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Gender: Male
Hometown: Body in Michigan - Heart in California
Home country: Born in USA ... Reborn in Tahiti
Current location: Right here, under my hat
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 71,611

About Me

Matrimonially experienced man, leading edge baby boomer, seeking long term relationship with warm sunshine, seawater, soft breezes, coral reefs, palm trees, and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. http://www.tahitinut.com/

Journal Archives

This is much more than just an election.

It's a diagnostic test of our body politic which is critically ill and may be terminal.

Many would pretend that Donald Trump is the "problem" this year. That's a profound misunderstanding of the dire illness that threatens the very life of our body politic. Our nation has a malignant cancer that has spread throughout its body politic, with cells attacking other cells within every vital organ. Our immune system is overloaded and can't seem to impede or halt the progression of this disease. It is the people who support and applaud this oozing pustule on the exposed skin of our body politic that are the real problem. This is the disease. Of this there should be no question and no doubt.

As a survivor of necrotizing fasciitis ("flesh-eating bacteria" given less than a 20% chance of living upon admission to the ER in 2013, I know something about such diseases. It's an understanding that was gained at the cost of massive scarring and disfigurement after a long recovery upon completion of 4-6 hours in an operating room and 3 days in a medically-induced coma in the ICU. It's an understanding of how an immune system can be compromised by stress and a short term failure to get adequate rest, hydration, and nutrition. Yes, it's as simple as sleeping, eating, drinking, and relaxing but we habitually forego such simple self-care and call it "normal" or "real life." It's not. It's life-threatening.

This disease of our body politic is easily seen in the enthusiastic and devoted support for a Presidential candidate that has openly and blatantly condoned racism, bullying, greed, ethnic bigotry, and sexual assault and has demonstrated a total disregard for honesty, human rights, and civil behavior. It's easily seen by the yard signs cropping up all over this country proudly proclaiming support for a "leader" and an ideology akin to that which is now unlawful in Germany. We are seeing some of the most vile and detestable human failings actually being celebrated! It is a bacteria which has always been present in our body politic but which has been held in check by an immune system of public education, moral leadership, a free press, and celebration of civic virtue. That immune system has been critically weakened and compromised by the corrupting forces of organized greed.

There is no ER in our world community to which we can take our body politic. We have exempted ourselves from any such intervention. Yet there is no doubt that other nations can see that our body politic is diseased and, in its death throes, poses a severe threat to that world community. It's entirely possible that a quarantine may be attempted. Given the extensive infiltration of our economic and military forces throughout the world, such quarantine is unlikely to be possible. It is therefore arguable whether the US or climate change poses the greater threat to the world.

This infection is spreading at least largely due to the example being set for young people. Children whose parents admire the attitudes and value system being promoted by Trump are almost certain to be contaminated. Any child or adolescent attuned to the media exploitation of Trump and the celebration of his expressed values and attitudes is also highly likely to be contaminated by this disease. Antidotes are increasingly hard to find.

The diagnostic on November 8th will tell us how long our body politic may survive. It will solely be based on the number of votes for Trump/Pense. It will not be based on the votes for any other candidate. If Trump/Pense get over 30% of the vote, no matter who "wins," I'm certain that the prognosis for our body politic is terminal within a relatively short time. If they get between 15% and 30% of the vote, the prognosis is grave and I doubt our body politic will survive beyond 8 years without immediate and in-depth recovery of our immune system. If they get between 5% and 15% of the vote, which I regard as unlikely, then our body politic has some chance of a full recovery if the disease is recognized and our immune system is strengthened significantly well within one generation (20 years). While I'd be overjoyed, I don't believe it's at all possible that they'll get less than 5% of the vote without massive and immediate recognition at the highest levels of the disease infecting our body politic.

For me, the highest priority is shining a light on the severity of this disease. This is not a normal election year by any stretch of the imagination. I will encourage every person I can to vote for any of the alternative candidates. This is far more important than any attempt to exploit this disease for the benefit of any single candidate.

It extends to other contests on the ballot as well. We must recognize that the health of our body politic was preconditioned by those who, organized as a political party, have exploited and nurtured this cancer within our nation for the past four decades. The Republican Party has now become a totally diseased organ and must be amputated. To the degree that any of these disease carriers remain in the lymphatic system of our body politic, our ability to rid ourselves of this disease and strengthen our immune system is hindered. Again, it matters far less with whom they're replaced. They must be removed.

There's a rumor ...

... he died of orgasmic bliss in the arms of some supermodel (Chelsea Handler?) after a Free The Nipple (#FreeTheNipple) protest event in which he participated. His talented mouth (and abundant supply of sunscreen) were, it's claimed, in unprecedented demand at the protest event.


It's bizarre how SO MANY people just don't comprehend how such weapons ...

... are REALLY used in the military under combat conditions.

First of all, the notion that a AR-15 in fully automatic mode is somehow more lethal is ridiculous. I can think of only one situation during which it might make sense to fire in fully automatic mode. That would be if confronted by a "banzai" charge where the enemy personnel were a veritable thicket and within 50-75 yards. Even then, it's highly arguable. It's virtually always a waste of ammunition.

Even in semi-automatic mode, infantry are trained to exercise "trigger discipline" and fight against the tendency to panic (get excited) and twitch rapidly without selecting targets between each shot.

No matter how well-supplied, ammunition is NEVER unlimited. One of the more immediate limitations is the need to carry it all. On a LRRP, that's far from trivial. Even in a defensive position (firebase or post), ammunition has to be carried, distributed, returned, collected, ... and handled obsessively. Contrary to myth, troops are rarely armed 100% of the time. In most situations, arms are kept in the arms room under lock and key. Only under the highest alert conditions are a significant number of troops under arms and carrying ammunition.

The imbeciles in that video wouldn't last 5 minutes under an assault. They'd kill each other.

IMHO, the most important characteristic of the M16/AR-15 is the ballistic "signature" of the type of ammunition it uses. The the AR-15 with .223 military ammo was outlawed by many nations as "inhumane." It has to do with how the slug behaves when it comes in contact with the human body. It tumbles and rolls and tears up the tissue. For a long way. It's rare for it to cause a "through-and-through" wound. No ... it makes a mess.

It's this last that will cause the Sandy Hook first responders nightmares for months or years. The carnage had to be horrific. The sight of mutilated child bodies lying catty-wumpus in lakes of blood with splashes all over the walls would make a Quenten Tarantino movie seem like Disney.

The Springfield bolt action used in WW1 was tame in comparison. The Garand M1 used in WW2 likewise. Adding to the horror is the seemingly toy-like 'feel' of the M16/AR-15 ... like plastic from Mattell. Well, what it does sure ain't toy-like.

One other misconception seems rampant, and that's what 'good' an armed teacher or even security guard could do in such a situation. IMHO, it's almost certain they'd make the situation worse. Even those of us who served in the military received training where the "good guys" were on one side of a line and the "bad guys" were on the other side. Mix 'em up and I don't know who could tell who they were killing ... behind their target, beside their target, or crossing in front of their target ... even assuming they could tell who the "target" was. Or how many. Or where. Hell, it took hours for the police to be reasonably sure there was only ONE "bad guy" at Sandy Hook. The "bad guy" has the overwhelming advantage: he knows that EVERYONE else is his "target." The folks who're actually trained to use guns under such conditions are a small minority of folks trained to use arms. SWAT, Secret Service, some FBI, very few military ... very very few police ... that's all. And THEY find it difficult! It's just fucking INSANE that the wannabe cowboys think it's so simple. God help us.

FWIW, that's why guys are trained to "bring a knife to a gunfight" in the military. (The 'knife' is called a bayonet.)

Caveat: While I'm a Viet Nam veteran with experience under fire, I was NOT in a combat arms unit and (thank God!) didn't have to do the job of an eleven-bravo. You might notice, though, that those guys aren't eager to talk about it ... even to disabuse folks of their illusions. After all, even if folks listen, how could they possibly understand?

His Hucksterness says God isn't allowed in our schools.

He couldn't be further WRONG!

God was there in Vicki Soto.

God was there in Anne Marie Murphy.

God was there in every act of love and self-sacrifice.

If that wasn't God, then any God that I'd call "God" just doesn't exist!

They call it "Right To Work" because "Arbeit Macht Frei" was taken.

The malicious exploitation of human labor motivates such Big Lies.

5,000 years of "Law of the Jungle" conditioning vs. 4,000 days of DU? No contest.

Look. When the women of the tribe strayed into Lion territory while gathering berries and firewood, the elders could ONLY say "don't go there." The same counsel would follow when they wandered into another tribe's territory and were kidnapped by the young hunters of that tribe.

Part of humanity's social "evolution" was to appeal to a diety and to go to war. Nonetheless, the counsel to the women of the tribe remained the same.

One could argue that humanity wouldn't have evolved at all without the potential victims of predation having learned how to avoid and evade such predations, no matter how 'unfair' they might regard it.

Yes ... every ethical cell in my body rebels at the notion of blaming the victims. Yes ... we cannot regard ourselves as "civilized" without deterring and punishing predatory behavior. But it must be observed that predatory behavior in general is richly-rewarded in our society. That's what much of Capitalism has become. Predation.

They think of employees as a COST, not an INVESTMENT.

On top of that, executives at the Fortune 2000 are held by their nuts by the investment bankers and other Wall Street types. THOSE people truly regard employees as fodder ... a COST. The focus on the stock market, the availability of investment capital (nobody thinks about corporate bonds anymore), and the "Quick Ratios" that measure "productivity" in terms of direct labor employee compensation (NOT executive overhead pay!) are symptoms of a CAPITALIST attitude that regards Labor as an "evil" (even though it's labor that CREATES wealth).

Once upon a time not really that long ago, we regarded investment in corporate stock as a long-term method to preserve the value of capital -- not some roulette wheel for instant riches -- and we evaluated stock on the basis of fundamentals. No more. Folks who "play the market" don't even know what that means. (Warren Buffett does.) It's about the quality of the product and the reliability of the processes that create the product and the longevity of the work force and the operational background of the executives and the education and training of the workforce and how all that compares to both the market and the competition, foreign and domestic. Why? Because it was about the long term! It was NOT about the "quick kill"!! Companies once invested in on-the-job training! Because of that, they hired employees with a track record of LEARNING. Now, they look for "plug-and-play" workers who're already experienced in some proprietary (i.e. vendor's) technology and without an interest in advancing to a level where they did other things. (God forbid any insecure, wet-behind-the-ears MBA hire someone who might be able to do his job! Better!)

The "traditional" Thanksgiving is supposed to begin with a welcome of the God of Consumption.

Santa Claus. He's coming to town ... on Thanksgiving morning! We're a nation that fails to distinguish between two deities upon whom we layer our wishes and appetites. Immediately after His arrival, the children are rushed inside the Temple of Retail to sit on the pervert's lap and engage in prayer (much like the Catholic Church today).

The next ritual is attendance at a combat between two groups of gladiators, competing to see which can injure and maim more of the others. This attendance frequently became participation as supporters of the conflicting groups engage in their own combat. (Alex Karrras and DIck Butkis competed on the tally of those players they each caused to be carried off the field.)

The climax of the Thanksgiving ritual was an orgy of self-indulgence, engorging ourselves on enough food to feed a third world nation for a month, and throwing away enough to feed them for a week. Members of the family would have belching and farting competitions and present obscenely distended bellies like sweaty Buddhas.

Finally, the Day of Indulgence would culminate with a trek to the local movie house to witness the season's latest celluloid circus for the masses.

Yeah ... let's lament the intrusion of "Black Friday" into our treasured reminiscences of a Norman Rockwell image that we never actually lived in reality.

The sense of Betrayal is profound.

I speak from experience. Among the "slings and arrows" I received after returning from Viet Nam, was homelessness (thankfully short-term) and PTSD (which wasn't called PTSD then). There was NO "welcome home." None. Nobody in my family and none of my friends. My "bride" was sleeping with her lover. Her first words to me: "What the hell are you doing there?"

It was a nightmare ... and recurring nightmare (literally) for years afterwards.

Somehow, many self-righteous 'opponents' of the War in Viet Nam chose to scapegoat those who'd experience far greater loss than THEY even risked. After 1972, they didn't even 'risk' being drafted... and the interest in protesting disappeared like a fart in a windstorm. The boat people saw almost nothing from the vast majority of those self-righteous folks.

The sense of betrayal comes from the very nature of National Service ... which is a profound act of faith in The People and the system of self-governance upon which we all must rely. The "body politic." It's a subordination of one's self-indulgence to the "enlightened self-interest" of a civilized society.

The MOST meaningful response to such service isn't "Thanks" ... it's "I'm glad to have you back home." That's all. After all, that's what every guy LIVED for ... getting back to "the world" ... to the PEOPLE in his life who represented "The People" for whom he subordinated his own life.

Kicking a subordinate is a cowardly act.

It was betrayal.

And I get the 'joy' of remembering it every November. Accompanied with nightmares. I'm grateful for the 11.5 months of nightmare-free sleep. I'm grateful for those good folks who later were most helpful in "getting my head straight." I'm grateful that I never stopped knowing how to love. There are so many things I'm grateful for ... even knowing the meaning of the word "betrayal." What I'm most grateful for is never having done this to another person ... for not "going postal" and living a life of regrets. So, to those who betrayed me, I say "Thanks" ... which is the Booby Prize. First Prize is "I'm glad you're back home and part of my life."

Happy Veterans Day!

{I post this for those who can't and for those who won't ... who have parallel experiences.}

REMEMBER: The wealthy get 100% of ANY tax cut, whether it's on <$25,000, <$250,000, or <$2,500,000!

We MUST do something about the media rhetoric that implies the wealthy don't benefit from tax cuts on income below $250,000. That's BULLSHIT! They get 100% of the benefit!

But it just ain't enough for the greedy motherfuckers!

What's life-changing for Working Class people is chump-change for the Ruling Class.

They demand tax cuts that ONLY benefit them! "Trickle-down" is a myth -- a fraud -- unless they're talking about urine.

Please ... remind folks of this FACT whenever you hear the implication that the wealthy don't benefit from tax cuts on lower and middle class income.

[font size=3]HINT: When they say "tax cuts for 98% of the American people" it's a FALSEHOOD![/font]
It's 100%! The wealthy get those tax cuts, too!!

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