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Enfant Terrible

I’m certainly not a highly lauded professional political commentator or pundit. Lord knows there are plenty of them out there, blogging away to their audiences large or small, as well as filling the airwaves on every possible network known to mankind in nearly every country on the planet.

God only knows that I don’t fit the description above, firstly I’m simply not photogenic enough.

There has been enough discussion of our current President to fill a library. Those of us on the left think that he is an Enfant Terrible, governing from a smartphone (isn’t that terribly oxymoronic in this case?), and trading insults halfway across the world with possibly the only other world leader who is of equal standing when it comes to exhibiting symptoms of a bit too little in the smarts department.

Firstly, I’m not so sure that Mr. Trump doesn’t think that running the U.S. Government isn’t just another CEO job at a largish company, where the boss get’s to sit at a big shiny desk and issue all sorts of unreasonable orders and have his secretary pick up his dirty boxers off of whatever hotel room floor they were left on last night.

Kim Jung Un apparently isn’t so different, except perhaps he has better hair. He’s the grandson of  Kim Il-Sung, the first leader of post-war North Korea, and like our own Donald J. Trump, was raised to be a rich brat, knowing nothing but a life of luxury, never actually having to be responsible for anything except his own pleasure. Coming to power at the age of 29, Kim is apparently even more ruthless than Trump, being able to have his detractors murdered or jailed.

This past week, these two clowns have been hurling ever bigger threats at each other, while the rest of the world can do nothing but sit and hold their collective breaths. Purportedly, North Korea is now a nuclear power, and both countries are now threatening to toss nuclear bombs at each other.

This isn’t anything particularly new on the world scene. As a child of the late 50’s and the 1960’s, I lived through what is known as the “Cold War”, where at any given moment we were expecting nuclear holocaust to break out between the U.S. and Russia. Growing up in South Florida, I can remember the drills we went through as children in school, ducking and covering under our desks during the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962. Like hiding under a desk is going to save you from a nuclear bomb launched from 90 miles away?

Many of my relatives and friends are ardent conservatives, and freely admit that they voted for our current clown of a President, some so bold as to give the reason that they simply could not vote for a woman, or that they hated Hillary Clinton, for some unspecific and barely coherent reason. I understand that, I think. My brother told me flat-out that he refused to vote for Obama in 2008 because “I ain’t voting for no damn nigger.” He does admit that he had a change of heart and voted for Obama in 2012, but, the point is that a lot of people voted for Donald Trump simply as a vote against Hilary Clinton. It wasn’t necessarily a vote “for” anything as much as it was a vote against a specific person. The democratic party really screwed up by putting Hillary on the ballot, and Debra Wasserman Schultz, as the then chair of the party,  should be pilloried for the way she subverted the whole party platform in favor of Mrs. Clinton.

Some of these people are beginning to admit that they made a mistake. Not quite so far as to admit that they should have voted for Mrs. Clinton, but a genuine regret that Mr. Trump is now our President and is doing an absolutely abysmal job of it. He is embarrassing our country by simply opening his mouth and speaking. His temper tantrums on Twitter at 3am are a classic example of an uneducated boring twit who has been given too much power.

The fact that he thinks the Congress and the Supreme Court are his “employees” is enough to make shivers run up and down your back. Has this man ever read the constitution and bill of rights? Has he any idea how our government is supposed to work? Of course I’m quite positive that most of our members of Congress have lost sight of this as well. I truly fear for the United States of America and wonder if we are headed for another civil war? Our years as the world’s foremost superpower are definitely waning. Is this how the citizens of Spain felt when the British sent the Armada to the bottom of the sea?

We have an Enfant Terrible in charge, and no one seems to be able to rein him in. How much destruction can he cause to our country or the world before people wake up and realize we made a huge mistake? Is the best we can hope for that he gets bored and quits? Or that he is found guilty of some arcane crime and removed from office? Can it happen soon enough to save us?

Discussing Butthole Sex with your kids


I recently saw an article on a popular female blogger, mother of ten, alleged devout Christian who was having a meltdown over an article in Teen Vogue magazine about anal sex.

I can understand why people of a certain age or background might be uncomfortable talking about this subject, especially with teenagers. Sex, of any kind, was not something that I recall ever being discussed by either of my parents. Of course, when I was a kid, teen pregnancy was at an all time high, most boys figured it out from looking at porn and listening to mostly invented tales from their older brothers, and girls hadn’t a clue.

Today, it’s a bit different.

The CDC says that in 2015, just under 230,000 babies were born to teens between 15 and 19 years of age, a new record low for the age group, and 8% lower than the 2014 birthrate.

Being a government agency, the CDC hedges a bit about the cause of this drastic reduction from the 1960’s and 1970’s, but does concede that more teens are refraining from sexual activity, and more of those who do are using some sort of birth control.

Yet, another survey by a different commission, but still sponsored by the CDC suggests that lots of teens are still having sex, they just may not be having the kind of sex that ends up in an unwanted pregnancy.

This study summarizes that:

About half of teens ages 15 to 19 report having ever engaged in oral sex with an opposite-sex partner. Among teens who have never had sexual intercourse, about 15 percent of both boys and girls report having ever engaged in oral sex with an opposite-sex partner

As for boy-boy or girl-girl sexual experimentation among teens, there isn’t a lot of concrete data available, young teens are unlikely to speak out and identify as gay or lesbian, although that is becoming less true more recently.

However, in 2007 a Canadian study suggested that of about 300,000 boys surveyed, only about 1.5% identified as bisexual, homosexual or mostly homosexual, but 3.5% of them stated that they had had some kind of sex with another boy in the past year, even while not identifying as anything other than heterosexual.

My point is that even if you are a devout Christian who home schools your kids, kids are going to be kids and as teenagers, they will find a way to get off. One of my first oral sex experiences was in the church bathroom, and I can still remember a pleasant mutual jerk-off session with David M. during recess while we were half-way up the oak tree on the grounds of the Seventh Day Adventist church where we both attended the school sponsored by the church.

I think that one of the biggest reasons that teen pregnancy is down is that kids of today are far more educated about sex than previous generations. By the age of 12, today’s kids know more about sex than I knew when I was first married at 18.

Going on a rant and burning magazine pages may be a cute way to get more viewers to your video blog, but it does nothing to address the fact that the best way to keep our kids safe is to educate them. We educate them about lots of other dangers in the world, why would we not also teach them how to be responsible when it comes to sex?

Kids of the 21st Century have few of the issues with homosexuality that I grew up with, and more of today’s kids are identifying as sexually fluid than ever before. I know several young people that are now identifying themselves as “pansexual” and “polyamorous”.  When I was a kid, I didn’t even know what those words meant.

Yet, for all the educating we are doing, we still need to do more.

Some frightening statistics among our young people is that young people 15-24 account for 50% of all new STD infections, and 1 in 4 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease each year.

As many as half of all high school students in the country have had sex of one kind or another.

Since the teen pregnancy rate is the lowest it has ever been, one can only draw a reasonable conclusion that there is a lot of sex other than vaginal going on and it is irresponsible for parents to go on a magazine burning rant rather than sit down with their teens and lay out all the facts in a calm, non-judgmental way so that their teenagers can go out into the world with the necessary facts to stay healthy.

It doesn’t help that our current administration seems to be ill informed as to what actually works, and has now de-funded teen pregnancy prevention programs across some 81 institutions.

Check in over the next couple of years and see how the statistics change, it may be painfully interesting.

Venezuela

When I returned from working in Okinawa in 1995, I stewed around the house I shared with my cousin Ron and my Mom for months, doing pretty much nothing but making copious amounts of bread, elaborate chocolate cakes and five course dinners.

I had enough money in the bank to live a little while with no other income, was getting a generous unemployment check, and really had no ambition at all. I knew it wouldn’t last very long, but I took advantage of it.

Both Mom and Ron had jobs that they went off too every day, so I would tumble out of bed mid morning, start yet another loaf of homemade bread, and decide what cake I would make from my “Death by Chocolate” cookbook, and what I would fix for dinner. I set elaborate tables, or at least for me they were elaborate, as in I rarely used anything paper.

I got a call one day from an ex-boss of mine who I had worked for before I wandered off to Japan, and he asked me if I might be interested in a few months of consulting work for a company that Adelphia had a minor interest in down in Venezuela.

Having nothing else to do at the time, I agreed to take a look at it, and within a couple of weeks, I found myself on an American Airlines flight to Caracas, Venezuela.

I really had no idea what to expect. I knew virtually nothing about Venezuela, and was completely unaware at the time that most of the country fell very squarely into the “third world” category. There was practically no middle class, even in Caracas, you either were very wealthy or you were a serf.

In 1995 when I arrived in Caracas, the experience at the airport scared the holy crap out of me. Immediately after clearing customs, I was surrounded by dozens of clamoring taxi drivers, all wanting my business. Several of them were so bold as to actually pick up my belongings and start loading them into their rather decrepit 1960’s model machines. Thankfully I finally was able to connect with the person who was picking me up, and we made the 30 kilometer’ish drive over the mountains into Caracas.

Caracas is actually in a valley, surrounded by mountains, and is about 20 miles or more inland from the coast. It sits fairly high – about 3000 feet in elevation, has a rather mild climate – much the same as Honolulu.

Unlike Honolulu, the city is ringed with slums, perched illegally on whatever land is available. Shacks built of whatever is at hand – cardboard, corrugated sheets of iron, plywood and plastic milk crates. Electricity, if it is available, is stolen from the local power grid by throwing a wire over one of the Arial conductors – and often people are killed this way trying to steal power from the grid. There is now sewer – bathrooms, if present at all are simply open pipes into what passes for streets, or they just sluice down whatever hillside they are perched over. When traveling from the airport into Caracas, you have to pass several of these encampments, although thankfully not drive directly through them.

They are however, highly visible from within the city as they usually are at a higher elevation, and from most any point in the city you can look out on one of these peasant camps.

When I first arrived in Caracas, my employer put me up in a cute little one bedroom apartment in a neighborhood called Valle Arriba. It’s a terraced community carved into the side of a canyon, and I was several hundred feet above the American Embassy, and my balcony faced pretty much due east. Using a telescope, many evenings I was able to discern two or even three of the moons of Jupiter – the smog of Caracas lay way below and the skies of Valle Arriba were clear.

When I arrived in Caracas, the president was Rafael Caldera. He was considered to be a fairly harmless old man, the rich got richer, the poorer at least had something to eat, electricity flowed most times, and if you lived in a decent neighborhood, you even got running water for a few hours every couple of days.

After about six months, I moved to a new apartment – a penthouse on the top floor of a 10 story building on a gated street on Calle F, just off the Avinida Rio de Janerio. I had a great view of the Avida mountain that towers over much of Caracas, and I was only a few blocks from the Presidential Palace and my balcony overlooked east end of the military airport that dominates the center of Caracas. It was a 10 minute drive to my office at the warehouse facility run by Supercable de Venezuela in Las Ruices.

I had a great two year run from what was originally supposed to be just a couple of months worth of consulting. I ended up running the warehouse and purchasing for Supercable de Venezuela for much of 1995 and 1996. I wasn’t paid all that much, but my housing and transportation was covered, I didn’t have to pay U.S. income taxes because all of my income was exempt, and the cost of living in Caracas was so low that I had a hard time finding ways to spend what money I did make. I sent a lot of what I made back to the States to pay bills there.

In mid-1997, Mr. Khamsi, the president of Supercable declined to renew my contract. I never could get a straight answer out of the man. He was Iranian by birth, but his family fled to Peru when the Shah of Iran fell. He was a Bahai, so he tried to balance the tenents of his religion against his vast wealth and his extreme greediness. He usually failed miserably, and most people who had to deal with him thought he was a snake. I never trusted him as far as I could throw him, but was humbled a bit on a day I was miserably sick at home and he showed up at my door with an arm full of drug store remedies and wishing me well. I don’t think he personally cared a twit, but his religion required that he show humility. It made him very difficult to read.

The building I lived in overlooked the military airport, and apparently in the early 1990’s, Hugo Chavez, a young army officer led an attempted coup against the state – and the building was pockmarked with bullets from airplanes that strafed the neighborhood.

In mid-1997 I finally decided that Mr. Khamsi wasn’t going to renew my contract, even though he never actually said one way or the other, but I got an offer from a U.S. company that was setting up shop on the eastern edge of the country – basically to do the same thing I had been doing, at about the same rate of pay, and with the same set of benefits such as housing and transportation.

I moved across the country, bag and baggage. Since Venezuela is only about the size of Texas, this may not sound like much, but it usually took about 12 hours to drive the 300 miles from Caracas to Puerto La Cruz – a city on the coast in the eastern part of the country. From there, you had to take a ferry or a plane to Isla de Margarita, which is where the new company decided to set up headquarters.

Four or five of us set up shop in the Margarita Dynasty hotel – just across an empty field from the Hilton hotel, and for several months, that was home. We planned and started a whole new cable company while sitting around the pool, or in someone’s room with the A/C cranked high, watching the condensation run down the sliding glass doors.

There were two or three fairly decent restaurants near the hotel, including a little french bistro that we often frequented – eating at small tables on the sidewalk, with the waiters mixing the salad dressing table-side – usually a complete meal was under $5.

Later it was decided that I should decamp to the city of Puerto La Cruz where I was to rent warehouse facilities and get us started in several other remote towns in the eastern side of the country.

I ended up renting an apartment in Puerto La Cruz, just off Calle Los Flores, near Avinida 5 de Julio. I shared this with my good friend David and his husband Leno. David also worked for the company as an accountant, and Leno took care of the cooking and shopping and cleaning. My Mom came to visit over Christmas of 1996 and had a grand time, although I’m not sure what she thought of David and Leno.

I’d start each morning early, around 5am and drive to the airport in Barcelona – the next town over, where I would catch a plane to the island in time for a daily staff meeting. I’d then dash back to the airport, catch another plane to whatever town I was working on for that day – Cumana, Maturin, Ciudad Guyana, Barcelona or back to Puerta La Cruz.  Ciudad Guyana was pretty far to the south, not far from the border with Guyana and Brazil, but was a “new” town with wide avenues, lots of tall apartment buildings and nice shopping. I bought a nice watch there that I still use today. It was my job to establish warehouse and office facilities in all the places so we could begin operations. My spanish was awful, but it was better than anyone else on the team, and at least I wasn’t afraid to try and use it.

Sometime late in 1996 or early 1997 it was decided that I should move back to Porlamar, the capital city on the island of Margarita – and for a few months I had a great little apartment on the 10th floor of a building that overlooked the ocean. I shared this with my friend Kelly Veleyas, and later ended up in a different place with David and Leno once again – which is where I stayed until Unitedcable decided to sell the business to Supercable and I was once again unemployed. This happened in 1998 – I believe I left Venezuela for good in late summer – just before Hugo Chavez was elected President at the end of the year.

My memories of Venezuela are great. I made good friends, I had a grand time – probably because I was paid in U.S. dollars and by any standard of any Venezuelan locality, was wealthy. But, the locals, no matter their status all had access to decent health care, the hospitals were staffed and had supplies, and there were markets everywhere that were stuffed with food, both imported and locally produced and no one starved.

It’s a far cry from the Venezuela I knew of the mid to late 1990’s to the cesspool it has become. Some twenty years of rule by despots who have stripped the country of all it’s resources for their own personal gain have made the day to day life of your average Venezuelan nothing but misery.

The stores have no food, there are long lines for what resources are available, and babies are dying in their mothers arms for lack of medicine and food.

Venezuela is a three hour flight southwest of Miami. It takes about the same amount of time to fly from Miami to Caracas as it does to fly from Miami to Denver or Chicago. We think of it as a far away place, but it’s only 1500 miles away – closer than our most distant coast.

I have nothing but good wishes for the people of Venezuela and I hope that they find a way to prosperity once again.

Religion in Russia

Russia seems to have a problem with Jehovah’s Witness’s, and has officially categorized them in the same folder as Islamic Terrorists.

Now I’ve had my own share of problems with that particular sect. When I was in my 20’s and in the Navy, my first wife and I had the good fortune to live a couple of blocks from the local coven of Jehovah’s Witness, and we were often blessed at 6:45 a.m. on a Saturday by a few of them banging on the front door.

I got to where I’d just answer the door in my tighty-whities, with one hand down the front, cigarette dangling from one corner of my mouth and usually they’d freak and run.

But, do I think they are terrorists? On the same order as those guys that carry a bomb in their backpack on the way down to the local elementary school? Nah, they are actually pretty harmless, although like cockroaches, persistent as hell.

To my sad regret, I’ve not had nearly as many visits from cute pairs of Mormon boys, paired with matching black ties, white shirts and bicycles. Most of them are 20’ish, and there is no such thing as a non-cute 20’ish Mormon boy.

I think though that they too have been trained to flee should a 60’ish guy answer the door in his tighty-whities, no matter how good he might look.

Seriously though, why is Russia so afraid of religion? Since I’ve been on the planet, Russia has been our #1 enemy for like 85% of the time. The 15% of my life that they haven’t been actually labeled as an enemy, they’ve at least been on the “we don’t trust ’em very much” list. I’m not a political scientist, but I think that at least one of the reason’s that the Russian’s have been on our crap list for so long is that they don’t allow “freedom of religion” in the same way our beloved constitution has laid out in frilly ancient handwriting.

But, also seriously I don’t think that the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormon’s or even the Southern Baptists are that much of a cause for panic among whatever is left of the Russian Politburo.

The government of the United States is falling apart. I often wonder if it will last another decade. We’ve become so polarized that our two party system has devolved into a kindergarten fight. But, at least we still let every religion and some that are just poser’s (Wiccans?) live in peace and do whatever they think their religion calls for, short of blowing up something.

Religions’s aren’t a cause that government needs to worry about in any serious way. Let them do their thing – it’s just another way to keep folks happy.  Isn’t that the ultimate goal of governments? Keep the folks happy whilst you’ve got both hands on their wallets?

I think this is a bad move, but then again, does anyone really care what the Russian’s do, except maybe our honored President Donald?

 

Mr. Trump Goes To Washington

Donald J. Trump has actually been President of the United States for a little over a day now. Something that most thinking adults of a moderate to liberal frame of mind have been agonizing over for months. It’s now reality, and despite all the chants and posters and laments that he isn’t our president, the fact and reality are that Mr. Trump is indeed our President.

While I have no respect for the man, I’m forced to take the stance that we simply must give the man a chance. His ego is insufferable, he speaks with the vocabulary and tone of a belligerent fourth grader, but as horrific as it may be, he is the President of the United States.

We’ve lived through awful Presidencies before. During Reagan’s tenure, hundreds of thousands of young, virile, beautiful gay men died while the word AIDS was never uttered by Mr. Reagan.

Richard Nixon was a despicable criminal, although much more educated and well spoken than our Mr. Trump, but still, a man who was hell bent on improving his own lot and not that of our country.

Andrew Jackson surrounded himself with the most vile of companions, and had parties and gatherings at the White House where the furniture was literally carried off or destroyed. Surely Mr. Trump has a bit more decorum than Andrew Jackson?

Mr. Johnson, on succeeding Lincoln was said to be so drunk at his inauguration that he could barely stand. I do think that at least Mr. Trump was sober, in fact it’s reported he has never had a drop of alcohol, although he does favor fast food over anything more sophisticated.

Compared to Mr. Obama’s inauguration in 2009, Mr. Trumps was a bit more muted and certainly not attended by as many people. News photographs comparing the body count on the Washington Mall show obvious empty spaces, and it was reported that along the parade route, there were many hundreds or thousands of empty seats. So, while those who did attend were exuberant and excited, there was definitely not an overwhelming crowd such as what was obvious in past Presidential inaugurations.

Then there is the subject of protests and violence in Washington D.C. What are these people trying to communicate and just how well do they think their message is being received? Surely they can’t possibly think that running down the street bashing in windows of innocent merchants with a hammer is going to win them any friends from the left or the right. Thuggery is thuggery, no matter your politics or your reasons and these people are simply Thugs and whatever message they are trying to send is lost in the violence and the smoke and the noise.

In the end, Mr. Trump is indeed resident at The White House. The People’s house. The First Lady is indeed a former nude model, who speaks heavily accented English, but dresses beautifully.

We have no choice but to give this administration a fair chance to succeed or fail on their own merits. Each of us have our own special interest area that we hope gets attention, but more importantly, there is a whole country to be looked after and protected, and we’ve laid that task at the feet of Donald J. Trump.

Time will tell what kind of job he will do. His inauguration speech was full of a lot of promises that if carried out, may indeed make the United States a better place. Let’s give the man a chance to prove himself.

We don’t have to like the man, but we still need to respect the office he holds and the power he now wields.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

 For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the general American public is failing to see that our new Emperor Has No Clothes.

Is it really Presidential to send out a dozen tweets at 3am in the morning because you don’t like what a reporter in Sioux Falls said about your hairdo? How can we fail to take seriously that our President-Elect is trashing our intelligence community? A presence which has kept us safe since at least the end of World War II? How can we fail to see that our President-Elect and many of his picks for top cabinet and administrative posts are beholding to one or another Russian VIP’s?

It still boggles my mind that poor rural and inner city Americans voted for this man in the hope that he would better their lives. How can they continue to fail to see that once he is in office, and with Republicans controlling both sides of Congress and soon the Supreme Court that their lives will slide from barely hanging on to something akin to the unwashed and untouchable Indian castes who pick through garbage daily in hopes of finding a meal and something to ward off the elements.

The slim hope that Republicans will finally see the light and impeach Donald Trump a year or two from now doesn’t make me feel any better because we would then end up with Mike Pence as our President.

He’s not a whole lot better when it comes to making America a better place for all of our diverse population. He’s a reformed homosexual, believing firmly in the conversion therapy, and wants to cut most if not all socially beneficent programs that are funded by tax dollars.

I’m sort of in the middle. The government should stay out of my bedroom and my pockets as much as possible, however I do want good roads, reliable bridges, and I believe we should take care of our veterans and elderly and handicapped. If you are of sound mind and body and just don’t want to work, then to heck with you and good luck finding a place in the woods to pitch a tent.

Donald F. Trump, our incoming President, is probably the worst disaster to ever strike our shores. Our very existence will be at stake, and we can only hope that Congress will realize the mistake that has been made and move swiftly to impeach. The American people will rally in 2020 and flock to the polls to make amends for the disaster of 2016. It’s our only hope. There is no Obi-Wan-Kanobe to save us.

 

Brave New World

Well, Democracy wasn’t saved by the electors yesterday, so the last chink in the wall to protect our country from being overtaken by evil failed to work. Our founders tried their best to envision all the dangers possible, and worked hard to build into our constitution many ways to protect our fragile and new form of government.

They foresaw an uneducated rabble, easily enticed by a smooth-talking cad, full of promises, and they tried to codify methods to work around such things. They did not foresee that a Congress could exist that would turn their heads and let Democracy die.

Congress and politics has increasingly become a gathering of elite multi-millionaires. Our gullible voting public flocks to whoever has the most attractive and glitzy advertising, and this takes money. Only the very rich can afford to run for office anymore, even down to county level in many cases. The rewards of having a political office are so great, that many aspire to it because of the power, and to some extent the prestige.

Donald Trump will be sworn in this coming January, less than a month from now. He has made all sorts of promises, but has said little about how he will go about fulfilling those pledges, and I’d be willing to bet that he has little interest in anything but continuing to build his personal prestige and family brand. He’s already openly practicing nepotism, with our Congress turning a blind eye, while groveling to obtain the leftover crumbs scattered in his wake.

I think our Democracy is experiencing the highest level of danger it’s ever undergone. I have no idea what will happen in the coming short span of a few years. Revolution? Civil War? It’s entirely possible, and some say even probable.

 

Parenting

My younger son and I don’t speak. I’ll admit I’m the world worst parent, having done some pretty vile things in my life, of which I would rather not speak. In my old age, I’ve come to terms with my past actions, and while I may not sleep peacefully all the time, I am what I am.

However, trying to make amends, I’ve bent over backwards for my two sons. I’ve done all I know how to do, financially, as that’s the only thing I had left, at least until I retired, and the stream of money dried up.

My younger son has always been a challenge. He’s not so young anymore, pushing 40.  He’s a level IV bi-polar. He should actually be hospitalized much of the time, but today’s post-Reagan society lets people like him take charge of their own lives and try to live as best they can.

We’ve been pretty lucky, until the past year when he finally managed to get a girl pregnant. I had so hoped that they would see they light and decide to abort, but no, they were sentimental, and decided to keep the kid, who was born on December 16th. My 8th grandchild, and the 4th grandson. I should be proud and excited, but seeing as how my son and his now wife think that exposing an unborn child to THC and who knows what else is of no consequence, of course I am worried. I was never that irresponsible. A bad dad, sure, but a druggie? I would have rather cut off my privates.

I let my son use a rental property I had – for less than half the going rate. Of course, he destroyed it, and rarely paid any of his own expenses. He think’s that because he’s had such a crappy life, the world owes him a living. I don’t know what to do about that. After clearing the place of the 10 or 12 people he let live there, and investing another $20K or so to fix it up, and after cleaning up over 100 heroin needles, I realized that there simply is no hope. All I can do is watch, hand over mouth, and hope that on his way through the world he does as little damage to others as possible.

We don’t speak, but through others that he does speak too, I find that the Department of Family Services in the state where he lives refuses to let him and his new wife take their new baby home. Apparently some brave soul reported them as drug users, and the baby was found to have THC present in his blood.

How can you not worry about a newborn baby having THC in his bloodstream. How can you ask people what your options are when this happens? How can you not just give in, and let someone else more responsible take charge?

I don’t have the means or methods available to help, I only hope that someone loving and caring will take care of my grandson and make sure that he grows up strong and smart and able to take care of himself as all babies should. I know his parents aren’t capable of providing this environment, and as much as I know they hurt, I know that they have no business raising a child.

Life is not easy for anyone, and for a baby born addicted to any drug, it’s even harder. I will not sleep well for many nights, but I hope it all works out for my grandson, who’es name I don’t even know.

Merry Christmas, good will to all.

Trump, the Antichrist

Donald Trump is the best hope that the Republican party can offer in the 2016 trumpPresidential election. And, it seems that it is scaring the holy crap out of most genuine Republicans.

Of course most reasonable people are already clued into the fact that electing Donald Trump is a scary propostiion, on the order of having a Hugo Chavez or a Hitler in charge of America.

Sure, he says things that get a lot of people excited, but none of the stuff he actually says is of any substance. And it troubles me that a lot of people that I thought I respected and admired, a lot of people I thought I cared about, think that Donald Trump is the solution to whatever problems face our country right now.

They are ever so wrong. The fact that many long standing Republicans of note, such as Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins are telling people they can’t support Donald Trump, and in fact won’t vote for him. This alone ought to make most people take pause. Sure, there are problems we face, and most elected officials end up corrupt in some manner, but really – Donald Trump isn’t the answer. This man will involve us in an apocalypse.

Why is it that the people I know and love can’t see that in the tens of thousands of words to fall out of the mouth of Donald, there actually hasn’t been anything of substance. His most recent speech on financial policy has already been shown to be full of lies, exaggerations and utter nonsense. While better than his original tax policy, which has been removed from his website, it still is utter nonsense.

I still can’t get over the fact that there are now over a dozen died in the wool Republican elected officials who are now stating that Trump is dangerous. An ex-CIA official even goes so far as to state that Trump is a tool of Putin, being manipulated because his ego is so large that he can’t resist the fact that Putin thinks he is a leader.

Donald Trump is a complete douchbag, not worthy of cleaning the toilet in your home, and yet approximately half of all Americans are actually considering voting for this man.

God Help Us All.

Growing Old

According to most of the people that I hang around with, at age 60, going on 61, oldmanI’m not old. I’m a mere youngling. Either I need to get new friends, or they are right. I’m not sure which way to fall on this.

However, I’ve certainly had some time since I retired in September of 2014 to give some thought to what remains of the rest of my life. Most of it is positive. I look forward to new adventures, I look forward to new friends, and I’m really beginning to learn to just be me.

One of the problems with being young is that you have not yet learned quite who you are and what your place is in the world. You get all wrapped up in whatever the latest trend might be, whether it be clothes, or hobbies or a certain slang or a certain kind of cell phone that you absolutely have to have, and you never really navelget around to turning yourself inward, examining your own navel, and figuring out that it’s OK to be whoever it is you turned out to be after you finally got around to leaving home.

Trust me, there is a good part of me that is annoyed with myself. Why is it you have to wait until you get old before you finally figure things out, before you finally become confident in who you are, before you finally stop trying to be whatever it is you think other people want you to be?

If I could reach out and grab my 3 young grandsons who are now in their very early twenties or late teens, the first thing I would want them to know is that they need to stop trying so hard to make everyone around them pleased. Seriously. It doesn’t even matter if your parents like you or agree with what you think. They will be long gone before you know it, you’ll be on your own, and all that work to make them happy will be gone like a fart in the breeze.

By the time you get to be “old”, it’s just you and whoever you have decided is NoGodimportant to you. Your maker? Some old people still believe there is a God, but truly most of us just go through the motions so that we don’t get tarred and feathered and run out of town. There is no God – or if there is, he made us during a brief period of boredom and is long gone, and gives not a single hoot what we do with our lives.

By the time you are my age, you have hopefully stopped trying to impress people. It doesn’t matter that you like those old faded jeans with the spaghetti stain on the crotch. It doesn’t matter that the only time you make the bed is when you change the sheets. It doesn’t matter if you obsess over having the sink shine or all the dishes done before you go to bed. You are who you are and hopefully you’ve either found people who like that, or that you have learned to live a fulfilling life alone. It’s too late to start over and it’s time to settle in for the downhill ride and enjoy what time you have left.

In fact, I’m learning to do that just now. I like who I am. I’ve made some royal screw-ups in my life, trust me. Some doozies. On a slightly different tack I could be rotting in a jail, or living my life out as a homeless person under a bridge. Would I still like myself had my life taken either of those dotted line pathways that I once could have taken very easily? I hope so – in the end, you only have yourself, and if you don’t like who you are, it’s going to be a really rough ride.

I think I’m lucky. I’m not alone. I have someone in my life who lets me be who I am and doesn’t get jealous and often encourages me to just be. I have begun to develop some friends, although most of them are still friends only because I met them through who I live with. I have never made friends easily, but will take what I can get.

I’m not homeless, which for some reason never ceases to amaze me. I always aloneimagined my old age to be one of stark loneliness and poverty. Where I skulked from one shelter to another, or perhaps lived alone in the woods, or wandered lonely beaches, eating raw fish. Not sure where that came from, but I think it’s a part of my lifelong inability to understand that I’m worthy of anything.

Yet, part of me still longs to reach out to my younger self and smack some sense into that strange person I was during my teens and twenties and thirties and even into my 40’s. How could I have been so dumb? How could I have missed so many opportunities?

Another thing about being retired and not getting up to slave for someone else for forty or more hours a week is that you finally realize that your time is your own, there is no one to make happy but yourself, and that whatever you choose to do is OK. There is no wrong choice. Read a book. Go to the pool. Sit and watch the birds. Cook an elaborate meal for no one. Stay in bed and nap the day away. None of it is a wrong choice.

I suppose I regret not being able to learn these things when I was young. I’ve always felt inferior to others, and I have no idea what made me feel that way. I have had people in my life who recognized this, and told me to stop being silly. I never believed them. I was never fully capable of recognizing my own worth. Even when it came to employment, I always felt someone was doing me a favor when they offered me a job, and I was always ever so grateful for whatever came my way. I never realized that I earned it all, was worth it all, and could in fact have probably had more, if only I’d had the confidence in myself to reach for it.

That’s what young people need to know today. It’s OK to reach for it.