Don’t Start With Me

Lately there have been more than a few comments on my sites asking if I was sorry I voted for Joe Biden. The answer is unequivocally NO. President Biden inherited an out of control pandemic, massive unemployment, an already lost war, crumbling infrastructure, growing racism, and worldwide concern that America had lost its way under the bumbling authoritarianism of the fake president, Donald Trump. Biden is doing a superb job and will manage to guide us thru these stormy waters if we will just stay the course. It’s not his first time at the rodeo. He knows governing and government, world affairs and diplomacy, and he can be as tough as a railroad tie. Biden is our best hope to sort through the debris left behind by the crookedest, most selfish, least educated president in our history. Do not write criticisms of Joe Biden on my web pages. I will boot you off without remorse. And then I’ll laugh about it. mvd

Bearing Witness to the Thirteen

Watching the dignified transfer of the thirteen men and women killed in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.  This is required viewing for those who would cavalierly send young Americans into harm’s way.  These young people—some not old enough to buy a beer—died doing their duty protecting evacuees from Afghanistan.  There are no words for the grief I feel.  The grief of the families of the fallen is beyond speaking.  May their sacrifices inform our desire to fix the world.  It is hard to imagine any good coming of their deaths, but let us pray that from them we may gain wisdom.—mvd

Grieving Tonight

Tears for the young women and men killed in the Kabul airport suicide bombing.  Please join me in acknowledging their supreme sacrifice and sending meta and comfort to their families.  Their courage and dedication to duty were supremely heroic and patriotic.  There will likely be more opportunities heroism and sacrifice before the Afghan catastrophe is over.  This is the nature of war.  If humans cannot find other ways to settle their differences, then we are doomed to relive this tragedy. My heart is broken.—mvd

Few Good Options

There are few good options when you’ve lost a war.  You need to get out with as little loss of life as possible, but it’s hard to retreat, evacuate, and render humanitarian aid without getting shot.  But here’s the deal:  the Taliban liberated the Isis fighters from jail, and now they and we have an Isis problem.  The suicide bomber at the Kabul airport was only the beginning.  Thankfully, we made a drone strike on one of the Isis planners to let them know we are not to be fucked with.  I predict there will be more to come. The really ugly answer to all this is we need to bomb Isis back to the stone age—again.  It’s pay me now or pay me later.  We can kill them now before they organize further, or we can suffer more losses from bombings, hijackings, and God alone knows what else.  Trying to make peace by launching more attacks is a bad plan, but wringing our hands and waiting for more carnage is worse.  When someone is trying to kill you, the only choice is to kill them first.  

George S. Patton: “The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his country.”


The Universal Building Block

“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”—Frank Zappa

Right wing talk show hosts, politicians, Qanon dingbats, and Sturges rally attendees wrap themselves in ignorance, mythology, misinformation, and outright bullshit as if those were suits of armor.  Doesn’t work.  You can ignore the vaccine.  You can tell yourself lies and fairytales, but if the Delta variant taps you on the shoulder, you could very well die.  Gasping.  Conservative radio host, Phil Valentine, thought if he only spouted enough unsupported balderdash it would protect him.  It didn’t.  Sadly, the scandalously false swill he funneled out to his unsuspecting and gullible listeners has likely killed many of them, just like it did him.  If you are still anti-vax and anti-mask after seeing the alarming rise of Covid cases in red states, you aren’t paying attention.  Or you may still think that stupid will protect you.  Look at it this way:  the virus is the honey badger and you are the cobra.  (You can google that one.)

Pfizer’s vaccine just got formal approval today.  You are out of excuses.  Get the shot before it’s too late, fluffy.  When the nurses are about to shove that ventilator tube down your throat, it’s way too late to call an audible, “Gimme the vax instead.” 

Don’t be stupid.  Take the shot.


The Old Lion

The right wing howlers believe that Afghanistan has given them have a chance to wound Joe Biden.  It has, but they’d better take their best shots.  Biden is resourceful and wise in the workings of American politics.  They might draw a little blood, but watch out.  Corner an old lion and you fight not only him, but all the battles in which he learned the ways of warfare.  I’m on Biden’s side with this Afghan withdrawal.


Darkness Falls on Afghanistan

It is a bad day for women.  It marks the beginning of many bad days.  The fall of Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban seals the fate of countless women and girls in that troubled country.  In the Taliban’s autocratic theocracy, women have no human rights as we understand them in this country.  They are regarded as little more than chattels, useful only for child bearing and hard labor.  They are forbidden education, health care, and contact with the outside world.  If a woman falls ill or has difficulty in child birth, she may only be seen by a female doctor.  Since women are denied schooling or even literacy, there are likely to be no female doctors available.  Because a woman may not be seen, much less examined, by a man outside of her immediate family, even if he is a doctor, she will go untreated.  Now that the Taliban has taken over, its religious extremism and 6th Century thinking will plunge Afghanistan back into the dark ages.  Women will bear the brunt of this obsessive and cruel intolerance, now that the Americans have abandoned them.  They will suffer in silence for fear of beating or beheading.

It is a bad day for women.  The Taliban goes from house to house looking for young girls, some as young as 8 and 9, to become their “brides.”  If their mothers do not cooperate, they are executed on the spot.  The girls are dragged away to a life of repression and abuse.

Joe Biden made the ugliest of all choices in retreating from Afghanistan.  In doing so, he acknowledged the stark truth that no matter how hard we tried, we could not prop up an unwilling military and government.  The 300 thousand Afghan military could not be given the will to fight their own battles, no matter how much technology and armament we provided.  Three other U.S. presidents join Joe Biden in the ranks of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Persia, the Sikhs, Britain (three times!), and the Soviets who have tried and failed to conquer Afghanistan.  We did not learn from that history, and now we have doomed the Afghan people—and most especially the women—to repeat it.  In the long run it will cost us more lives and treasure than if we had stayed.

Now that the country has fallen to the Taliban, we can expect more trouble here at home.  Terror is once more on our horizon.  Afghanistan will be come a haven and breeding ground for every flavor of terrorist bent on our destruction.  We could have seen this coming, but we did not.  We could have evacuated earlier, but we did not.  

If you are not a woman, you may not understand why my tears will not dry.  Perhaps there is a universe where justice for this debacle can be had, but I do not see it.  There may be a time when solace will come for the Afghan women, but until that future, I despair for their fate.


Not a Zen Question

If you understand, things are just as they are. If you do not understand, things are still just as they are.—Zen saying

Why is Donald Trump not in jail or at least indicted?  Ah, you may well ask, Grasshopper.  There are many answers:  investigations take time; no president has ever been charged with a crime; the DOJ is still reorganizing after the Trump disruption.  Well, maybe.  Perhaps closer to the answer is Jules line from the last scene in Pulp Fiction.  “The truth is, you are the weak and I am the tyranny of evil men.”  (Re-watch it.  Samuel L. Jackson nails it.)  

Here’s my take:  the powers that be in the DOJ, the Congress, and the White House are afraid that arresting or indicting Trump will trigger another attempted coup.  After the January 6th trial run on the Capitol, it could be even more damaging and bloody.  We would certainly call out the National Guard and put it down, but there would be more loss of life and polarization of our citizens.  I believe the rightwing thugs, zealots, and half-baked white supremacists are going to do it anyway.  It’s better to not wait.  Make the move to bring Trump to justice and be ready to deal with the consequences on our own terms.  The crisis is on our horizon.  It’s no time to be timid, Grasshopper.  The times call for strength and determination.  


Step Up, Bitches

Here’s a suggestion for those brave souls Ron DeSantis, Gregg Abbott, Ted Cruz, and Rand  Paul.  If you really believe there are no consequences to a “freedom of choice” decision to not wear masks or get vaccinations, visit the ERs and COVID wards in the hospitals in your states.  Step up and go there without masks.  Follow the nurses and doctors as they struggle to save the lives of people dumb enough to adopt your murderous advice.  Listen to the moans of children and their parents who wish they had taken the shot.  Hear the wheezing of the ventilators that keep the sickest alive.  Get close to those suffering people.  If you believe the COVID Delta isn’t more than just a bad case of flu, take a deep breath and breathe in the virus.  Then wait a while and see if you break with COVID.  Go on, you hypocritical cowards.  Unmask yourselves and let’s see if you walk the walk those doctors and nurses walk.  Put on your big boy pants and go into harm’s way.  You have blood on your hands.  Your political ambitions doom thousands.  And you dare to call it freedom of choice.


Cuomo’s Checkers Speech

In the election year of 1952, vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon, then a senator from California, became embroiled in a scandal over a slush fund set up by lobbyists political allies.  The matter was so serious that his presidential running mate, Dwight Eisenhower, was prepared to dump Nixon from the ticket.  To save his political bacon, Nixon went on national tv to claim he never accepted any money or gifts, except one.  He noted that unlike many politician’s wives who wore expensive furs, his wife, Pat, wore a “good Republican cloth coat.”  The one gift he admitted to accepting was a black and white Cocker Spaniel that his kids named “Checkers.”  He said they were keeping the dog because the kids loved it.  He whined against enemies who were out to destroy him and wrapped himself in the flag of his virulent anti-communism.  In Nixon’s case it worked.  He stayed on the Republican political ticket, but a “Checkers Speech” became the catch phrase for a cringe-worthy, maudlin public political apology.  Cuomo delivered his today. 

The fog of war surrounding now former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation obscures what is really going on.  Cuomo has earned the bloody attacks from both right and left following sexual harassment accusations from eleven women.  He is widely regarded as vengeful, grudge-holding, and arrogant by both friends and foes.  His back against the wall, Cuomo resigned. Politics prevails over friendship every time.  

Cuomo is one of those guys who just doesn’t get it.  Time’s up.  Stop with the hugging and kissing and touching and honeying.  That may have played a decade ago, but the shelf life of all that cutesy, smarmy knavery has long since expired.  Women don’t like it.  They tolerate it only to keep their jobs, and when double-crossed in career or love, they will gleefully toss the abuser under the bus.

My woman’s intuition tells me there’s more going on here.  There is a scorned woman in this sordid mix somewhere.  The long suffering secretary, the perky executive assistant, maybe even a state trooper bodyguard—someone down the food chain was given expectations that were not fulfilled by a chief executive cocky enough to think he would never get caught.  I spent enough time in the boy’s locker room of show business to know that the games that get played on both sides can be treacherous for careers, public personas, and private lives.