The Real Corporate Candidate

A week ago, I received an invitation to attend a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. It came from a relative on my wife’s side of the family. Apparently she figured I’d be an easy target, simply assuming I’d be supporting Clinton because of the alternative, Donald Trump.

This kind of thinking has galled me for months. The idea that we must vote for Hillary because of the specter of a Trump presidency is typical either/or thinking that I’ve been subjected to ever since I first started voting in 1980. It’s also more of the usual reasoning that you get from spineless liberals. More on that further down in the post.

Two pathologically-damaged choices for president.

Two pathologically-damaged choices for president.

I don’t run around touting faux socialists for president like some of my friends did prior to Bernie Sanders going in the tank for Mrs. Clinton. I’m also clear on Clinton’s neoliberal policies designed to further dash the hopes of working class people across the U.S., something that so-called working class advocates from Maine that I’ve written about on this blog seem to have missed. Democrats will be Democrats, however.

Oh, and do I need to do the usual kabuki dance and list all the Republican’s political peccadilloes? They should be fairly obvious, but then again, given the drivel I’m reading about “Hillary must win, no matter what,” I’m not so sure.

Hillary Clinton has long been seen as the heir apparent to an ineffective, two-term president. Mr. Hope and Change has delivered little and dashed any hopes thinking people may have had about America. What passed for change was negligible at best.

Trump beat back a host of pathetic white, male politicians (and one woman) that were a combination of “too tired,” “too fat,” or “too stupid” to defeat a two-bit reality TV hustler. To Trump’s credit, he recognized that he could play to the fear of “the other” that’s been just below the surface for decades, if not longer in our country.

Bernie Sanders somehow energized the digitally dumbed-down—better known as our millennials—offering up heavy helpings of anti-corporate rhetoric. This also appealed to graying hippies, and other semi-progressive left-leaners. Then, as soon as Sanders recognized he wasn’t going to be the Democratic nominee, he did an abrupt about face and began supporting and stumping for a candidate joined at the hip to the worst elements of corporate corruption.

I thought Chris Hedges (one of America’s last remaining journalists) nailed liberals’ self-serving need to rally around someone as toxic and corrupt as Hillary Clinton. He wrote these two paragraphs back in August for TruthDig.. They are as good as it gets in framing all those left-of-center “friends” on Facebook, who have been consistent in their moral equivalency dances, about Hillary, why she’ll be so much more remarkable than Trump.

During the presidential election cycle, liberals display their gutlessness. Liberal organizations, such as, become cloyingly subservient to the Democratic Party. Liberal media, epitomized by MSNBC, ruthlessly purge those who challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Liberal pundits, such as Paul Krugman, lambaste critics of the political theater, charging them with enabling the Republican nominee. Liberals chant, in a disregard for the facts, not to be like Ralph Nader, the “spoiler” who gave us George W. Bush.

The liberal class refuses to fight for the values it purports to care about. It is paralyzed and trapped by the induced panic manufactured by the systems of corporate propaganda. The only pressure within the political system comes from corporate power. With no counterweight, with no will on the part of the liberal class to defy the status quo, we slide deeper and deeper into corporate despotism. The repeated argument of the necessity of supporting the “least worse” makes things worse.

The installation of Hillary Clinton in the White House will simply ensure that the policies representing the elite consensus in America—a more aggressive foreign policy, directed mainly against China and Russia, as well as cracking down on the democratic rights of anti-corporate grassroots organizers (like our son, Mark), while making sure that working class living standards continue to decline.

Clinton will ensure that big business reigns supreme. Her presidency will mean unfettered neoliberal economic policies. But to liberals that’s all well and good because of the two corporate candidates, “theirs” is the best choice.

Here is some telling stuff from In Defense of Marxism, on who Hillary Clinton represents as a candidate. It sure as hell isn’t the working class. It’s also not what America’s corporate water carriers at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR are putting forth.

Voting won’t change anything in America. And short of casting my vote for a fringe candidate like Jerry White, of the Socialist Equality Party (a true socialist, unlike Bernie Sanders), I’m not toeing the corporate line this election.

Weather as Social Commentary

In the Northeast, the sky has forgotten how to cry (aka, rain). This year, our rainfall totals are 9 inches below normal. We’re in the midst of a significant drought in the region.

People like it to be sunny each and every day. However, farmers need rain to water their crops. Municipal water supplies that rely on rain and groundwater (basically, all of them) need rain to recharge aquifers. I’m no geologist, but being as historically dry as it is can’t be good for longterm water needs.

The weather puppets—those Tee Vee people who only want to tell you that it’s going to be sunny, each and every day—have started to hint at some “soaking” rain coming next weekend….maybe.

I shouldn’t blame the weatherman (or weatherwoman) for only wanting to say “sunny,” rather than “rain.” I’m sure they’re perfectly nice people. They’re simply one more subset of America that believes in the myth of unending progress. Why tell people something unpleasant and end up being unpopular. Just like in politics—where each side thinks their pathologically-flawed candidate is the “hope” for our future—it’s better to sugarcoat it and tell people what they want to hear. Or make it about an issue that’s not really what ails us in the moment.

There was a pre-technological time when people understood the duality of life and the need for rain along with the sun. Technological man—with a multiplicity of smartphone apps–believes that he’s transcended such trivial things. He’s now living his life framed by a screen. Continue reading

Trash It

I had a political screed ready to publish on Sunday, prior to the freak show that now serves as the template for our presidential debates. After listening incredulously to both candidates, I scheduled it to publish on Columbus Day morning—then I put it in my WordPress trash bin. Later, I pulled it out and set it to publish again, before finally deep-sixing it once and for all.

That trashed post is a product of being sick and tired of all the self-righteous posing that people that I once considered friends (and some, acquaintances) have taken to Facebook to spout about almost every day. Your moral superiority is an ugly look.

Here’s a snippet of what I had planned to post, but finally decided to delete

One thing I am positive about. I’m done reading anyone’s either/or equivocation. We’re as fucked with Hillary at the helm as we will be at with Trump. Both are pathetic excuses for a leader.

Don’t like my opinion. Well to hell with you! I’m still entitled to holding one until that right gets stripped away by whoever we end up with for our next president.

Speaking of opinions, The Baffler isn’t afraid to show you theirs. Whether you are a fan of their far left progressive takes, or not, at least they haven’t resorted to listicles (yet).

The fact that they actually still publish long-form articles by writers trumpeting autodidacticism is reason to at least consider their ideas. Not sure what that is? I touched down on the topic back in 2013. A lot of good self-learning has done me. But that’s a topic for another post I’ll probably write but not publish.

As much as I still want to like The Baffler, however, they lose me with articles like this one. I’m sorry, but promoting the idea that all we need to fix the problems facing America is come to “grips with womb-based womanhood,” as in, “let’s return to the womb,” is politically-correct nonsense.

I doubt anyone tacking an autodidactic route would offer up this kind of poppycock, straight out of woman studies 101.

Can women save us?

Can women save us?

A Lack of Words

I’m up to my elbows in outdoor projects right now. Having a house requires seasons when all your spare moments are devoted to home improvement activities.

Apparently, America is under some siege from Creepy Clowns. That’s an apt descriptor of Maine’s gubernatorial situation, as we have a clown in the Blaine House, and when he’s bullying some group or person he disagrees with, he acts like a creep, so that would make him creepy.

Obviously, I have little to write of any substance today. Actually, it’s less a case of content and more a situation of time.

Because I’ve had little time and energy to devote to fitness endeavors, I’ve been trying to swim twice weekly and today was my swim morning.

I hope to deliver something next week about a wonderful book I’ve been reading about Jeff Buckley this week. “Grace” has been in heavy rotation, too.

Happy Friday! Watch out for clowns that appear creepy.

Maine's creepy governor.

Maine’s creepy governor.

Simple. And Easy to Set Up

Technology has a tendency to over-promise, and under-deliver. Think about that for a moment.

Do you remember the phrase, “paperless society?” That was what computers at work were going to provide—a workplace where you didn’t need file cabinets and hanging folders to store/organize reams of paper and reports. Do any of you work at a place like that? I didn’t think so.

There’s a technology product called eero. eero delivers WiFi to your home. From the company’s website, they summarize their product.

eero is the world’s first home WiFi system. A set of three eeros covers the typical home. They work in perfect unison to deliver hyper-fast, super-stable WiFi to every square foot of your house. It’s simple to set up. Easy to manage. And gets better over time with new features and improved performance. Stream video, get work done, or swipe right in any room—not just next to your router. Finally, WiFi that actually works.

Immediately, you know eero is cooler than the average WiFi router and set-up—just check out the lower-case name. Why do techies hate capital letters so much?

What’s better is that having an eero (or three) is simple, gets better over time, and you’ll get work done (magically). Who wouldn’t want an eero?

The bliss of WiFi at home.

The bliss of WiFi at home.

Continue reading

Travel on Foot

In 2010, Mark Baumer crossed America on foot in 81 days. While my research isn’t extensive (or exhaustive), I’m not sure anyone’s completed a coast-to-coast journey across the U.S. sans gasoline any faster than he did six years ago.

Mark is a writer and poet. He chronicled that first trek in a new book that has a very limited print run. The book, I am a Road, will be available to purchase for another week in print form, so don’t miss out.

Two weeks ago, Mary and I learned that our only son was being beckoned by the road once again. This time, his latest cross-country trip will be done for something larger than what motivated Mark during his first walk. Oh, and he’ll be doing this without shoes, too.

Since Mark’s taken the time to articulate and frame it in narrative form (much better than I can), I’ll send you directly to him, so he can explain the “why” of his latest journey.

Mark Baumer will cross America on foot, once again.

Mark Baumer will cross America on foot, once again.

The Last Righteous Man

Righteousness has entered an anachronistic phase. Duplicity seems all the rage at the moment.

I have been watching reruns of CSI Miami. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced show, which had a successful 10-year run on network television, is now in syndication on WE tv every weekend. It’s been my summer guilty pleasure.

If you remember the series, or have watched more than a smattering of episodes, you’ll be familiar with the show’s protagonist, Lieutenant Horatio Caine. Caine, played by veteran actor, David Caruso, is the rare alpha male on television these days. During our season of conflict and ambivalence regarding wrong and right, there’s little doubt where Caine comes down on any issue during the series’ hour-long story line.

Give 'em an hour and the CSI Miami team will always get the bad guy.

Give ’em an hour and the CSI Miami team will always get the bad guy.

Continue reading

Backseat Reminders

How did we function before “smart” technology smoothed over all of the rough edges of living? If you spend 5-10 minutes watching the opening segment of your local newscast, you are excused for believing that humans were once more intelligent than we are now, even possessing a modicum of common sense.

Apparently our cluttered lives have become so disorienting that we need the government (and car companies) to rescue us, and prevent us from leaving our kids in the backseat while we’re at work. Seriously, I guess dads everywhere are forgetting to leave junior off at the daycare, forcing him to fend for himself in the overheated car, while dad’s earning his daily bread working for Whitey the Man. Poor dad (and mom).

According to Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 29 children have died in hot cars this year.

“These deaths are happening year round. Even in mild temperatures, children unknowingly left in cars can quickly be in danger of death or serious injury,” said Gillan. Continue reading

New Kid in Town

Living in the football-mad region of New England, Monday morning quarterbacking is legion. Of course, those Monday morning discussions soon turn into Tuesday and Wednesday discussions extending throughout the day on Boston radio stations, all revolving around the QB position. That’s because in New England, football talk centers on one of the best in the history of the game.

To top it all off, starting last season, with all the hoopla about ball inflation and the National Football League’s “gotcha’” approach towards that quarterback—and this year’s continuation—as Tom Brady begins the 2016 season serving a four-game suspension, there’s no backing off discussions about the quarterback. The wrinkle this year is that in addition to Brady, we’re now talking Garoppolo, too.

Run, Jimmy, run.

Run, Jimmy, run.

Across the NFL, you won’t get much of an argument from the 31 other places outside of New England that the Patriots are not well-liked—and articles like this one, and this one (and a host of others) intimate that the team is hated by just about everyone else save those of us who love the red, white, and blue. So be it. Continue reading