My own jumbled thoughts

Yes I admit to enjoying the spectacle of a nut case scrambling the brains of a Washington establishment I’ve come to see as disconnected from the plight and cause of most Americans.

But the time has come to acknowledge that Donald Trump is not the way to change that.

The man is simply crazy. Even his own party, staff, maybe even his family implicitly or explicitly are demonstrating they get that.

Too bad for me I feel this isn’t an election about real change, other than electing our first woman president, which is huge and wonderful.

On to governing. A month plus of politics to go, but let’s get ready for helping, pushing, demanding, whatever it takes, to see that President Hillary Clinton delivers her promises.

Going There

Why not? A campaign noted for dwelling in the gutter might as well go there. Trump stands on shaky ground on the issue of infidelity, but here we go, was Hillary was enabling advocate or a clueless victim of her husband’s misdeeds? The Washington Post: In an ABC News interview, she called Gennifer Flowers “some failed cabaret singer who doesn’t even have much of a résumé to fall back on.” She told Esquire magazine in 1992 that if she had the chance to cross-examine Flowers, “I mean, I would crucify her.” … Former White House press secretary George Stephanopoulos recalled in his memoir discussing a woman’s allegation published in Penthouse Magazine. He said that after her husband dismissed it as untrue during a meeting, Hillary Clinton said, “We have to destroy her story.”

Hillary Clinton web site (this passage was removed February 2016): “I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault: Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we’re with you.”

My jumbled thoughts about the upcoming election

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

The colloquy yesterday between Bink and Craig got me to thinking, as they say in these parts. So below are my jumbled and disjointed thoughts about the choice we face 40 days or so from now.

I view this election as a binary election – it’s Clinton or Trump.  If that is establishment versus change, with the type of change drumpf foreshadows, I’ll take establishment any day and every day for a myriad of reasons, including her roots in and support for the middle class.

supreme1Clinton is an easy choice for me. Even putting that aside, the folks Hillary will put into the federal courts from bottom to top make the decision very easy for me as a lawyer who believes the Constitution is not embodied in one amendment (a point on which Craig and I agree).

Whether I, Craig, or anyone is in the top or bottom 1, 5, or 10 percent, or somewhere in the middle, so long as they vote for the one candidate IMHO who gives a crap about and represents any hope for the middle class I don’t care how many cars, homes, dollars, eyes or whatever they have or whether they are low, middle or high income, or are unemployed, working or living off dividends and trust funds, and I count among my friends folks who fall into all of those baskets and who support Hillary — and none are deplorable.

I reject the “change” meme in this election as illegitimate and not in the best interests of the country. Large scale change in the past 100 years or so has been a result of catastrophic events, and I don’t see that underlying cause now — eight years ago, yes, but the responses to the 2008 crash have stabilized the economy (hopefully) even if the middle class has not recovered to its pre-crash level, although I am somewhat skeptical of that. Manufacturing has been leaving the country since the 70s at least, long before Obama’s birthplace was questioned. That’s when Japan moved from trinkets and began competing with us in the steel and electronics industries. It could ship US scrap to Japan, manufacture steel products and ship them back to the US at prices below what we could produce the same products for using the same scrap without the transportation costs. It built better TVs and stereos we could afford (remember them?) and we bought them.

manufacturingChina’s inroads into our manufacturing economy have been dramatic, but we buy their crap at Walmart and everywhere else, and other countries including Honduras, Indonesia, Korea and India just to name a few have followed suit.  NAFTA didn’t do that.  I haven’t seen the US be overwhelmed by Mexican and Canadian goods, and there are competing studies that have reached conflicting results. (See this Politifact article).  Ironically, one of the major employers in our area is a Canadian company (Bombardiere) and the largest office building in our “downtown” area (I use the term advisedly) — which was effectively abandoned by Chase Bank is now Canadian owned (Olymbec). Americans provide the labor in both.

OK, to support US manufacturers and bakers I won’t eat Oreos any longer and any Fender guitar I buy will be made in the US – and I’ll pay double for it, but it will be 20% better made.  Have there been job losses as a result of emerging economic powers south of our border and across the Pacific?  You betcha.  Are Americans willing to compete with those markets?  Yes and no.  But regardless, if you think change as offered by the Cheeto Bandito (apologies to Frito Lay) will improve that, well, I’ve got a bridge to Queens to sell you.

Would bringing back the Glass-Steagall reforms help?  Probably.  Will they come back with an orange idiot repug in the white house and a repug congress?  Not in a million years.  Could Dodd-Frank be made stronger instead?  See my Glass-Steagall comment.

Will trump bring back coal?  Doubtful so long as natural gas is cheap.  Will Hillary kill coal?  With a repug congress and coal lobbying money to keep idiots like McConnell in Congress and in line?  No damn way. (Natural gas will do that if it happens).

But the most compelling reason to reject trump change (chump change is more like it) is what I can foresee 4-8 years from now.  With drumpf at the helm I cannot imagine what this country and the world will look like, but I can’t see it looking better for most Americans, or for the world as a whole for that matter.  Putin might disagree with me here.  But I can see drumpf and his brood carefully studying and analyzing moves for the US while profiting nicely and counting their money as it grows – they think a blind trust is having his 3 spawn run his companies. With Hillary at the helm I similarly can’t see where we go, but I know it will be through careful study and analysis and right or wrong, decisions based upon that. So in the end, I’ll be voting for Hillary, like I did 8 years ago, and again I’ll be doing it for what I see as the best choice for the country.

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Lunacy Prevails

Here’s how America debates. Eighty million viewers, give or take 80 million because the folks at Nielson just make this stuff up, tuned in thinking their favorite cop show would be on, but instead found a woman in red and a man with orange hair talking about TPP, which sounds like yet another drug for medicating children on airline flights.

Then they hear the orange guy call the woman in red a liar, followed by the woman in red calling the orange guy a tax cheat.

Which provokes a fight over the remote. Suddenly buying costume jewelry from aging TV stars on shopping channels seems riveting. Or maybe it’s time to consider a reverse mortgage.

Tune back in to the post-debate “analysis” and we find out who won. Turns out the red lady was “presidential” and the orange guy was a lunatic. Give lunacy a chance.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  The Lorax, Dr. Suess

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

Banned book week has once again arrived.  Each year the power of the Internet has shown light on the various efforts to ban books in school libraries, in public libraries and from the printer’s presses. The ‘net provides communication between the smallest villages and the largest cities about efforts to prevent writings from being seen.

Censorship is a step towards subjugation of the people. If children are not allowed to learn, and seeds of dreams are not sown, the results are a people fettered from knowing their potential.  Hiding what others have written, does not make a world, quite the opposite.  Taking a thought from others and multiplying it many times is what makes a great world.

i-read-banned-bookThis year’s list from the American Library Association:

The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The top ten most challenged books of 2015 include:

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

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A Cautionary Tale

By GrannyMumantoog, a Trail Mix Contributor

Some recent news articles have shown that there are still people out there trying to mess with voter registration. Mostly they are just using scare tactics by making people think that there is much more voter fraud than has actually been proven to be true. In addition, there are still some people working to get last minute laws enacted to make registrations and voting more difficult. In this crucial election it behooves us all to be ever vigilante and work on behalf of ensuring that everyone who can vote is legally registered!

dont-voteA few days ago, feeling a little paranoid about the state of voter registration, I decided to look into the subject a bit. I discovered that there are wildly different rules, deadlines and methods available for people to register to vote in different states. I learned that my state had a nice online area where I could check my registration status so I did! As expected, I was registered just fine! What I didn’t expect was that my oldest son (Turning 50 Monday yikes!) was not! He had put in a change of address with the DMV some time ago and I remember that I talked with him about making sure his change of address was on his voter reg too. Well, apparently he didn’t do that in time and yes, it turns out that there is a deadline to do it. You can’t just show up at your previously recorded poling place, as he thought he could. His deadline had passed and he was no longer a registered voter! Needless to say I emailed him a link to the voter reg page and he took care of it that day.

This got me thinking that I should share this information with as many people as possible. I was amazed to see how many different deadlines exist when you look at the lists by state! This election is too important to leave anything to chance!

Here are some links people can use. Two of them are to find out more about voter registration in each state. One is a universal form to use to register online, for people who are not yet registered. If all else fails, people should be encouraged to check their state’s official website and find a page with voter information they can click on! For the most part, there’s only a couple week left to accomplish this.

Rock The Vote offers a handy online form taking registrants step by step and linking to one’s state registration site if applicable:

Be aware that some states do not have online registration so voters need to be even more aware of deadlines by mail, determined by postmarks, or in person.

The New York Times has all the state deadlines an links to each state’s online registration where applicable:

Here’s another site with deadlines listed by state:

Now, go  forth, and get out the vote!

So Long Arnie

Mourning Arnie tonight. Grew up a short walk to his course, Bay Hill (Orlando). He and his family good friends to my parents. My first paying job in life was on his greens crew as a high school student. One of my tasks was carefully removing weeds from the putting greens with a steak knife, not marring the surface. More than a few times he would be playing through and stop to inspect my work, was proud he never complained, as he was prone to do when his beloved course was not meticulously maintained. Pic here is my Mom and Dad at one of his famous New Year’s Eve parties, where they would dance the jitterbug with he and wife Winnie, she and Mom were big buddies.