Friday, June 30, 2017

What is Too Far?

For a man who battles depression, and struggles to maintain his life at the top of his emotional roller coaster instead of the bottom, times are tough for yours truly. Every morning I wake up to a world that is reeling from yet another Trump tweet.  Every evening the Washington Post publishes yet another discovery that Trump is an invasive species of sociopath who wants to run the country as his own personal golf course.  This is the pattern in which we all find ourselves immersed daily.  

It is a constant rub on my sense of decency, civility, tolerance and spirituality.   I keep thinking that if enough people become aware of what a total failure Trump  is as a leader, moral example and human being, the masses will run him out of town on a rail.  And yet he continues to be defended by a cadre of sycophants who have to compromise their own integrity to even comment. 
When asked if she thought the President went too far in this tweet about a television commentator, Sarah Huckleberry Panders, said, "No he didn't go too far."  Well, Huckleberry, what is 'too far' in your purchased opinion? For me he tweeted too far in accusing his predecessor of being a Kenyan Muslim five years ago, but then my morals are not for rent.
What I fear most is that this constant assault on my idea of how a President should behave is creating a callus on my sense of morality.  Eventually that part of my emotions gets so tough, I no longer know what it really feels like to be outraged.  Perhaps this is why I will continue to write about this blight until he  is exorcised from our country.  Even as I do this I realize the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  I feel bad that my persistence might be a display of insanity which causes depression and I quickly fall to be bottom of my emotional roller coaster.  And now this Meglomaniac and his Congressional minions are trying to take away access to the meds and treatment we all need to tolerate the things they are doing to our country.  In the words of Shakespeare. "Ah there is the rub."
When will someone remove this stone from our shoe before our country loses its footing.
As you were,
Jay


Friday, June 23, 2017

24/7 Trump

I was talking to a friend this morning about the business of shows, show business.  We determined that there are two types of people who seek the path of show business.  Some go into the world of entertainment because they want to express their desire to make ART.  Others go into show business to wallow in FAME.  Although that distinction is not so easily quantified and the line gets blurred the two ideas come from two completely different perspectives.
Not until this administration, now dubbed the Trump Era, did I realize that the world of politics has fostered similar personality traits.  There are two kinds of people who seek a political career.  Some go into government because they have a desire to help make our democracy stronger.  Others go into politics to wallow in wealth and FAME.  
I don't know anything about politics, I have never been interested in running for any office. Some of the reasons are: I do not feel like I am qualified, I do not have a burning desire nor any talent in that area. But I now see if I lacked a desire for Artistic expression I might want to go into politics, if fame was my goal. I can see now, thanks to the Trump Era madness, that some politicians today want fame more than they want to do the job of governing.  
Silent Auction Item at LA Charity
Total number of bids on Trump Collage.....


Mr. Trump is not interested in Making America Great. He does not care about helping Americans who can't afford to joint his Golf clubs. He even said exactly those words in a rally this week. He thinks rich people are better suited for the job of governing than poor people that is why his cabinet is the single richest body of  profiteers ever assembled in one administration.  It is not unlike the Russian model of Oligarchy where the rich dictator gets to assign lucrative, highly profitable businesses to his friends.  Then the dictator makes sure the "government" does not interfere with regulations that might keep the people safe but impede profits.  That is not a politician nor a leader that is a monopoly granter. 
Trumps motives are even less ingenuous.  All he wants is the fame of being the "leader". He doesn't want to earn the title he simply wants the title "bestowed" upon him. He wants to dominate the conversation, not to stimulate the discussion toward a negotiated goal, but simply to hog the fame for himself.  He is by personality and experience the worst kind of person we could have as any sort of leader.  Trump is the very kind of carpetbagger and tycoon the government should be protecting Americans from.  
His lies are not even good ones.  He lies about things that can be disproved with a smart phone, and disputed by his own words.  He has no care that he is caught in a lie, the fact a lie caused people to talk about him fulfills his need for adoration and attention.  The lesson of "The little Boy who Cried Woof" is totally lost on Mr. Trump.  The lying boy is mauled and in some versions eaten by the wolf because no one believes him when he actually does speak the truth.  Mr. Trump is setting himself up to be eaten alive by the lies he is telling.  That in itself is of no concern to me.  I believe in Karma and ultimate justice.  "God has a way of bringing down the over-bearing, God's dice are always loaded."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson.   Unfortunately I am not the one to deliver the retribution to this ego maniac and may not live long enough to see it happen, but it will.  
My fear is that the wolf will not be satisfied to just eat the cheeto flavored blubber that is our tar baby president, I fear he will continue to hunger until more than just the rich assholes are devoured.  
There are no tapes of the Trump/ Comey conversation. If they did ever exist, 41 days of speculation is enough time to summon Rosemary Woods from the grave to accidentally erase the content.  So in absence of any evidence to the contrary are we going to believe a career man in law enforcement who has a sterling reputation for telling the Truth, or a known liar who lies about every aspect of his life.  Hello Karma... this is a no- brainier.  
Here is the dilemma for me.  With 24/7 Trump on every news cast, and every comic who has a daily monologue writing jokes about the Orange wonder, I am bereft of any inspiration to write about most anything else.  What is the point?  If I had information about him that no one knew, I might have a motive for commentary.  I don't.  All I know is what I see him doing, saying and how he is behaving. It seems wrong on every detail. If his supporters won't even acknowledge that the Emperor is  naked, why am I preaching to the saved?  Is there nothing the orange embarrassment can do that would sully their blind faith in this extremely unqualified human.  
His obsessive need to be the dominate headline even if it is due to a lie or his own stupidity has a sour affect on the thinking of the world.  I have a hard time seeing anything funny when this guy is in charge.  Now I have a cousin who will say, "Yeah, but we suffered through 8 years of the same thing, so it is your turn."  To that cousin I would say... "No you didn't".  Late night television was not obsessed with the stupidity of our President back then. They saw humor when it was there, and irony if it was relevant, it was not Obama 24/7. There were no scandals, no special prosecutors, no question of the integrity of the elections, we had a complete government, and an articulate intelligent representative in the White House. But again, my cousin would not be able to see that any more than the fact that Cheeto is completely naked.
I don't thing the governmental process is swift enough to get Trump out of office before the next election.  I think too many in government are using the narcissism of the President to feed their own desire for fame.  Hello... Karma, bring a large van...
So I will try harder to find things of interest, humor or value to write about.  Trump is a bore and a boar, and I am tired of seeing his face.  I would hope he would just fade into the sunset of bad politicians, but he is not qualified even to be a bad politician.  Although I would not like to see his body hung at a gas station upside down so the masses could use him for a pi├▒ata (like his doppelganger Mussolini), I would like to see Karma be as swift with judgment of him.  But perhaps the worst thing I can do to Mr. Trump is dismiss him.  I shall ignore him as much as possible and at least not perpetuate his desire to be famous.  Mr. Trump your 15 minutes has expired. Please go away now.
As you were,
Jay

Friday, June 09, 2017

Perhaps "The World is a Circus."

 If Shakespeare was alive today instead of writing the line "The world is a stage and all of us are players," he would have written "The world is a Circus and all of us are clowns."  
It is impossible to crawl inside the mind of THIS President, although there is apparently a lot of room in there, but I shall try just to imagine what his narcissistic logic might look like concerning the firing of Comey. 
But first let's see what has been happening "outside" of that "mind". 
During a campaign he seemed to be losing last year, Trump's mantra was "Lock her up".  He insisted that we shouldn't  have a President who might become involved in a criminal investigation regarding her emails.  In July of last year James Comey gave a press conference saying that Mrs. Clinton was "careless" but not to the level of criminal charges.  It was seen as a great boost to the Clinton campaign and potentially the end of several years of intense Congressional investigation into her actions.
Then came the election.  Russia was even then being investigated for election hacking and voting influence.  During the Presidential transition period there were Trump associates ( and family) still  having questionable contact with Russians.  The investigation continued until Sally Yates (Acting Attorney General) came to inform Mr. Trump that Michael Flynn was a big target of investigation.  Flynn resigned (was fired) under pressure and then Sally Yates was fired.  Jeff Sessions was confirmed and appointed AG, now incharge of the DOJ.  The Russian inquiry continued and it was determined that Sessions omitted or lied about contacts he had with Russian agents during his confirmation.  He did not resign, he recused himself from all Russian matters.  
Now back inside the spacious mind of 45.  He is thinking, everyone is talking about this "Russian thing".  There is a cloud of suspicion all around me and the investigation of Flynn continues in the background.  He decided that a loyalty oath from Comey was needed.  He didn't get it.  He continues to attempt "grooming" Comey and asks him if HE, Trump himself is part of the investigation?  This is key to the Trumpeirian narcissistic world.  How is this Russian Thing affecting ME.  According to Trump, his Attourney and confirmed by Comey, three times (a Biblical number) Trump got assurance he was not currently part of an investigation.  Then Trump says to Comey he wishes Comey would announce that fact to the world. This desire to be "vindicated" was expressed several times.
Back outside in the light of day,  Comey is rudely and ham fistedly fired.  The reason stated, in a letter, says he was fired because of his handeling of the Clinton investigation.  But there are contemporaneous notes of the Presidential conversations taken specifically because Comey believed Trump would lie about the conversation. The Clinton investigation was never mentioned in these conversations, only the Russian probe.  A day later Trump tells the world in a television interview that Comey was really fired over "this Russia thing".  The Comey notes are made public and Comey testifies before and open hearing in Congress, yesterday.  
Now everyone is concentrating on the more juicy sections of the conversations between Comey and Trump.  Looming big is  "obstruction of justice" that might haven occurred when he asked Comey to "Let the Flynn thing go".  
News pundits believe that Comey was fired because he wouldn't walk back his Flynn/Russia investigation.  Obstruction of justice? or the actions of an inexperienced numbskull.  Either one prove to be the actions of a man not qualified nor fit to be President.

But there is a more narcissistic explanation for the Comey firing and it does not involve Flynn.  As we have seen,  Trump does not hesitate to throw any associate under the bus if it makes Trump look better.  He has no loyalty to Flynn. He is not concerned that Flynn might be a traitor as long as Trump enjoys big ratings and large crowds.  Like his reality show experience, Flynn has been fired... written out, gone,  no longer a part of the Trump circus.  One contestant is gone, no big deal. 
So, why did the he fire Comey?  You have to think in the most personal of terms when dealing with a narcissist.  It wasn't about Flynn it was about Trump. Comey was fired because he would not publicly state that TRUMP was not under investigation.  Comey did it for Hillary, he would certainly do it for the man who beat her in the election, wouldn't he?  Why wouldn't he call News Conference to say that Trump is not under investigation?  He wouldn't, he didn't, he's fired.  Simple as that.  

Never assume there is obstruction, or incompetence involved in a decision when you can explain it by pure ego-centric narcissism, especially in the case of Trump.

In a circus the clowns perform until the Ringmaster blows a whistle signaling that the next act is ready.  When will someone finally blow that whistle and get these clowns out of the ring?

As you were,
Jay
 

 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Goldilock Zone

I guess climate is a big issue for me. I have always enjoyed breathing safe air and drinking non-contaminated water. In fact, of all the things I would give up, breathing and drinking would be the last to go.  I also enjoy living in a place that is not too hot and not too cold, not too wet and not too dry.. but for me, just right.
In Astrophysisist- speak,  Goldilock Zone is the distance from any given sun or star that is temperate enough for liquid water. The Goldilocks reference implies this zone is neither too hot nor too cold for water to flow. Of course our Earth is uniquely positioned in one of those perfect Goldilock zones in orbit around our Sun. It doesn't matter if you try to calculate the odds or give homage to divinity; our Earth experience is a uniquely fragile existence compared to the eternity of  the vast universe.  
As we understand our unique position of delicate balance in space,  the Earth becomes extremely important for our existence. In fact it is the only planet so far that would support our existence. And Mother Ship Earth has no life boats.  If she hits an iceberg even first class, like the rest, goes down with the ship.  But if the Earth is like the Titanic I am less afraid of hitting an iceberg than I am about a coal boiler explosion. 
Some people think  humans have had no effect on the world's climate.  Is it ignorance, arrogance or disregard that supports this opinion? Does anyone remember the Dust Bowl days?  It was a man made climate disaster that affected the lives of millions. We acknowledged it was human error and corrected our mistake, but forgot the lesson learned.  The American Bison was almost hunted out of existence.  We realized it almost too late to save a species of animal.  Don't we understand how humans and each individual affects the rest of the world?  Obviously not. 
Local case in point: 
 All over the park, where I sometimes walk my dog, are signs that say do not feed the wildlife specifically the birds.  This "Did You Know" sign which is also well displayed explains why.  It is not because they don't want the park critters to be happy, they want things to be normal. One of the more disgusting reasons that affects my enjoyment  of the park is because:  if you feed a duck human baked food like say, "bread" they do not process that food well. It is twice the mess when the ducks decide to give the favor back.  It is like taking a walk in a mine field. 
  
Here is the cycle when humans interfere with the natural pecking order of the Balboa Park of Encino. Feeding the ducks keeps them from migrating which causes over population, which causes disease, which increases rodents, which bring the coyotes which eat the children who come to the park to FEED the ducks.  Because no one really understands how they are affecting the coyote population, yet another sign has to be posted. 
 
But in spite of the warning of posted signs here is the reality of the world.  
 I snapped this picture only days ago.  Directly beneath the sign that says "don't feed the birds" a young mother is teaching her daughter that signs don't matter. It appears that her child's interaction with the ducks is much more important than the opinion of  naturalists who went to the trouble and the expense of posting a sign.  And note that she is feeding a flock of ducks  not just the scrap of a hot dog bun uneaten from a picnic; this is a new loaf of white bread crumbled for this very purpose.  
If we disregard the posted signs of scientists trying to keep the experience of wild life pure for future generations in our own back yard, why would we care about our contribution to the melting of the polar ice cap? And there is the conundrum. 
For me, protecting the environment is not a political issue. Is is not a national issue. It's a global responsibility.  We only have one Earth and one atmosphere.  Climate knows no national borders.  We are all on this Earth together and moving to a cleaner planet is not an option. Ultimately it is an issue that each one of us can affect regardless of national or even a global policy.  
The Paris Accord was just that, an accord. Not a law, not a decree but an acknowledgment that we all must participate in the health of the planet... all of us.  It circumvents politics, economy, or even belief.  It is the truth about mans stewardship of the Earth.  The tipping point is here, there is no more time to wonder, the time for action is now.  
As you were,
Jay

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dogs Life

I am currently sitting in a McDonalds across the street from the Doggie Dental Clinic. I am waiting for Boo to have her teeth cleaned.  With Pet care a $60 billion dollar industry in America (that is with a B - billion) it was only a matter of time before veterinarian specialist would be open up. They have made it as much like a human doctors office as possible.   I could have waited in their lovely waiting room but it reminded me too much of being in a hospital.  
 Nurses in uniform greet you to fill out forms just like the last time you changed doctors.  It was all very professional. Boo is an extremely healthy dog (partly because we have her teeth cleaned on a regular basis) so the questions were mostly answered in the negative.  At one point Boo was being very friendly to the nurse, who said,
"My you are a very sweet boy".  To which I replied,
"Sweet yes and she's a girl". The nurse craned her neck down to look between Boo's hind legs and said,
"Well of course she is".  This would have been the same scientific method I would have used to make that determination.  Who knew I had a natural talent for veterinary medicine.  


It did, however, make me think of the whole issue of transgender identity and states like Texas which are struggling to understand.  Boo is a great example of how much it really doesn't matter.  It happens quite often.  She is a cute dog,  her gender is not really a major factor in her existence. I don't know what gender her inner canine identifies with but I have the feeling she doesn't care.  Her thinking is probably no more complicated than: "Do trick, get treat."  The point is, it doesn't bother her to be identified as a male, even when a trained nurse has to glance at her genitals to affirm she is a biological female.  No one has ever said, "You know Jay's dog Boo? He is really a she." 
So why is it an issue when humans look different than their biological equipment that identifies them.  Unless reproduction is the goal, a human is just a human. 
This has always been an interesting statement to me.  Jesus was asked a question about marriage in heaven.  It seems a man had remarried after his first wife had passed. It was asked, which wife would he be with in heaven. https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Matt%2022.30  He said, "They neither marry nor or given in marriage, all are like angels in heaven".  Some other translations say "they are neither male nor female but are like angels in heaven." So.... it would appear that there are no genders in heaven.  Why do we get so concerned here on Earth about gender since for the rest of eternity it doesn't matter?
And I am sure, if there are also dogs in heaven they look exactly like Boo - angels.

As you were,
Jay

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sweeney Trump

Every morning when I wake up I check my email.  Most of my business communication revolves around this process. It is the "self employed" way of checking in with the office now-a-days.  That in itself would not be a problem.  I actually like addressing business issues in my bath robe, but this enjoyment has been grossly interrupted by something called "push notices" on my computer.  Like most of us I get headlines for stories of the day in this manner.  They just pop up. Before I have had time to even think about the news of the day, they require that I see them if only to dismiss them. This has proved to be a terrible distraction to my creativity.  

The headlines for the last 110 days have mostly been about the incredible ineptitude of the current government.  I get pissed off and that sour feeling seems to cramp any humor that might be ready to come out later in the day.  I end up writing, not some new show or routine, but a missive tainted by my utter disbelief and anger.  I really thought by now the distraction would settle down, but it hasn't.  Every Presidential tweet, that is reported, inflames my senses.  Each time I see one of those tweets I realize, instead of addressing the Nations needs, the Korean threat, the war in Syria, the war in the Ukraine, the extreme division in the country, filling governmental appointment jobs or just doing the job of the President, Donald Trump is ignoring those duties to craft some 4th grade 140 character snipe. 
Saturday my routine was altered.  I got up early to go participate in the reading of a new play directed by a friend of mine. I didn't have time to even check my emails that morning. No push notices to know what was going on. I didn't turn on any news. By one o'clock I was so energized with the creativity I participated in that my whole day felt, enlightened.  The Muse of art resurfaced and briefly held the "anger demons" at bay.  Suddenly a song became an ear worm and would not go away until I wrote it down.  This is the result of that worm.  I share it with you giving apologies to Steven Sondheim and in homage to Randy Rainbow:
 

Donald Trump – the Demon in charge of the Whitehouse 
(To the tune of "Sweeney Todd – the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" opening song.)

Attend the tale of Donald Trump
He can’t distinguish his head from his rump
He wanted America great again
But now it’s clear he’ll never begin,
That’s Donald…. Donald Trump.
The dodo in charge of the Whitehouse.

His hair is long and his temper short
He has no income that he’ll report.
He changes his mind in the blink of a eye,
It doesn’t matter, it’s always a lie,
That’s Donald … Donald Trump.
The one that’s ruining the Whitehouse

Bridge:
Swing you golf club high, Donald
Tweet to make them cry, Donald.
If you get into a bind, bomb Syria.


Donalds bitch is that Putin Red
The ones who know are currently dead.
He only wants to be admired,
Disagree and your suddenly fired,
That’s Donald…. That’s Donald Trump. 
The asshat in charge of the Whitehouse. 


It’s off to Mar-a-Lago again.
He’s there to work, on his Cheeto tan.
He surrounds himself with billionaires,
And Congress tells us that nobody cares, 
That’s Donald… Donald Trump
The Cheeto that lives in the Whitehouse. 


Donald can’t keep his story straight,
He should be studying Watergate.
Everyone knows the reason why,
You never should piss on the FBI
That’s Donald… that’s Donald Trump
The con-man in charge of the Whitehouse.

What will we do with this piece of shit?
We’re all just waiting for the fan to hit.
How will America ever survive,
If he does manage to stay alive,
That’s Donald That’s Donald Trump.
The looser in charge of the Whitehouse. 

Before he even ties his shoes
He tweets out hatred for all of the news.
At this job he certainly sucks
But he’s just in it for all of the bucks,
That’s Donald Trump
The demon in charge of the Whitehouse. 


As you were,
Jay

















Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dear Mr. Trump:

I know you are not a politician. I know you are not a traditional leader. I know you aren't bothered by integrity nor personal honor, and I know you lie.  I know your vocabulary and tweeting skills are on par with a fourth grader. I know you are mentally unfit for the job, based upon your own actions and words.   I know you are not a scholar, nor a historian, nor a student of civics nor a believer in the Constitution. I know you said this job of President was a lot harder than you thought, almost as complicated as health care, but  then as you said, "who knew".
Until now I also thought you were a pretty good Con-man. Now I "bigly" realize that you are not even an adequate con-man, Mr. Trump.

I'm no expert but I know one of the "con-man ten commandments" is: "Don't run when no one is chasing you."

Let me try to explain that in fourth grade English.

Don't act guilty if you are innocent, and if you are guilty, try your best to look innocent.  Every action you have taken has a veil over it like you are a bad magician trying to provide distraction for an ill rehearsed trick.  Your timing sucks.  A real con-man would know when the time is right.  A good con-man would not be so ham fisted with his manipulations.
Mr. Trump,  you have no grace, even for a con-man thug.  If your action toward Mr. Comey was completely justified and without hint of a Russian cover-up why was it handled in such a humiliating way?  In front of his peers and FBI employees at a meeting in Los Angeles, a media capital, Mr. Comey sees the announcement of his firing on television.  The meeting is cancelled.  It is not even certain that he has the authority to fly home in the FBI plane.  His "perp walk" to the airplane was broadcast by television helicopter for all to see. Do you understand that humiliation was not called for nor necessary? Perhaps you thought this was better than brining him into the oval office as you sat between Ivanka and Steve Bannon, telling him"you're fired" on camera.
Mr. Trump, I know your American history is fuzzy but Nixon was eventually brought down by a source named "deep throat".  Now there has been an immediate comparison of the Comey firing to Nixon's time in 1972 when he also fired someone investigating him.  Here is the historic part you should have thought about before you sent your body guard over to the J.Edgar Hoover Building to deliver your letter.  Forty years after Nixon's resignation, and before his own death, it was reveled that "Deep Throat" - the whistle blower who brought down Nixon... was a high ranking FBI agent at the time.  I know,  who knew?
What I am saying Mr. Trump, is this: A good con-man would have known all that.  And of all the things I thought I knew about you, I thought for sure you were a better crook than Richard Nixon.  But you are not.
Mr. Trump, I did not know Richard Nixon, Richard Nixon was not a friend of mine, but I can tell you sir, "You are no Richard Nixon."   You are just another crooked Dick.

With the saddest of thoughts toward you and your family,
Jay Johnson