Enough of this shit

Not the Trump nonsense. That will go on and on I’m sure until he’s done enough damage to the world and himself to get booted from power. If he doesn’t end up behind bars where he should be, I have confidence that his reputation and that of the enabling Republican party will be in tatters. Just a matter of hopefully not too much time.

No. What I’m sick of is reality sticking it in my face that I’m getting older. Since learning of my wife’s BC a little over a year or so ago, I’ve had one health scare after another, most of which turned out to be greatly exaggerated and overwrought in my imagination. Once you know cancer intimately it seems every ache and pain must be stage 4 of something. I felt I was on to the pattern when the latest came up – a little odd-looking bump on my nose. My wife commented a couple of times that I should have it checked out and I finally relented and went to the dermatologist for it. As I walked in to the waiting room I felt a little ashamed of making this big of a deal of it. I expected him to say I was fine and healthy and dismiss me to deal with people with real problems.

After a quick look at the harmless little mole or wart or whatever I was quite startled to hear him say, “this appears to be skin cancer so better get this biopsied.” Two days later the confirmation came. Basal skin carcinoma. The best cancer to get, apparently, easily treatable and not a threat to survival in any way. Still, for the next day and a half I felt about a hundred years old and spiraling rapidly down to an early grave. After the past year of way too many doctor’s appointments, minor and not so minor procedures and examinations, and the baseless fears I’d encountered, being told I really had cancer just felt like the last straw. For the rest of the following day – yesterday – I was an emotional mess.

Just woke up from a dream in which I was interviewing for a very cool job with a tech startup and was presenting my qualifications and ambitious plans for the position. I can’t remember anything about the job except that I felt ready to take it on and excel. Apparently there’s a little more fight left in the old subconscious after all. Instead of moping all day and reloading web pages to see if Trump’s been impeached yet maybe I’ll start taking on that web course in React Native I’ve been putting off, then maybe take a long bike ride and work on a few new songs.

This little biological bump on the road isn’t the last straw. There will be many straws to come, and one of them will do me in some day, but there is an awful lot of unfinished business to take on right now. Enough of this shit.

Lisa Randall – Geek Goddess

I highly recommend this talk. It inspired me to get the book, which unfortunately came in audiobook format and not read by the author. After seeing the talk it was kind of hard to sync the voice with the real scientist. Still, the content was awesome. Randall covers the topic in great depth, including a lot of context regarding the history of scientific discovery and understanding of meteor impacts, a subject I regret not making the focus of my career. What a dumbshit I was in college! The theory is surprisingly straightforward (and amazingly cool) but it’s much better to hear it from Lisa so watch the talk.

(another post Sky would just love to pieces)

“It is an abomination”

The Plum Line, By Paul Waldman
Washington Post, May 4 at 2:45 PM

Here at the Plum Line, we write a lot about the mechanics of politics — the processes of governing, the interplay of political forces, the back-and-forth between citizens and lawmakers, and so on. We do that because it’s interesting and because it winds up affecting all our lives. But there are moments when you have to set aside the mechanics and focus intently on the substance of what government does — or in this case, what government is trying to do.

I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable.

Continue reading ““It is an abomination””

Why I Hate President Trump

My only quibble would be with the first sentence. The rest is a beautiful summary of the atrocity that has befallen us.

For the record, I don’t hate Donald Trump the person. I hate Donald Trump the president.

I wish I didn’t. But I do. Here’s why:

He’s a pathological liar, according to Republican Ted Cruz.

He’s a fake, a fraud, and a con-man, according to Republican Mitt Romney.

He convinced 81 percent of white evangelical Christian voters to throw Jesus under the bus to vote for a man who bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

He fired the acting Attorney General in a Monday Night Massacre because she determined that the president’s executive order on immigration was constitutionally indefensible.

He’s created an environment in which a southern white man can shut down a northeastern white woman while she’s reading from the floor of the Senate the cautionary words of a heroic southern black woman about a southern white man, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who was deemed too racist to be a federal judge in 1986.

He disrespects duly-appointed, Senate-confirmed federal magistrates: “so-called judges.”

He’s offended our friends and allies, treating the Mexican and Australian governments in much the same way he’s treated John McCain and Megyn Kelly and a disabled reporter and Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz and the Gold Star Khan Family and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Rosie O’Donnell.

He hasn’t, as far as we know, paid federal income taxes in years, bragging that it’s smart on his part — meaning it’s dumb on our part to do so, thereby undermining citizen investment in shared governance. Nor has he released federal tax returns, as other presidential candidates have for the last 40 years.

His wife in New York City, his weekly trips to Mar-a-Lago, and his gallivanting children are costing us a fortune.

He’s sloppy with national security. Proof: Michael Flynn.

He’s given us a Secretary of Education who was born into and married into a billionaire family, has never attended a public school or taught in a public school, never taken out a student loan or applied for a Pell Grant, or even much supported our public schools.

He nominated a labor secretary (now withdrawn) who took advantage of an undocumented worker, pays his fast-food employees a shitty wage, and wants to replace humans with robots because they don’t take vacation days.

He’s put together an administration of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy.

He’s not kept his campaign promise to release documents and even hold a press conference to prove that the third Mrs. Trump never worked in the US illegally. (We know she lied about having a college degree and — knowingly or not — plagiarized part of Michelle Obama’s DNC speech.)

He said he’d negotiate lower drug prices from pharmaceutical companies. Now he says he won’t — but will give big pharma tax breaks and lift certain regulations on their industry.

He turned the nomination of a Supreme Court justice into the finale of a prime-time reality-show.

He knows little about the history of the United States, about our constitutional system, or about our institutions of government.

He has left millions of Americans who acquired health insurance via the ACA worried sick that this great benefit will be stripped from them.

His closest advisers have added to the chaos of the first weeks of the new administration: Kellyanne Conway and her universe of “alternative facts” — like the Bowling Green Massacre; Steve Bannon, who wants to play war with our military; Stephen Miller, who yells at the American people that the president’s views “will not be questioned!”; and Sean Spicer, period.

He uses Twitter to harangue and berate and demean individuals and journalists and companies that question his infallibility.

He’s rattled and incoherent, unfit and unqualified and unstable.

He uses fear and anxiety to bring out the worst impulses that lurk just beneath the surface to pimp for votes and deepen the crevasse between his America and the rest of us.

He has not drained the swamp, as he promised. It’s deeper. It’s wider. It’s even more dangerous.

The Russians. The Russians. The Russians.

Conservative Republicans would have crucified our former philosopher-president, Barack Obama, for behavior that even resembled that of our schoolyard bully president, Donald Trump. Where is their outrage now? President Turmp is not making America great again. He’s making America ugly again. But Republicans, who created this president in their laboratory of anger and resentment, will use President Trump as long as he’ll sign his John Hancock to their legislation.

He’s my tenth president. I’ve appreciated or admired something about all of them. Until now.

Sad!

—Rodney Wilson teaches political science.

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