd and urges them to behave as poorly as he does. We should not be surprised if some horrible violence occurs. Many in the Trump core-base are angry. Listening to or reading their comments gives evidence they are woefully uninformed, poorly educated and easily led. I may be wrong here, but it seems many of them find a cathartic release for what may be disappointing lives. It is almost a perverted religious connection. The "Your Fired" star flipping off all of their own boogie men and enemies. Like a mob. Like the brown shirts.  
        As noted earlier his term "enemy of the people" is a communist party weapon and is used by dictators and strong men. He uses it intentionally to under cut those who challenge his excesses, his lies and his aberrant behavior.
       Flirting with his own demise:Trump's tweet telling Jeff Sessions he should end the Mueller investigation appears to many people more trained and much smarter than me to be an obvious example of "intent" to obstruct justice. Mueller is trying to learn how and how deeply the Russian government interfered with and/or rigged the election. That is something this nation must know. That Trump team mates have been indicted or have pled guilty only underscores why the president wants the investigation to stop. He's tried to discredit it from the beginning as he tries to discredit the media.
         The media is not perfect and errors can be made, but they are our best hope as they have been for more than 200 years to challenge, contest and adversarially try to keep the foundation of the republic level.
          Donald Trump is a horrible person. That he is a Russian stooge is evident. That he has no decorum, no sense of decency has been his life long biography. He has acted like a traitor. We need to know if he in fact colluded with the government that he gave secrets to and with whom he met privately. The Trump presidency is a disease and we need only pay a moments attention to learn how much sicker he is making this democratic republic. 

          See you down the trail.


  1. At the moment, we the 'american people' are seeming to either be uncaring, so beaten down as to be line of amazon workers being monitored, or actively supporting and endorsing trump. The latter is larger than I think we believe or would want to believe. I hope a reversal happens, but I'm seeing no real sign of other than isolated protest with no central theme. The democratic party has become a circular firing squad, with people willing to endure another 4 years of trump just to make their point. You have more optimism than I, my friend.

    1. We can hope the Republican party sees a challenger rise up in the primary. And we can hope the Democrats get their act together and realize they need to be better, younger, more forward thinking and positive.

  2. Everything that trump says can be boiled down to two things:
    1. "I am the best ever in history."
    2. "Anyone who is against me is the worst every in history."

  3. I haven't left a comment in a while but I always appreciate and benefit from your thoughtful posts and wonderful pictures. I read a perfect description of Trump: Malevolence tempered by incompetence. So true. But Trump has always been a snake and I can't blame him as much as I blame Congress for failing to serve as a check on the executive branch--as the Constitution requires. I pray for the Dems to take the House, and possibly the Senate in November. Trump may be impeached but he won't be removed from office, but a Democratic controlled House would curtail his destructive nonsense.

    1. Stephen, it is so good to hear from and thanks for your nice words. The description you shared is spot on. Indeed, the nation will be served by a sweep in the House. A Democratic majority would be more inclined to curb Trump and to act on a Mueller investigation finding.
      I hope you are well and being creative. Your departure from the Chatterbox has left a void and lowered the nutritional value of this corner of the blogosphere. Take care.

  4. Tom,
    It is so depressing. It gives the impression that there are millions of Americans who have no value system. I think the most scary aspect from across the Atlantic (Ireland) is the pusillanimity of the GOP. We know most people can be bought but for a major political party to risk democracy itself for 30 pieces of silver (tax cuts for the 1%) and a Supreme Court more ideological than it has been for many years...

    1. Jack, You nailed it! We must look like a dreadful nation of selfish, self centered, brain dead racists. We try to remind the world the majority of US citizens voted against him in an election that was also rigged to some degree, a degree that we hope to determine. The GOP has become a haven for quislings.
      All my best to you...we hope to be making a trip to your part of the world next year to celebrate an auspicious wedding anniversary. And of course we'd love to explore more California vintages with you again.

    2. Tom, We are hopeful that, if the democrats (intentional lower case) focus on people’s needs and do not allow Trump set the agenda in the mid-terms, the good people of the United States will begin to take back their country.
      You and Lana must let us know when you are coming to Ireland. We so look forward to hosting you and showing you a cead mile failte. And we won’t let Brexit and Steve Bannon set the agenda over here.

  5. Tom,
    Your perceptive analysis and moral outrage is welcome as always. We are in for a long siege to do battle with the forces of ignorance and prejudice and can only continue to hope that young people will recognize that a charlatan's worst enemy (and fear) is a free press and crusading journalists.