Your Opinion Is Irrelevant

We are delusional.  I don’t mean seeing things that aren’t there.  We can see things pretty clearly.  I mean believing things that aren’t true.  We get told what to think, and we’ve been taught to believe lies.

In America we were told that we live in a democracy, where everyone’s opinion counts and everyone has the right to free speech.  Look at the First Amendment to the Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We’re told that public opinion is shifting, and we’re fed numbers that are supposed to support the premise.  But if the opinion polls are any indication, it’s always been clear that “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.”

Before the presidential election, I mocked the polls because they took a sampling of about 800 people and used that to predict the results, and I mocked the news media because that was the poll they chose to report about.  I mocked it because the sample the pollsters took was 0.00024461538 out of every 100 Americans.  The Powerball lottery odds are currently o.00000034223 out of 100.  (that number means nothing to my argument, but wasn’t it interesting to think about why I would put that in here?)  I don’t know about you, but once the numbers slip past three decimal places, I don’t think much of the chances of me and 99 other people being the winners of the big prize, or of the polls being right.

I value my privacy, so when I was asked to tell who I was going to vote for, I declined.  They ask me every election cycle.  Once in the last 10 years I gave a pollster my honest opinion, and decided thereafter to keep it private.  After all, when you vote, you’re in a little box and no one can see who you’re choosing.  I barely had time to vote, much less talk to a pollster.  I’d only be feeding them a number to skew, so it feels pointless to me.

So we’re told the public opinion is shifting, and that may be true.  Or maybe we’re being told public opinion is shifting and what direction it’s going, just to see if it will sway our own opinions.  I believe what I believe, and it doesn’t shift like sand at the ocean, or a boat deck.  Maybe people just vote their frustrations and their feelings at the time of voting.  Maybe, after years of Republican presidents and idiotic sound bytes in the news, we were sick of the stupidity and had the perception the president didn’t really give a shit about the American people, so we elected Obama.  Maybe, after years of failed policy and increases in health care expenses (mine will increase by $100.00 per fucking paycheck this coming year, while my salary goes up by $0.00 per fucking paycheck.  $2,600 I have to figure out how not to spend next year, that I spent, carefully, this year.)

We’re told that evolution and global warming aren’t just scientific theories beside other scientific theories.  We’re told they are science.  You can tell me they’re based on science, and I can tell you that they’re theories based on certain data samples, and that they ignore other data samples, or they are theories based on data the scientists wish was there.   Sometimes what we hear leads us to opinions we believe strongly, and sometimes we just want to believe.  But, read about how science and scientific journals have been set up to fail in any of the articles linked here.  If science is proven to be bad science by others trying to verify the findings using good science, maybe other scientific theories we’ve accepted as fact are based on bad science, inadequate sampling, and fraudulent data made to look like it supports someone’s pet theory or some desired public opinion sway.  Here’s one that was published and then very publicly retracted.  It was retracted because someone tried to duplicate the experiment and didn’t get the same results.  But the “scientist” who published the result “data” from the original “experiment” got published!!.  Before the journal called the “scientist” on their bullshit data and it was retracted.  Read the whole little novella and a little more interesting data here.  Were you paying attention when that happened?

It would have been  fantastic social science if it was true, but instead it’s another one of those papers that tell people how the writers think they should think, not what they actually think.  So with that in mind, do you really trust the social engineers who make money every time someone buys into global warming theory because they invest in the new improved products that are supposed to reduce our ‘carbon footprint?’  If it’s true, how did humans manage to not go extinct sooner if we really have been on the planet, evolving, polluting, and destroying the environment, for the six million years “scientists” yammer on about, with dubious proof and no extant “missing links” in between so-called evolutionary progressions?

For fucks sake, they used to live in caves or little huts, and some would burn literal animal shit for fire to COOK with.  Where was all the e.coli death back then to wipe out all of humanity?  We didn’t have modern plumbing so guess where they handled that business?  Modern plumbing has proven just EXCELLENT for both human civilization and the environment in recent years.  Just look in Flint, Michigan.  Oh, tell me the industrial revolution in the 1800s started the destruction even though our ignorant ancestors had been working on it since six million years earlier, but our oh-so-fragile planet, suddenly now, in the immortal words of Star Trek’s engineer Mr. Scott, ” cannae stand the strrrain?”

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via GIPHY

In an era when you can publish whatever fabricated bullshit you feel like , until you get caught, or even after that, it’s magnificent “science,” isn’t it: “Sure, there are several climate theories, but a select few who call themselves the majority, in agreement with the people who call themselves ‘the only reputable scientific authorities,’ have decided that the media and mainstream scientific community can only believe and promote this one theory, and all other opinions or theories, being deemed by said ‘majority’ and ‘scientific community’ as ‘unscientific,’ can shut the fuck up.”

There have been magnificent examples of plagiarism (e.g., Fareed Zakaria) and fabricated bullshit (e.g., Jayson Blair) in the news community and the literary community.  Even in the blogging community, if you read certain fucking awesome blogs , and that’s only one example because on his blog there’s been documented plagiarism, and if you read certain other, lame blogs, there’s lots of fabricated bullshit.  So who can you really trust as an “authority” or a “source of original material?”

But if the “mainstream” scientific community is right about the age of the earth, global warming, and environmental destruction, how the fuck were we not all dead long ago?  Back when people knew far less science, they should have killed us all if the world was really all that old, feeble and frail.  Do you trust the social engineers who sell you evolution theory and try to shout over, and silence, anyone who believes any alternate origin theories?  Really, that’s a great foundation for a solid education:  “Sure, there are several origin theories, but a select few who call themselves the majority, in agreement with the people who call themselves the only reputable scientific authorities, have decided that teachers can only teach this one theory, and all other opinions or theories, being deemed by said ‘majority’ and ‘scientific community’ as ‘unscientific,’ can shut the fuck up.”

Oh, I have traveled far afield from where I was going.  So, back to the Constitution.  But this social engineering is an experiment of its’ own.  When the Constitution was written, literate people knew what the writers meant.  When the amendments were written, literate people understood the purpose.  But in the modern era, words don’t mean what they mean, because everything is up for interpretation.  I mean, seriously, what “is” this?

Or, to put it another way, what the in-a-present-state-of-existence,-existant, real, fuck?

When *I* read the First Amendment, I understood it saying that Congress can’t establish a state religion, or tell people how they ought to worship.  But that’s only because I’m not a damned lawyer.  In the historical context of writing, King Henry VIII had done both of these things.  He wanted to fornicate, (according to His contemporary Church’s laws and traditions, which to him weren’t just contemporary, but also contemptible) but the church authorities wouldn’t give him divorce papers.  So he did what any self-respecting church-disrespecting king did.  He started the Church of England and thumbed his nose and flipped a couple of birds at the Pope.  Not the ONLY reason, but certainly one of many straws that nearly broke the beast with two back’s balls.  Of course you know the difference between King Henry VIII and and a Bactrian camel.  One is a huge two-toed beast with two humps who can carry you through the desert, from hell to breakfast, and the other is a huge Tudor beast with two backs who wants to hump (SIX wives plus affairs?!) without being condemned to hell with no Brexit.  I mean “exit.”

Because of a modern interpretation of the First Amendment, (Engel v. Vitale) we damn well can’t have organized prayers in the public schools, (here in the “land of the free,” where “Congress shall make NO laws,” but the Supreme Court bloody well did) even if they are student organized and led.  We also have to have fucking “holiday” concerts because heaven forbid we should fucking say “Christmas” at a school.  You don’t even pronounce the Christ part, and many just say X-mas, which nobody really likes.  On the one side it’s too big a compromise, and on the other, not enough.   “It’s Fall Break” because some idiot is afraid to say “Thanksgiving”vacation.  And “Spring” Break, because the same idiot is afraid to say “Easter” break, which doesn’t even mention Jesus’ resurrection or his name in it.  You can now mention any other religious or man-made holiday celebration or tradition, just not the Christian ones.  But somehow, we did fine for 171 years, brainwashing our children with recitations of The Lord’s Prayer, other prayers from the Bible, and other prayers offered by school personnel and students. Here’s a quick excerpt from an article about colonial Williamsburg, about how they damaged the fragile psyches of the children:

Well, shit.  Just go to the link.  Their own internal links aren’t attached.  Since I couldn’t get to the terms of use or copyright stuff, I won’t quote it because who wants to be accused of being a fucking plagiarist.  Only serious journalists and writers would ever want that.  My research says back then, they read from a primer with prayers and questions and answers about God.

G-fucking-O-fucking-D!!!!  Be afraid, fucking self-styled anti-religion-unless-it’s-an-inoffensive-or-cool-or-currently-hot-topic-type-of-religion censors.  And yes, gentle readers, it was the God of the Traditional 66-Book Old and New Testament Bible we’re talking about here, and deep, heavy, philosophical questions to think about.  Shit like:  What is the chief end of man?  In the modern age, people who don’t read wouldn’t have the first clue what that means, much less have the cognitive ability to understand the answer.  Illiterate savages.  Q: What is the chief end of man?  A:  Duh, I don’t know. His ASS?  But back then, fourth graders, maybe even younger kids, knew what it meant, knew they had a unique and special purpose in life, knew the other questions all by heart, knew the answers, and knew where to find verses that proved the point  in their family Bible.  Why are people in the 2K years idiots?  Because they don’t read EVERYTHING, and they should.  Contrary opinions build stronger apologists with better apologetics.  And the more you read, the more you understand what you read.

When *I* read the Second Amendment, I understood it saying people have the right to own and carry guns, period.  In the historic context of writing, we had fought for independence from England, after King George the Turd…  I mean, um, King George III had attempted to restrict citizens of the colonies. (oh, check the King George III link out, THAT’S GOOD scholarship.- Thanks, David Koppel, and I hope you don’t mind me directing people toward you and your writing.)  The writing of both first and second amendments were clear attempts to say that our United States would NOT be framed and built like England, but rather, we would have personal rights and freedoms that wouldn’t be restricted by an intrusive government.

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

But alas, in the modern era there are apparently nuances of implication, intent, meaning, historical contextualization and language that we commoners are far too simple minded to figure out for ourselves, so the government has stepped in and interpreted that church and state should be separate even though people obviously practice their religious practices and believe their faiths while working in government offices and schools.  So we now have what’s bordering on separation of church FROM state, depending on which religion you practice.  It’s a double-standard, though.  If you want to take extra breaks at work to pray toward a city that’s significant in your religion, say, 42° 26′ 05″N Latitude, 83° 59′ 06″W Longitude, as long as you meet your performance metrics like everyone else at your company, that’s fine, but if you want to say, “If I’m free to exercise my religion I don’t have to do something that is an offense to me as a practitioner of my faith,  you get told “tough shit, you have to do that,” and you get insulted, called names, and you get death threats.  You don’t get the option of practicing your religion at work, unless your religion is unobtrusive, invisible, or currently popular and socially acceptable to defend.  Even in the schools, if you make a work of art that has religious overtones, it depends on what it is.

Why are there “nuances of [blahblahblah, you lost me long before “nuances,” Deon, will this article EVER end?]?  Why?  Because someone wants us to believe that everything is open to interpretation.  Like the linguist who wants to dissect words and define what the meaning of the word “is” is so all of us uneducated shitheads can understand.  Or so all us angry souls who want things made right, when they weren’t done right in the first place, will be so confused we give up on our impeachment processes or inquiries.

We are ignorant, illiterate savages.

People are going to believe what they believe, it doesn’t necessarily make it “absolute truth.” For example, I just read that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was named “Sexiest Man Alive” for 2016, by the people at People magazine.  He has a kind of appeal.  Even a guy would appreciate his masculine bad-ass-ery.  Having said that, I’m sorry, Mr. Johnson. Shemar Moore (you’re welcome, “babygirls”) still surpasses you, for me. Sure. you’re both smart and funny and nice, and you both certainly fit the fitness category, so really, you’re both beautiful specimens of manhood; don’t get me wrong. Shemar is just smooth. I shouldn’t really explain it any more than that.  I never watched The Young and the Restless, but I have watched Criminal Minds and Diary of a Mad Black Woman…

 

I’ve seen Hercules, The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, and they were awesome. You’ve seen the Fast and Furious series, and other movies.  I can look at The Rock and say, “He’s really cool,” but I look at Shemar Moore and I think, “damn, that’s a sexy man.” And then, it comes down to perception, because the “absolute truth” is that I’ve been the sexiest man alive for every year since I turned 18, but the press doesn’t know me. Don’t ever tell them. They’d be going on scavenger hunts to find my damn bunker. Don’t you fucking dare.

In other science news, Thus spake the Prophet, “We’re all going to die.” That’s right, Stephen Hawking hath prophesied. And not to be grim and sardonic about it, but he sounds a lot like Glum from the old animated cartoon Gulliver’s Travels, which I am far too young to remember. Glum used to say things exactly like Stephen Hawking’s prophecy: “We’ll never make it! We’re all gonna die.”  And then they  made it and nobody died.  But  from the brilliant mind of Stephen, the prediction is that we have less than a thousand more years before someone fucks up so badly that we all become extinct as a species. OR, a giant asteroid will come and play bumper pool with Earth, whereupon, “we’re all gonna die.”

I respect Stephen Hawking.  He’s far more intelligent than most of us but in the interest of sharing scientific theories, I have an alternate, non-scientific one. We have at least 1007 years, give or take as to when that first year starts, and how long the wrap-up at the end of that takes. My theory is from two sources. First, John on Patmos (Revelation 20) who said, before he promised that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, that Christ himself would rule on this present earth for a thousand years. Second, it’s really too much to write here but Daniel and Jesus both promised it’s coming: an additional 7 years during which it’ll seem like “we’re all gonna die.” Even that’s up for interpretation and it depends on who you read, since it hasn’t happened yet, but look here for some interesting theories about it. That language is a hell of a lot more cryptic than the Constitution, so I understand why people have so many different ideas about it. I have a preferred option but I won’t know if I’m right until it happens and neither will any of the other people with personal prophetic interpretations. However, if I am right, there’s at least 1007 years left on this rock, so that will mean the great Mr Hawking has underestimated the lesser beings and our potential. By a few years at least.

Occasionally prophecy is easy to debunk.  Like TB Joshua from Nigeria, who predicted that Clinton would become the president.  He had a shot at being right, but apparently one of two things happened.  Either, 1- God is mischievous, and he lied to let TB look bad, or 2-TB is full of shit, and lied about it, or, best case, didn’t wait for the straight answer from God.  He cited the anointing of king David of Israel as an excuse for his failure, but Samuel and God were having a conversation and Samuel was listening for the answers to his questions:  “Surely,” God, your choice for king is this stately, good-looking young man!  And God said, “No.”  Samuel didn’t anoint the wrong king.  But by saying Clinton was going to win, TB was giving her his anointing as the prophet, claiming to be God’s prophet, and he was wrong.  The people of Israel didn’t really take kindly to prophets who failed.  We don’t treat them like that in the modern era, but I wonder if his followers won’t give him a Trump-esque “You’re FIRED!”

I don’t usually debunk prophecy, and the one from Hawking is a moot point because I will be leaving you soon. That’s right, I’m quitting, and soon. I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen, but sometime in the next 80 years, assuming medical technology gets me past the next 50, (I’ll be 101), there will be no more Deon Mumple to kick around, abuse, take for granted, cook, do dishes, laundry, vacuuming, trash, mopping, bathrooms, windows, and provide the standard flirtatious remarks, admiring gazes, hot steamy sex, Mrs. M. Sometime In the next 80 years, I’m done. Which means unless Stephen is right but has VASTLY overestimated us, I won’t be around to validate HIS prophecy, much less my own.

I am still here, and while here, I hope you all have a great century.  Don’t believe the guys who tell us there’s no hope.  Because, if there’s no hope, well, then what’s the point of anything?  But if there is hope, then maybe there’s also truth.  Maybe there’s actual meaning, and not nuances of denial.  Maybe we have a purpose.  It’s possible that we’re beautiful, unique individuals, and if we seek the truth, we might find out that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Life In Denial, Part Deux

Maybe I should say part five.  In my previous article I mentioned several ways in which Americans are in denial about the 2016 presidential election.  But wait!  There’s more!  I don’t sleep much when I remember to take my meds, so I have lots of time to read and watch the news, in spite of myself.

If you are and were a rabid Clinton supporter, or possibly a rabid Trump supporter, click over to someone else’s blog now.  You will not like what you’re about to read.  It’s just not pretty, no matter which side you look at it from.  (Take that, grammar Nazis!  For you non-grammar-Nazis, the rule was “a preposition is something one should never end a sentence with.”)  I didn’t like any of the candidates, and I’ll decline to let ANYONE know who I voted for.  You can guess, and I won’t confess.  But I voted.  I’ll confess, this article is pissing ME off even as I write.  I know where this is going, so after I finish it, if I decide to post it, I’m going to be so upset I’ll have to go somewhere else myself just to get away from it.  And there’s a few beers in the fridge waiting,unless I resort to my standby vodka.  Shit.  I’m almost out of vodka.  So, beer then.

Why am I resorting to alcohol?  Because, friends, America is fucked, and it’s not Trump’s or Pence’s fault, not Clinton’s fault, not Obama’s fault, not Putin’s fault, not Kim Jong’s fault, not Hassan Rouhani’s fault, not even Theresa May’s nor Benjamin Netanyahu’s nor Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s fault.  It’s our fault.  We’re fucked, because too many Americans are fucking idiots. Obama, Clinton, Pence, and Trump, may well be fucking idiots, but it’s not their faults.  Shakespeare wrote, “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars (celebrities, well-known wealthy people, well-hidden wealthy people, politicians), but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”  Of course, when he spoke of stars, he meant our fortunes as supposedly spelled out by the relative positions and interpreted meanings of the celestial bodies.  But I mean to say that politicians do not bear the full blame for the shit America is in.
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It’s your fault, it’s my fault, as citizens of this nation, that we have chosen between two Americans who best represented America.

In Clinton we have a woman for all women (and some men), someone powerful and opinionated, who stands up for a woman’s right not to be bothered with the potential impact a man might make in her life whether he’s good or not, a right to make choices and damn the consequences for anyone who might get in her way, a right to decide whether to live for herself or live for others or to try for a little of both.  She takes charge and makes choices and listens to her own heart and pursues her own dreams, and occasionally she forgives herself if she might not be able to hear someone else’s heart or consider someone else’s possible dreams over the importance of her own heart’s drumbeat.  (Subtle, ain’t I?)  She forgives others (she didn’t murder Bill, did she now?) unless they’re irredeemably deplorable people, and when she makes a “mistake,” she thinks a little forgiveness isn’t too much to ask.  A woman for all women, she had enough mystique (charisma, intrigue, scandal, lies, money, fame, and ambition) to represent the we we could be if we had enough money, ambition, fame, and just enough of a lack of moral principles.  She has the experience as a stateswoman  and is accustomed to making deals where you accept what you can get and deal with the negatives as you can.  She unified people who most closely aligned with her principles, good or evil, and some of us stood with her.

You can call me a misogynist, despite your knowledge of my love for all women in general and my wife in specific, because I blamed Mrs Clinton at least in part, for her husband’s well known (and it’s certain, many not well known) lapses of moral character.  Bottom line, it was his fault and his choice, and his stupidity.  But.  If a woman commits in marriage to a man, she commits to care for him and encourage him, by any means.  I don’t know what went on behind closed doors, but there were evident problems.  I’m sorry if you don’t like other people’s opinions when they’re different than  yours, but I believe, (let the metaphor be heard) if a woman sets the gourmet meal of all his favorite foods in front of him (and he should do the same for her) and lets him pick what he likes often enough at home, he won’t be as likely to go out sneaking to the shitty little fast-food burger joints around town.  If you cook, but you never cook something he really likes, he’s eventually going to crave it enough to go elsewhere to have it.  You don’t have to be a master chef, you just have to try the recipe even if all the ingredients aren’t just like on the cooking shows. He’ll be happy, and your cooking will improve with practice.  It’s out there now, so I expect I’ve lost readers for saying it.  If I made you mad, remember, I told you not to read it.  If I made you quit following my blog, fuck off and read someone who writes better than me; I know damn well there are a LOT of better writers.  If I do apologize, it’s only for writing as though a specific set of readers would actually read this article.  I wrote it that way, I’m calling them idiots, but most of my actual readers aren’t.  So since you’re not an idiot, don’t take offense when I call the people I’m writing about, idiots.  They are, you’re not.  Sorry in advance.

In Trump we have a man for all men (and some women), someone powerful and opinionated, who stands proudly and builds an empire.  He stands up for himself and promises to stand up for our country, and not let anyone take any unfair advantage of us.  If someone wants to come to America and respect American laws and culture and heritage, maybe even make friends and come over to the house, there’s no problem.  We’ll share our grilled steaks and a few beers, but if someone wants to sneak in through a side window in the dark and steal our shit, that’s a different matter.   Trump fearlessly, thoughtlessly and selfishly spoke, seeming like he was almost deliberately trying to piss people off. And yet we know he’s right.  He’s right that we need to figure out what to do about people who want to come to America and kill us, but wrong in his proposed approach to that defense.  Not all illegal aliens crossing illegally into the United States over the border  with Mexico are criminal rapist drug dealers.  Most of them are hard workers who just want an opportunity and haven’t figured out how to do it the legal way.  But some drugs come from Mexico.  The very act of sneaking across the border without proper documentation or declaration of intent makes the one who does this a criminal in the eyes of our current law.  And occasionally an illegal alien from Mexico or some other country turns out to be a psychopathic perro who doesn’t want to shit in his own back yard.  Not all Muslims seeking to get into the United States are bent on destroying heathen American lives, and peace amid the illusion of safety, even if it costs them their own lives as a sacrifice to their god.  But occasionally one Muslim, or another, or a couple, (or an alleged Christ follower,  or a group) goes rogue due to overly dogmatic doctrine, doing things contrary to what most say is “mainstream.”  They’re called “radical.”  Both Muslim and Pseudo-Christian terrorists call themselves “conservative,” and say their interpretations and applications of their sacred texts are correct and justified.  In actual fact, a  person or group perpetrating run-of-the-mill crime OR hate crime are just fucking criminal, that’s all.  And there’s really no way to know who might do what next.  We’ve seen what the so-called “sleeper cells” have done in Paris, and Nice, France, Belgium, England, and what a single attacker did in Canada as well as what a sleeper cell was plotting in Canada.  Occasionally even Americans do some pretty stupid things for a cause, however misguided.  While they may feel like their motive is for a greater good, their actions are just criminal. (Thanks, NC NOW, for the insightful article)  Do NOT try to tell me that a true Christ-follower would ignore His commandments , instructions, and teachings (footnote to the last link: mainstream Jews of Jesus’ day hated Samaritans).  Why the idiots in the KKK were allowed to announce an endorsement is beyond my comprehension.  Why they don’t abhor their own souls for their inherent hatred of others    Now, I’m not saying we can’t respectfully disagree, discuss, and debate.  But IMHO, any unprovoked murderous attack “in the Name of Jesus” is not done in the name of MY Jesus.  It’s just done by someone who wants to discredit His real message, or prove they’re an asshole.  I’m sure many peace-loving Muslims feel the same about radicals who call themselves Muslim.

Trump doesn’t play a character on TV trying to appeal to the broadest cross section possible.  He’s the same guy he’s always been.  An irritating braggart who still manages to be very rich and very successful.  He welcomes opportunity, and when opportunity comes along, he grabs life by the pussy and rides it until he gets what he wants.  He’s an unapologetic, brash, loud, proud idiot.  He’s the we we all would be if we had his finances, his persistence, his luck, and his lack of good manners and tact.  He offered this leadership style to America, standing on the proof of his wealth, power, and success, and some of us invested.

And why did it come down to these two?  Because, American voters:  We’re idiots.  We damn well knew the character of both of these people, and yet those are the two we chose, out of fucking 321,420,000.

So the election is over, and one side didn’t win.  And in the modern era, what does that mean?  Protesters, because we’re idiots.  Clinton understands the election laws, the election process, and knows how to gracefully and lawfully step aside when she lost the electoral college vote.  Her concession speech evidenced her understanding and surprising grace.   Trump wasn’t prepared to accept a loss, but Clinton handled herself with perfect poise and dignity, and issued a call for unity.

So what do Americans do?  Act out in a temper-tantrum of civil disobedience and rioting against Clinton’s clear instructions.  Dumbasses.  Go home, you’re not doing what your leader says, so who exactly are you following?  You’re as bad a hypocrite as the self-proclaimed “Christ-followers” who do the violence and terrorism and shit.  And you delude yourself into thinking you’re doing something positive, but you’re a criminal.  She said:

…we must accept this result and then look to the future.

Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things. The rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

Clinton supporters denied that Trump told the truth about the broken Electoral process, and now they’re upset about the results.  Trump said it was broken, and if you’re a Clinton supporter I would bet you believe him now.  You have as your scapegoat the electoral college.  Except that the electoral college is national, constitutional law.  Clinton is aware of this, and in the name of respect for the law and the love of peace,  she told her people that she’s now going to support Trump as President, and her followers should do the same, and do the good they would have if she had won.  I was very impressed she included Galatians 6:9 in her speech.  I was impressed by the tone of acceptance and peace.

I was unimpressed (and sadly, not the least bit surprised) to hear the pride of Trump, in himself, no mention of any Bible or any other sacred text of any kind, and only a last-minute inclusion of gratitude to Pence, who may be one of few reasons why Trump somehow won.  No, it’s very clear to those who are really paying attention, that the only person Trump really loves, is himself.

And what’s even worse than Clinton supporters rioting, there are a few too many isolated reports of fucking idiot people claiming to be in Trump’s camp who may or may not be doing or saying hateful, racist, homophobic, islamophobic (or any other religio-phobia), ignorant, criminal things.  Vandalism, terrorism, assault?  Fuck you.  This is why he didn’t really want the endorsement from the fucking KKK.

Go home and stop doing your hateful, shitty, criminal acts.  You’re idiots.  You aren’t doing it right, you’re not even following the instructions of the guy you supposedly support.  He said:

“Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.  It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”

You aren’t doing any of this.

Instead, you’re in this for yourselves and you’re worse than the stupidity of Trump’s campaign trail foolishness, and multiplying it by several thousand.  Trump said offensive things before and during the campaign.  If  the charges are truthful, he DID offensive things before the campaign.  Trump offended practically everyone and still won the electoral college vote even though Clinton apparently won the popular vote (but not by much).

It’s a Civics lesson, kids.  We’re by and large idiots, because most don’t even know how it works, and we’re idiots because we don’t realize this:  The electoral college was conceived not because of poor communication, but because all the way back in the 1790s the leaders knew the average uneducated American peasant wasn’t very bright, so the popular vote may not always be the best choice for America.  The Electoral College is the failsafe to prevent the ignorant American commoner from fucking up the country, and the ignorant American commoner is us.

We can undo the 12th constitutional amendment, but the rioting in the streets is sad evidence we can’t undo ignorance.  Repealing a constitutional amendment has been done before.  They repealed prohibition, thank God.  It’s a simple procedure but it takes time and either a significant vote by Congress-both House AND Senate, or an even more sweeping call by State legislatures.  Prohibition’s repeal was done by the State process, but that was a hugely popular idea.  It would take a long time to do the State process for Clinton.  And Congress moves even slower.  After it’s done, we’d probably be too late to undo Trump.  It requires either a National Convention or a Congressional proposal  And if we did, it wouldn’t undo what the current electoral college has decided for America.  It wouldn’t allow retroactive installation of Clinton even if she did win the popular vote.  She didn’t win by a high enough majority to undo the constitution.  It would probably take longer than 4 years to amend the constitution, even if it did ultimately pass.

In other news of ignorance, I’m hearing about a possible Presidential pardon of Clinton by Obama before he leaves office.  Except that’s nonsense because it would imply Clinton is lying when she says she hasn’t done anything wrong.  If Trump makes good on his campaign promise to investigate Clinton, what will he find out?  We know of a trail of several and varied scandals that Clinton’s had her hand in, from Watergate to hostagegate.  $400M and we only got 4 of our 8 hostages set free.  Can Obama write a pardon like a blank check, that exonerates her without implicating her?   Can Clinton get that carte blanche for anything that might be discovered without confessing what she’s done?  And if that happens, and then we do discover something, are we allowed to riot in the streets until Clinton is un-pardoned?   Should Obama be investigated?   Of both Clinton AND Obama, one wonders what skeletons we’d find in their closets that aren’t recently put away halloween decorations.  Would we want their smug smiles slapping down the papers that officially forgives them for anything they’ve done that was against the law?  And would we be content with letting them get off scott-free for what they did?

Not that I have the time to riot.  I have to work so I can stay, just barely, above poverty, at least until any new minimum wage hikes start.  If that happens, then I’m back to the lower end of the poverty  scale, because whatever the new minimum wage is, that’s the new poverty.  I’ve worked a long time at keeping a job so I could earn more than that, and I’d rather the politicians, or worse, the American people, NOT push me back down to the bottom.  Fucking idiots.

Is 4 AM too late to have a beer?  Or is it too early?

Demythologizing Personal Responsibility

It was July 4th weekend, and the people celebrated.  I’m not going to comment about drunken revelry and I’m not going to say that anyone was injured or killed because they were idiots.  If you or anyone in your family was injured in a holiday misadventure, you have my sympathies.  If anyone you know was killed, you also have my sympathies.  There was a time when I would have called it, but there are circumstances to everything.

I sat and watched a neighbor of a relative, and said relative, setting off illegal fireworks on a residential street, in a certain un-named northern central city in the United States.  They weren’t illegal because of their potency.  They were illegal because this city has decided against allowing mature people to be personally responsible for their actions.  Instead, they outlaw things they think are too dangerous for non-professionals to handle.

I sat at a distance and watched as these two gentlemen set off fireworks.  They were brilliant, and small.  And one of them, out of possibly a hundred items, came near the audience.  We all ducked and covered or moved out of the way while the fireworks did what fireworks do.  At the end of our display, we all high-fived our survival, laughing, and complimented the two gentlemen on their show.  These were smaller fireworks, or we would have stayed back farther.  Little bottle rockets, street firecrackers, tiny pretty flammable things.  For the bigger display we were treated to later, we were in a wide open field well away from the actual launches, and there were no ground-level fireworks at all.  For the first, we were close enough to hear the rockets sizzle at launch, and then hear the relatively immediate, relatively quiet bangs on detonation.  For the second, there was a significant time delay between seeing the light and hearing the sounds.

And then the police came with their search light.  We were done, we had already cleared off the street.  But we saw the spotlight.  Here’s an example of a city that bans fireworks (and guns), just for an example.  So they’re out there in our supposedly “free” country whose “freedoms” we celebrated on the Fourth.

Because in this city we visited, the city government thinks all mature adults need to be treated like infants and children.  It’s fucking moronic.  In this city, all fireworks are illegal unless handled by a professional company or for a licensed display.  God only knows the insurance requirements.  Strike that, I looked it up, and you have to have a million dollar policy.  But for personal, smaller displays, you have to go to another city to purchase or display any personal fireworks.  So of course there is a huge market in the next city because everyone drives there, buys fireworks for personal use, and drives home.  In this city, personal firearms are also illegal.  There’s no registration process, no allowance for licensing or training.  They’re just illegal.  So of course, criminals run the town and innocent victims of drive-bys and other gang violence are defenseless.

I believe using guns illegally, for nefarious purposes, or unsafely by idiots and criminals, should be outlawed.  Sure.  Fire a gun up in the air with no regard for where that bullet is going to land.  That proves you’re an idiot who needs to be locked up and not allowed to handle firearms.  Sure.  Use a gun to rob an individual or a bank, or to shoot someone.  That proves you are a selfish idiot who needs to be locked up forever and not allowed to handle firearms.  But, use a gun responsibly, with proper licensing and documentation, and I have no problems with that.  Stockpile ammunition?  Collect legal guns?  No problem as long as everything is understood as your responsibility and you handle it safely.

I believe using fireworks is also a matter of personal responsibility.  If you follow the manufacturers safety directions and you and your audience remain a safe distance away, you should be fine.  It’s the same as any other potentially dangerous activity.  Driving a car, boating, fireworks, firearms, drinking, riding a bike, they all fall into that potentially dangerous category, and they require safe handling and following instructions.  In the case of firearms or driving a car or boat, you should have training and a license.  You should follow safe operating procedures.  In the case of fireworks, they should be handled responsibly by a responsible adult.  Our kids were not permitted to light any of the fireworks, and we kept them at a safe distance so that when the one misfired, they weren’t harmed.

I read, sadly, about injuries and deaths caused by fireworks this past weekend.  One lit a mortar he had placed on his head, dying instantly.  I also read about a few people who are missing and probably drowned when their boat sank.  Witnesses confirmed they weren’t wearing life preserving vests.  The local authorities’ spokesman said he’s never pulled a corpse out of the water who was wearing one.

I believe all of these fatalities were avoidable, and most of the injuries as well, but it requires people to take personal responsibility for their actions and to proceed with all due caution.  The government has enough to do spending our fucking tax dollars inefficiently, without having to deal with interfering with our personal lives to the point of removing our access to fireworks, guns, boats and cars, and, a liberated life in general.  There are statistics about violent crime that show gun crime is higher in, say, Chicago, where licensed guns are not allowed, than in, say, any given city in Texas, where everybody who registers can carry them, legally.  The logic behind making fireworks and guns illegal isn’t followed ad absurdum.  But if you’re going to apply those restrictions to one potentially dangerous thing, you should follow it ad absurdum and apply it to all:

Idiots kill or maim themselves or others because they use fireworks in a dangerous way without regard to safe operation, therefore fireworks must be outlawed.  Idiots kill people with their guns because they use them in an unlawful or dangerous way, therefore guns must be outlawed.  Idiots kill people with their cars because they use them in an unlawful or dangerous way, therefore cars must be outlawed.  Idiots don’t put on a safety vest when boating and die, therefore boats should be illegal; in fact, we should put a barricade around the water lest someone go swimming unsafely.  Idiots drink and drive, therefore we should outlaw both cars and alcohol.  Fatty foods cause us to be obese.  Ban the BK and McDonalds?  And the doughnut shop?  Eggs are high in cholesterol, which is bad for us.  Ban all kitchens!  Let the government feed us all supplement tablets that meet our nutritional needs without the dangers of fat and cholesterol!  Then we’ll all be safe.

It sounds absurd, which proves the logic of reductio ad absurdum.  But it doesn’t have to get so absurd, if we apply the requirement of a little personal responsibility.  When I witnessed the small fireworks display, we were all observing from a safe distance.  There was water readily available to extinguish any ground fires (and there were none).

How about, instead of the regulation on the devices, we insist on safe handling and necessary safety training and enforcement.  And how about, instead of charging someone with a misdemeanor or a fine or both for mere ownership of their fireworks, we insist on sales to adults who must follow reasonable safe practices in discharging their fireworks.  We have safety labels on everything, from doughnuts- warning, you may be allergic- and coffee -warning, contents may be hot -(duuuhhhhh?!!!!) to guns and fireworks.  How about we train up our kids to understand some things are dangerous and take a little personal responsibility there as well?  Don’t overeat and you won’t get obese, don’t abuse fire, firearms, or fireworks and you won’t “accidentally” kill or maim yourself or someone else or burn the house or the forest down,  and always observe all safety when operating anything.  Properly fastened seat belts in cars save lives.  Life vests on boaters save lives. Don’t run with scissors, don’t play with knives, don’t put your hands in the lawn mower while it’s running, don’t talk to strangers.  It sounds so much like simple common sense to me.

I’ve said this before.  I’d rather not believe we’ve raised a generation of complete idiots.

I imagine in the time of our country being explored and settled, and maybe even as late as the later 1900s, say, the 1960s maybe, before all the warning labels started going on everything, children were occasionally killed or injured due to accidents.  But back then, I’ll bet children were taught either not to play with fire or (more likely) how fire is to be properly used as a tool.  Back then, I’ll bet, children were taught either not to play with guns or (more likely) how to shoot them, load and unload and clean them safely, and how to use them as a tool.  Children were likely well-supervised as well, and guns were stored high enough so only adults or trained children could reach them.  But people had them and used them for hunting and for personal defense against wild animals or violent humans.  Until 1966 there were no warning labels on tobacco, but people used to call them “coffin nails” because they kind of knew.

We still have violent humans on the loose.  But we’re allowed to, by right, bear arms and form a well-regulated militia to defend ourselves, unless we’re in a city that outlaws them from law abiding citizens, which only keeps them away from non-criminals.  Or maybe we are only allowed to allow professionals, with their guns, to show up, when they can, to defend us, more than likely after the crime is committed and the criminal is long gone, because we’re too stupid to defend ourselves, and too irresponsible to store and use our own guns properly.

Maybe I’m just holding my fellow citizens, fellow mature, responsible adults, to a high standard they just can’t reach any more.  Maybe they are all morons who can’t act responsibly.  Or maybe my government sometimes oversteps itself trying to protect me from myself, and in so doing, dumbs it down for everyone.  I think we should all know about dangerous things, from doughnuts to dynamite.  If we aren’t allowed to touch them, they’re just a little more tempting, especially to criminals with respect to their guns.  Taking mine away implies I’m stupid, and especially with respect to guns, maybe leaves me just a little less safe(, or just defenseless,) than I would be without the government’s help.

Or maybe I’m just a fucking idiot surrounded by fucking idiots who needs the government (who would then be, representative fucking idiots specially chosen from the rest of us fucking idiots because they’re less idiotic) to protect me from myself and everyone else.    I don’t think we’re all fucking idiots.  But some people probably qualify.  And I just don’t think all that intervention is really necessary.

Do you?