Biden, politicians, politics, social media, stupid people, Trump

Apparently, $1.89 gas is really all that matters to some people…

Last night, just before I fell asleep, I noticed a “purple” friend of mine who was watching the January 6 hearings on television posted a provocative status on Facebook. His comment was,

“Man! $250 million buys a lot of gas.”

At the time when I shut down for the night, that comment only had a few responses from people who are decidedly not Republicans. But by the time I cracked open my eyes this morning, that post had blown up. At this writing, it has over 100 comments, and was only just dying as I was getting up. As I write this post, it’s about 2:00 AM on the East Coast of the United States, which is where a lot of my friends live. I suspect that thread could resurrect in a few hours, as the hearings continue, bombshells drop, and more people express polarized opinions about the state of the United States today.

I was interested in what my friend’s friends had to say about his comment, so I actually took the time to read the posts. Sadly, one of the more entertaining posters has me blocked. I don’t remember why, although his name is familiar. Based on responses to him, he appears to be liberal. He must have caught me on a day when I was feeling irritated by the perpetually “woke”. That’s right, folks. I do vote blue now, but sadly, it’s not because I think Democrats are without issues. There’s actually a lot I don’t like about liberalism. However, I think at this point, I am so utterly disgusted by conservatives and their policies that I simply can’t vote for Republicans anymore. Quite a few of them are hopelessly mired in a fantasy world and, I’m afraid, are stuck on ideas that can’t and don’t work. One such idea that I think is long over and done with is cheap gas.

One of my friend’s commenters– a guy who appears to be from the western side of Virginia and, in spite of his protests regarding Trump worship, is clearly a conservative– wrote this:

Hey yall voted for this! All the experts said if Biden is elected we’ll see gas prices and inflation like never before! Hope all the Biden supporters are happy now!! Smh

Once again, I can’t help but shake my head. Does this person really believe that Joe Biden controls gas prices and inflation? Has he ever heard of the rest of the world? Inflation and high gas prices are global issues. A whole lot happened before Biden got into the White House that has affected the situation we’re in right now. Is Joe Biden the best president we could have had? I don’t think so. But I also don’t believe that Donald Trump would have handled this any better. In fact, it’s pretty clear that Trump did a lot of lying, cheating, and stealing when he was our POTUS. He is not an honorable man. That fact is becoming more and more obvious by the day.

My friend responded somewhat calmly, saying that he felt that a point was being missed. He explained that Donald Trump had raised $250 million from his followers to fight the election results. But it turns out the money was never used for that purpose. Instead, it went to his hotels and his cronies. Basically, Donald Trump, yet again, defrauded his base and ripped off their money. He has a long, long history of ripping people off– it dates from the 1970s. But some people refuse to see it and won’t face facts. They’re focused on cheap gas. And indeed, that’s what my friend’s conservative friend wrote in response:

…at least it’s going to America!! Both Biden’s making money left and right off other countries including Ukraine and China and we steady sending them money over there and buying all their high priced resources! At this point i really don’t think anyone cares what Trump is doin with his money if he can get us back to 1.89 gas, normal grocery, house , car prices and restores our all the foreign relations that Biden has ruined!!

Many of my friend’s other friends piled on this guy, who was gamely responding to everybody. It appeared that as the evening wore on, he was getting more and more desperate to deny the clear truth of the matter. He was delivering the usual conservative talking points– blaming the Democrats for shutting down the Keystone Pipeline, wanting to protect the environment, wanting to stop COVID from killing another million people, taking Christianity out of schools (really?)… the only point he didn’t hit is abortion.

I only contributed one comment to this thread, since it was dying as I was waking up. The point I did make was kind of inflammatory, and that’s that I can’t fathom how so-called “Christians” can champion a man who has sexually assaulted and harassed so many women. These supposed God fearing people don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a president who admits to molesting women, whether they want him to or not. These “sober” Christian folks don’t care that Donald Trump, if he were a “normal”, rank and file person, would never qualify for a security clearance. This man had our nuclear codes. And yet he’s been bankrupt multiple times, has had two foreign born wives (from formerly Eastern bloc countries, no less), and consorts with dictatorial types like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un. But to hear or read comments from some Trumpers, he’s just the greatest person ever for America.

I get being conservative. I understand why some conservatives dislike liberals. But I don’t understand why conservatives don’t want someone who is truly decent to run the country. I mean someone who is honest and noble, and actually cares about people. What is so fabulous about Trump and Trump-like people? The truth is coming out about what really went on over the four years he led the country. The people who supported him in the White House are now explaining what really happened. Why are so many people still sticking their fingers in their ears, squeezing their eyes closed, and screaming about how Trump was robbed? He so very clearly wasn’t robbed. He was doing the robbing!

This morning, I read an interesting editorial on CNN. It was titled “The surprising reason for Joe Biden’s low approval rating”. The author of the piece, David Masciotra, explained his opinions as to why conservatives are so strongly wedded to their candidates, while liberals seem to be a lot less loyal. He introduces the idea of “fan fiction leftists”, who are so far left that they have the effect of strengthening conservatives’ loyalty to their party. I enjoyed the whole piece, but I especially identified with Masciotra’s last paragraph, in which he writes:

The Democrats certainly have flaws. They are rhetorically passive, disorganized and seem to base their strategy on how not to lose rather than how to win, which usually guarantees failure. The party is also worthy of harsh criticism for taking a bashful approach to punishing Trump and his allies for insurrection. Despite sizable weaknesses, they do have the advantage of not being racists, sexists, homophobes or hostile to the foundation of democracy. Residents of the real world should vote accordingly.

Yeah… that’s pretty much why I have abandoned conservatism. I don’t want to align myself with the ugly values of the Republican Party, in which the only thing that matters is money and maintaining power over minorities, women, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the Protestant variety of Christianity. My friend’s friend… the one who says he doesn’t care what Trump does, if he can “get us back to $1.89 gas”, doesn’t seem to realize that there’s a huge price to be paid for cheap gas. Also, I think going back to $1.89 gas is a pipe dream. It’s not because of “the liberals”, either. I think fossil fuel is probably going to have to be replaced with another energy source. Car manufacturers have already noticed. When we toured the Volvo factory in Sweden, back in 2019, our guide– a Chinese woman, since Volvo is currently owned by a Chinese company– told us that very soon, Volvo will only offer cars that run on electricity. I think she gave us an actual year when this would happen. Of course, that was before COVID-19 fucked everything up for two years.

Guys like my friend’s friend– the $1.89 gas guy– don’t seem to realize that a global pandemic will fuck things up. He seems to expect everything to be like it was ten years ago. Well, a lot of shit has happened since 2012. And the pandemic is a real thing that has affected the whole world. When people are forced to stay home to avoid a virus, there will be issues with supply and demand. When people learn how nice it is to be able to work from home, avoid sitting in traffic (burning more gas, no less), and enjoy the flexibility and convenience that affords, there will be some people who will demand to have that option. Twenty years ago, I had a boss who let me work from home. When I brought up that possibility in job interviews, I got scoffed at. But now, it’s a reality for many people. I knew it would be eventually, and now some American workers are demanding it. That means a dramatic shift in how things are going to be done from now on… and that also means we have to adapt. Adapting takes time, but it’s inevitable that things are changing… and even though conservatives are trying so hard to prevent change, they are eventually going to fail in that effort.

But try to tell $1.89 guy that… This is what he says:

mmm mmm mmm. I’m not a Trump supporter, I just didn’t want Biden bc of exactly what’s happening! U don’t see the big picture! It’s all coming down to 1 world government and 1 world money system! We were the last hope to fight that! Now with Biden and his puppets in office….its a done deal! We’ve totally been sold out to the world! U think it’s bad now, u just wait!! So thank u and all these other idiots that have supported this party that have drastically sped up the process! I suggest u go dig deep in REVELATIONS and find JESUS!!!

Holy crap. Now he’s bringing Jesus into the discussion? What does Jesus have to do with people like Donald Trump and the “very fine people” who follow him, like Jim Bob Duggar and such? But he continues:

See that’s the problem right now, any other religion or belief can say what they want to anybody and we’re just suppose to deal with it!! But stand up for God or Christianity and OMG, no no no they’re a terrible person!! Enough is enough! More Christians need to stand up and quit tolerating this crap! This party traffics children, kills children, wants to kill babies, supports Changing ur gender and wants to take God out of everything in this country! I didn’t make these rules so don’t be mad at me….its God rules! But everyone wants to bend and stretch them…smh

This poor guy obviously hasn’t expanded his world view beyond small town Virginia. He thinks Christianity is the only religion, and Republicans are the only political party, because they are in bed with Christians. But he doesn’t seem to get that there are plenty of terrible Christians out there… people who use religion to gain money, power, and dare I say it? Pussy. And they vote for people like the “pussy grabber”, because that’s what they want for themselves. They don’t seem to understand that Trump doesn’t care about them at all and will happily take whatever they will give him and just throw them a few crumbs as a reward.

$1.89 guy thinks that no one wants to work. He thinks everybody’s on welfare. He seems to think that asking for, or even DEMANDING decent pay and benefits, as well as time off to live life, should not be reasons a person won’t take a job. He’s all about the business owners getting richer and richer, while the working class has to bust their asses in unsafe, unpleasant, and unhealthy work environments. Like a lot of conservatives, he doesn’t question why people should have to sacrifice their health and happiness just so someone like Donald Trump can make more money.

…create jobs!? Ur kidding right!? Most businesses are closing or not operating all days bc nobody wants to work!! There are literally hiring signs on every other business u pass! U hv bought into this media crap so bad that ur completely oblivious to the real world!! Smh

Guy… yes, there are people hiring. But they want to hire people as cheaply as possible. After two years of having a home life, many Americans are realizing that they’ve spent too much time wasting their lives sitting in traffic, being paid as little as possible, for crappy benefits, and for employers who don’t give a shit about them and would dispense with them in a heartbeat if it would save them a few beans.

And $1.89 guy also doesn’t believe in science, either. He thinks COVID vaccines are useless, even though it’s been proven that people who have been vaccinated are staying out of ICUs at a much higher rate than unvaccinated people are.

I believe in vaccines that work!! Not the COVID vaccine or the boosters! They even came out and said later on ur natural immunity will fight it better anyway! Smh…. (tell that bullshit to the families of people whose anti-vaxxer loved ones died miserable deaths saying that COVID is a real thing after all)

There’s more I could add to this post… $1.89 guy was quite stubbornly insisting that we’ve all been duped. But I think I have to stop now. I’ll add one last parting shot, though. $1.89 guy also threw out the theory that Mr. Biden has “dementia”…

u voted for a president that can’t talk, can’t walk up a flight of steps, literally cheated through college, has taken credit for speeches he never wrote and pretty much has dementia……but we’re the idiots!! Lol 🤣…. Doesn’t take much common sense to figure out who’s the idiot here!! Smh

I think, of all the negative points people make about Joe Biden, the claim that he has dementia is the most offensive to me. The VAST majority of the people who have said this are not, in any way, shape, or form, qualified to determine if someone has dementia. I have seen people with dementia, and they don’t look or act like Joe Biden does. Moreover, if we’re gonna talk about cheaters, Donald Trump fucking wrote the book on it. Or, actually, he had someone else write it and simply took the credit. That sounds about right for Mr. Trump… and all of his narcissistic brothers and sisters. But if we point this out, we get accused of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome”.

To quote our very erudite and intellectual $1.89 gas guy… SMH.

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politics, rants, religion

“Christians” who complain about gas prices have missed the plot…

Last night, my former tenth grade homeroom teacher, now serving as president of a Christian university located in the American South, posted a shoutout to people who live in his community. My former homeroom teacher– a truly awesome guy and inspired leader, by the way– shared the news that a local gas station owner had announced that he still had gas priced at $3.68 a gallon. The gas station owner was encouraging people to fill their tanks while the “cheaper” gas was still available. As soon as the next shipment of gas arrived, the gas prices would have to go up.

Naturally, a lot of people were commenting about that, because Americans aren’t used to having to pay so much for gasoline. One person wrote a bitter complaint about the high gas prices, ending her rant with “Let’s go, Brandon.”

Before I knew it, I had responded “That’s not his fault.”

A minute later, she dashed off a response to me, as did someone else. I’m pretty sure there were a couple of “laughing” reactions, too. I didn’t bother to read the comments the people left, because I had a feeling they would be snarky and argumentative in nature. It was time for bed, and I didn’t want to get charged up over politics before trying to go to sleep. Also, I really respect my former tenth grade homeroom teacher, and I didn’t want to get involved in an argument on his Facebook page. Especially since I know he’s a devout Christian, and I have a tendency to be salty sometimes. Particularly when it’s later in the evening. 😉

I know I should have probably kept scrolling… because these folks have made up their minds about Joe Biden, and they truly believe he’s the cause of everything wrong in the world. There’s nothing I can say or write to change their minds. They think Joe Biden is responsible for the high gas prices, even though they are just plain WRONG.

I don’t think Joe Biden is the most charismatic leader we’ve ever had, but I do think he’s basically a decent person who cares about others. That’s a lot more than I could ever say about Donald Trump. And– before anyone points this out to me– I want to make it clear that I never thought Trump was responsible for everything bad in the world, either. I think Trump is an inherently bad person because of proven bad things he’s said and done, not because of his so-called political party. I don’t believe that all Republicans are evil. I do think quite a lot of them are selfish, ignorant, narcissistic, and completely out of touch with other people. But I know that not all of them are that way, and in fact, many Democrats are just as out of touch. I think today’s Republican Party, on the whole, is a bastardization of what the Republican Party used to be, years ago. A lot of people identify as Republicans and don’t think twice about it. They just keep aligning with the party they’ve always aligned with, even though quite a few Republican leaders are truly reprehensible people. But again, there are some truly crappy Democrats, too.

But anyway, I didn’t want to get into a political argument on my old teacher’s page, so I removed the notifications that the people prompted for me, turned out the light, and went to sleep. However, before I fell asleep, I noticed that an Epinions buddy from Texas, a man who is a doctoral level Christian minister who seems to really practice what he preaches, shared today’s featured photo on his Facebook page.

I thought about it for a minute and shared the same photo on my page, with a reminder for Christians in the United States who are bitching about gas prices. Right now, in Germany, gas is the euro equivalent of about $8 a gallon. Gas has always been significantly higher priced in Europe, which has much better public transportation systems and higher taxes than the United States has. I can remember being shocked when I heard that Germans were paying the equivalent of $5 a gallon. Of course, over here, gas is sold by the liter. Someone pointed that out to me on my page, and I explained that I had put my comment in terms of gallons because I’m addressing Americans, many of whom don’t travel abroad and have no concept of the metric system. My overall point is, gas is expensive in a lot of places, and that’s not Biden’s fault.

Then I thought about it some more, and it suddenly struck me as totally ridiculous that Christians are complaining about gas prices. Where is the outrage over the high prices of housing, food, and medical care? These are basic necessities for every person on the planet. Whenever a politician wants to tackle the high prices associated with basic needs, they get accused of pushing socialism. Most Republicans don’t like paying for social safety nets for people who are in need. Many Republicans assume that anyone who is poor, or sick, or food insecure is that way due to their own fault. They preach about personal responsibility, and push laws that are designed to punish or humiliate people who are in need. They lament the prospect of socialized medicine in the United States that might make healthcare more affordable for everyone. But God forbid they have to pay more for the gas to fill up those monster sized trucks and land yachts they drive to jobs that enrich other people…

I think Christians who are more concerned about high gas prices, than they are outrageous healthcare, housing, and food prices, have extremely fucked up priorities. Christians are supposed to follow the example of Jesus Christ, aren’t they? So if you’re really a Christian, shouldn’t you actually be concerned about people in need? Didn’t Christ care about hungry, sick, tired, and suffering people? Wasn’t Christ humble and gentle? Would Jesus complain about high gas prices and blame the U.S. president for something that is happening mostly due to world events?

Everybody needs housing, healthcare, and food. Not everybody needs to gas up cars. Granted, in the United States, cars are generally a lot more necessary than they are in Europe. However, even though Americans need cars more than Europeans do, they still aren’t necessary for living. I think in the coming weeks, we may all collectively discover why our dependence on cheap gas makes us weaker in so many ways.

What really amazes me, though, is this sudden understanding and affinity some Republicans have for Russia, and for Putin’s complaints about Ukraine. A lot of these people– Trump supporters– have #Pray for Ukraine posts on their social media pages. But don’t they realize that Donald Trump is Putin’s fan boy? Don’t they know that if Trump were still in office, Trump wouldn’t say much about what Putin is doing to Ukraine? Trump and Putin have a lot in common… although I think Putin is a lot smarter and, unfortunately, even more sociopathic than Trump is.

When I was a kid, the 1984 movie Red Dawn was released. I remember watching that movie and thinking– DAMN!– if the Soviet Union ever invades the United States, I will be signing up to fight! I was brave and naive when I was twelve! That movie was loaded with right-wing, God bless America, anti-Soviet propaganda bullshit. It was a very violent film that made Russians out to be terrible people as a whole. In 1984, a lot of Americans were legitimately worried about nuclear war. In the 80s, many Americans openly disdained communist Soviet Union and its people, even though most of us knew very little about the Soviet Union. It was a closed society, so it wasn’t easy to mingle with people from there. But watch television from the 80s, and you will see MANY references to nukes and how awful Russia is… and a lot of that propaganda was promoted by Republicans.

Then came 1991… and the Soviet Union fell apart. A few years after that, I went to live in the former Soviet Union. It changed my life. I now count some former Soviets as friends. I started seeing things from a different perspective. I no longer saw the Soviet Union as one big country. I now see that it was comprised of fifteen diverse republics full of amazing people who mostly want and need the same things I want and need. For a couple of decades, it looked like maybe we could finally be friends with people from Russia and other former Soviet countries. Maybe our governments could cooperate with each other and act for the benefit of humanity. Then came Putin… and he’s acting like a domestic abuser punishing his mate for refusing to marry him. Ukraine doesn’t want to be in a relationship with Russia anymore. Russia won’t take no for an answer and is forcing itself on the Ukrainian people… like an abusive ex who won’t go away. I must credit Bill for providing me with that imagery. Bill understands the abusive spouse dynamic better than I ever could… but when he presented that example to me, it struck me as how insightful it is.

Someday, maybe this ugly Soviet era building will be rebuilt into something more akin to Ukrainian tastes. But for now, this picture represents profound loss and suffering… and people who have lost everything.

I saw a photo of a burning building in Ukraine this morning. I noticed how ugly and depressing that building was. I remember living in a couple of buildings that looked just like it when I lived in Armenia. As I looked at the above image, it occurred to me that someday, that burning building will probably be rebuilt. It might even be rebuilt into something much better on all levels. That will probably take years, though, and for now, the fact remains that this ugly building on fire was home for some people who have now lost everything. And in America, we have a bunch of so-called Christians blaming Joe Biden for the fact that they have to pay more for gas. It’s ridiculous, short-sighted, and shameful. And now, Republicans seem to be on Putin’s side, even as they “pray for Ukraine”. I guess they pray for Ukraine to hurry up and submit so they can get cheap gas again, and the stock market will rebound. Perhaps they think Ukraine should just “make the best of a bad situation”. Maybe Ukraine should just lie down and “enjoy” the rape, as some anti-woman Republican legislators have suggested to sexual assault victims. I think a lot of Republicans are as naive and uninformed as I was when I was twelve.

A lot of these folks probably think Ukraine should also “make the best of a bad situation”. But if Russia invaded the United States, what would they say?

Nobody likes to pay high gas prices. I hate seeing our stock values plummet on a daily basis. It would be so great if things were peaceful and prosperous and the economy was humming along. But that’s not how it is… and the fact that it’s not how it is isn’t solely Joe Biden’s fault. He’s not invading Ukraine. He didn’t cause COVID-19, which also had an effect on gas prices and the economy. And he doesn’t control gas prices. He doesn’t have that much power. So if you are a “Christian” who is complaining about gas prices and blaming Biden, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. Do you think Jesus would be concerned about filling his gas tank over the pain and suffering of other human beings? I sure don’t.

Edited to add: A fellow American in Germany shared this…

Americans don’t have it so bad when it comes to gas prices.

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