Blame it on the Russians

I was in grade school during the 1960s. This was during the height of the Cold War, when all schoolkids were taught to be suspicious of the Russkies. Actually, American education does a great job of inculcating a fear of the other. The Russians were a convenient target at that time.

Blame it on Vlad!

Blame it on Vlad!

Fast forward to 2016. Apparently little’s changed over the past 45 to 50 years. Democrats are still trying to play “the Commies ate my homework,” or some version of it. Rather than own up to Hillary Clinton being a loser once again, it’s easier to lay the burden of Clinton and the DNC’s incompetence at the feet of Russia, and their current president, Vladimir Putin. Funny how that works—the more things change, the more things stay the same. Candidate Clinton—who ran a woeful campaign—can take solace. The Russians caused her to lose!

But I’m sick of that tune and I’m not going to play it today. Continue reading

Elections and Alienation

With the 2016 election clanking to its completion, like a car with a malfunctioning transmission, I’ve taken a different tack the last few weeks—disengagement—imbibing next to nothing from the mainstream. My inner environment has been almost tranquil. Rather than alienation and discouragement, removing myself from the ongoing dysfunctional din of reality has been a positive and necessary corrective.

Just because someone demands that you see the world one, or two ways, doesn’t mean that you have to. Binary thinking leaves you dead-ended, painted into a corner.

If voting mattered...

If voting mattered…

Over the weekend, I picked up several books that seemed to be waiting for me on my local library shelves. These books provided historical context, as well as reminding me of perspectives I hadn’t considered in quite some time.

What I found fascinating in reading about America’s history of radical politics, was the role of European immigrants in bringing socialist, Marxist, and anarchist perspectives to these shores. What I’ve also been ruminating about is why the town where I grew up—with many immigrants from Europe—was and continues to be a place where conservative values reign supreme. This is a topic that I’m likely to come back to at some point. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

Hot in Cleveland

I’ve never been to Cleveland. I did drive a U-Haul truck through the middle of the city on a couple of occasions between Mike Pence’s Indiana and Maine. They tell me that the GOP is having their convention in the place where rock and roll is lionized, at least by the arbiters at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I do remember a night from Cleveland’s past, filled with smoke and burning records. That took place at a strange intersection where baseball and disco came together—at a stadium by the lake that’s a mere memory.

Rock and Roll and disco are like oil and water.

Rock and Roll and disco are like oil and water.

Not much to say today, at least nothing that I can say that won’t get me on the wrong side of the PC fence from the real fascists and censors.

I did have the strangest of dreams last night. I was at the Democratic National Convention and I was supporting Hillary in the most lukewarm sort of ways. Oddly, she had morphed from the frumpy and shrill, to slender (in a female volleyball player’s body) and unassuming. All the attendees were pudgy white males and women worshiping their queen. Bernie Sanders’ gang were not present, so no graying ponytails. Continue reading

The News Biz

It’s nearly impossible to find unfiltered news coming from the driveby sources. The New York Times runs a story on Hillary Clinton’s emails, then the Old Gray Lady furiously backpedals from it. The Washington Post tells us that the reason that Donald Trump is surging in the polls is due to stupid, white people. So much for our vaunted “fourth estate” and its objectivity.

News isn't what it used to be.

News isn’t what it used to be.

There’s a reason why many conservatives don’t trust the media, citing its liberal bias. That suspicion of mainstream news isn’t limited entirely to those on the right, either. Continue reading

Rally Round the Hype

It’s Tuesday morning posting time, and I need a topic. I guess Bernie Sanders is as good as it gets right now.

In these late days of empire, Lady Liberty’s political process has become just as dysfunctional and corrupt as all of her other assorted accoutrements and jangling bangles. Take for instance the four-year political cycle for president—as soon as the new occupant’s wife changes the drapes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it’s time to start thinking about the next election, shaking down voters for cash.

Of course, Mr. Obama can’t have a third term (thanks to Mr. Roosevelt). If he could, he’d be out doing what he does best, giving speeches and campaigning. Instead, we’re forced to endure the contrast of just plain tired,the old, and the hilarious—between Hillary, Bernie, and the ever-expanding Republican field—a full 17 months out from our next American coronation.

"Hello, Portland, Maine!!" (Troy Bennet photo/Bangor Daily News)

“Hello, Portland, Maine!!” (Troy Bennet photo/Bangor Daily News)

Continue reading

Obama’s Got a Twitter

Well, it’s official. The president has a Twitter account. Great to see @POTUS yucking it up with @billclinton about Hillary’s run to be Obama’s successor.

This is big news in a nation where we no longer have the means and the will to fix our roads, bridges, or other infrastructure. No, let’s just reduce everything to 140 characters and be done with it.

President's on Twitter.

President’s on Twitter.

Continue reading