Kyle Rittenhouse, the pimply-faced little fucker that shot and killed 2 people and wounded another was acquitted on all counts. This 17-year old child had his mom drive him 2.5 hours with an assault rifle a friend had bought for him so he could leverage his massive experience in highly-charge social situations to help keep the peace and prevent looting. Instead he got scared and started shooting. In our country, apparently that is perfectly legal. So there’s that.
The 3 dipshit hillbillies that killed Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of killing that young black man, so at least that lighted the burden a little.
Congress passed a $776B defense budget this year. Like they do every year. This is nearly $8T over 10 years which dwarfs the $1.5T that democrats want to spend on social programs to help our children and elderly and those most vulnerable in our society. But the defense budget is sacred and soars through with no scrutiny. The 776 is actually $24B more even than Biden requested. Members of Congress add in pork projects to fund military complex providers in their districts. The Pentagon’s budget is mostly unaudited. Nobody really knows what happens to that money year after year after year. It just vanishes. And we are meant to feel secure.
The US is like an insecure male who spends all their money and time in the gym bulking up and buying all sorts of guns and who drives a menacing over-sized truck. All to try to intimidate others and to hide his own fears. He diverts precious time and resources and emotional energy to developing boorish behavior rather than invest in his esteem and trying to truly understand others’. We, as a nation, continue to expend unprecedented resources to project physical dominance as an alternative to thoughtful, benevolent, stewardship over our citizens.
I spend a lot of time with mom these days. She is smart and amazing, but of course from a very different generation. Her generation doesn’t seem to fully grasp the desperation of what is really going on around us now. The dismantling of our democratic norms; reducing our already unfair voting mechanisms to a complete sham; our inability and unwillingness to stand up to corporations to start really battling climate change; standing by while our economic model shovels money into billionaire’s accounts while depriving the poor and unfortunate of basic necessities. The steady dumbing down of our already intellectually challenged elected officials. Et al. And on and on and so It goes.
But we mustn’t complain we are told, because America is still the best country in the world. At least according to most everyone over 60 in the US. Most who’ve never left the country except perhaps a trip to Niagara Falls or maybe a Caribbean cruise.
I was trying to explain to mom yesterday some of the basics. Productivity in our country has increased massively in the past 30 years, which has fueled record profits for corporations, while wages have remained stagnant. Housing, college tuition and so many other things have gone up exponentially in past decades–but again, wages are the same. The idea that a single income house could have a primary breadwinner working in a local factory and make enough to buy a house and raise a family is completely laughable today. But that was our reality in 1970. And our trends remain completely in the wrong direction. But we are doing jack-shit about it. And of course all the other crazy stuff going on that I so often rant about on these pages.
Mom is a smart and compassionate woman. Very smart and very compassionate. But after 80 years of brainwashing about the greatness of America, and by inference the inferiority of all other countries, she is simply not capable of recalibrating all that she has ever believed. Even though she acknowledges the observations and example she sees and hears about each day. And of course the biased American and world history we are all taught that exaggerates America’s positives and glosses over the nasty bits.
During the pandemic, millions of people saw their net worth deteriorate as they consumed savings and took on debt to survive while the richest increased their wealth significantly.
But what can be done about it? Ah. Vote. Yes. That must be the answer. I am not a fatalist but I am a realist and these trends have been obvious now for a long time. I am fortunate to have been able to move through life relatively unscathed by our racist and sexist and class politics. And that is mostly through luck. I am reasonably clever and I do work hard, but so do so many others who are held back for a variety of reasons. And I’m white, so that has helped of course.
On we go.
In other news, I am finally getting moved into my new home soon. After several false starts, I can start moving things this weekend. I thought I would be staying with Terri for a month or so but it’s turned into 5 months. Too long. For all my nomadic tendencies, when I am not traveling I like to nest deeply–with my own things around me in the comfort of my own space. So that will be cool.
We’re had our first snow in OH. The Christmas lights and trees are lit. My maimed arm is starting to heal. A little stronger each day. The corner is turned, although I still need to be careful not to over do it.
Brittany and I took mom shopping for her birthday and then Shannon joined us for a nice lunch at Restoration Hardware. Mom is so cute and so rarely gets to shop for herself–so it’s nice to be able to see that. Afterwards, we had a drink at Fado and then champagne and popcorn while watching a movie.
Brittany took me to see the Van Gogh immersion experience and it was superb. Beautifully visually rich and dynamic. I have bought tickets to take mom and dad in December.
A week or so ago, our beloved little Frenchie ‘Pharrell‘ was run over by a car. He apparently slipped out the door and bolted for the road while his caretaker was not watching. It was tough. Very sad for everyone who knew him.
Brittany and I are now in Tampa for a week. Hanging out with her dad and Cathleen and getting some time in on the beach. And some partying. And just hanging out enjoying our time. And I got to meet Diesel–Brit’s adorable, precocious, dignified miniature doberman-pincer that her dad is now raising on her behalf.
We leave tomorrow to return to the cold and work, but for me at least, the ability to start unpacking my life and re-organizing in a new space.
No other news of note.