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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Trump

Lying down with dogs…

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a friend of mine who posted on Facebook about how flabbergasted he was that some people think racial relations have improved under Donald Trump’s “leadership”. My post was written when the discussion was “young”, and one “friend” had referred to liberals as “libtards”.

I’m not really a fan of namecalling, even if I’m guilty of it at times. I especially don’t like it when people namecall folks they don’t even really know personally. It’s one thing if you have personal experience to back up a derogatory moniker, and quite another when you just lump everyone into a group without knowing them. I don’t think it’s right to call Republicans “rethuglicans”, either. I know some very decent people who identify as conservative. I know some pretty crappy people who say they’re liberal. I, myself, don’t really identify as either. On some issues, I’m extremely liberal. On others, I’m a lot more conservative. I guess I’d call myself a “centrist”.

Anyway… that discussion blew up a lot over the past couple of days. One fellow– I probably knew him when I was a teen, but I don’t really remember him now– insists that liberals want to “run his life”. He got into it with a woman I’ll call Lisa who seemed quite reasonable to me, and not just because I happened to align more with her politics than his.

The original poster, a black man who describes himself as a “monster of a man” at 6’6″ and 255 pounds, able to bench about 400 pounds, wrote about how he’s noticed that much smaller white men feel emboldened to insult him. Now… I do know the original poster. We went through school together from the fourth grade. He’s a great guy, but he’s right when he refers to himself as a “monster of a man”. He’s a very big guy– was so in high school and no doubt remains so today. And yet he gets dirty looks when he’s having dinner with white women.

The original poster’s friend, a guy I’ll call Matteo (since I don’t know anyone with that name), says he’s not a racist. He says he treats everyone the same. However, as soon as people find out he supports Donald Trump, people label him a racist. He doesn’t like that. And, he laments that the people calling him a racist aren’t people of color, but “brainwashed” white people, some of whom were posting in that thread.

In fairness to Matteo, I can see why it frustrates him that people assume he’s racist for supporting Donald Trump. However, I can also see why people would draw that conclusion, based on Trump’s very well known racist proclivities. There’s an old saying… if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Well… I lie down with dogs at every opportunity and have never had a flea problem, but you get the drift. If you align yourself politically with someone who makes a point out of tasking immigration authorities to hunt down, detain, and deport anyone who is deemed an “illegal” (undocumented) alien, people might assume that you agree with said politician’s views. If you’re alright with the “illegals” being caged like animals as their children are ripped away from them, people might assume that you are racist.

For his part, Trump himself claims that he’s the “least racist person in the world”. And it’s true that he has hired people of color, married (white) women from European countries, and probably does treat almost everyone the same– except for those he either wants to screw out of money or literally screw. But once those people aren’t useful anymore, he treats them the same, too. I don’t know, maybe there’s a certain “fairness” there. It’s really just people from “shithole” countries Trump doesn’t like. He’s ready to embrace any hot looking Norwegian or Swede who wants to move to America… especially if they’re also female and wealthy. Nah… Trump has had plenty of racist allegations and accusations pinned on him, and the record shows that he discriminates openly.

So Matteo apparently ignores all of this and thinks Trump is a swell guy. If he’s truly not a racist, I’d love to know what about Trump excites him. Is it because he’s someone who has gotten a couple more bucks in his paycheck? Is it because Trump seems plainspoken? Does Trump seems like a “regular guy” to him? Actually, Donald Trump is not like your typical country boy. He grew up wealthy, attended expensive, private schools, and has never worked an honest day in his life. But because he’s a “Republican” (for now, at least) and claims to be against abortion, he’s a “great American” and the “best president” we’ve ever had in the United States. Very fine.

So the OP, my big black friend, explains that because Matteo is a white guy who has never experienced the kind of racism that he has firsthand, he says Matteo doesn’t understand his perspective. Matteo takes exception to this and launches into a strange argument using cancer as his example. He says he can have a negative opinion about cancer even though he’s never had it. He says he can have a negative view of rape, even though he’s never been raped. And by that standard, he can “understand” racism, even if he’s not black and has never been called by that well-known derogatory term that is no longer suitable for print.

That’s when Lisa– someone else I probably met sometime but don’t remember now– jumped in and tried to explain things to Matteo. Her explanation was very reasonable and well thought out, and she correctly pointed out to Matteo that equating cancer to racism is invalid, since ANYONE can get cancer. It’s not an affliction that only affects a certain group of people. I would also say the same about rape, although women are much more likely to experience rape than men are. But if you’re a white person, you will never be black. If you live in the United States or another place where people look at others differently due to the color of their skin, you can’t have the perspective of racism that someone who is a member of the minority has. Now… if you go to a place where white people experience racism due to their skin color, maybe you can have an inkling. But that’s not really how it is in most parts of the USA.

Matteo went on about how it’s the media’s fault that people think life is so bad. He says the media has convinced everyone how much it sucks to be in the United States and that if we’d just stop letting the media spoon feed us reality, we’d see how Trump is making America “great” again. And now, I must stop and interject.

At this point in time, I have at least four white, female, college educated friends who are searching for work. Each of these women has put out at least a couple hundred resumes and, yet they report that they have each only scored a handful of interviews. Two of these friends went as far as to put up GoFundMe campaigns because they need immediate help with their bills and/or keeping their housing. I keep hearing– indeed in that very thread I’m referencing– about how awesome the economy is and how unemployment is at an all time low. If that’s true, why are four of my college educated friends– women whom I know are intelligent, talented, and hardworking– struggling so hard to get work that pays enough for them to support themselves? Where are these “good jobs” with “good benefits”, where qualified people are considered regardless of their age, sex, and whether or not they have children? Why are Bill and I donating money to my friends who have just been laid off at Christmastime and are terrified of being kicked out on the streets? There but by the grace of God go any of us!

Getting back to Matteo and his claims that America is on its way to being “great” again… Lisa, the OP, and Matteo discussed more and the thread soon devolved into a comparison between Republicans and Democrats. Matteo brought up that Democrats were behind the Ku Klux Klan. Here’s the direct, unedited post that led me to write today:

The problem I think you really have is political. The democrat party thinks of African Americans as nothing but a vote. All talk and no action. The political plantation, if you will. Only a liberal would think advancement is a bad thing. If you could get over your political self for a moment you might understand. You guys put politics above all including race. After all you guys founded the KKK and opposed the civil rights act. You want to control people’s lives instead of improving them. Obama said you would need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing jobs (not dead end jobs) and guess what…Trump is bringing back those very jobs. It is YOUR party that plays the race card to divide. The liberal media makes stuff up to promote division and tension. (DICLAIMER: YES RACISM EXSISTS IT HAS AND PROBOBLY ALWAYS WILL TO SOME DEGREE) but your political side does nothing but make it worse. I can actually site time after time where the left has blatantly made stuff up! I am not accusing you of this, but I am damn sure accusing your party of it. Pure EVIL!

Hmmm… and yet Republicans are all about getting in bed with conservative Christians, pushing the anti-abortion agenda to get votes. Republicans are all about doing away with programs that help those who are stuck in poverty get ahead. They are all about denying rights to women and people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. Quite a lot of them are pretty racist, too. I know this because I am related to them, grew up around them, and I’ve heard how they talk and seen how they behave. That’s not to say that there aren’t liberals who are racists or just want to get ahead somehow by pushing an agenda that is palatable to certain groups. I just think Matteo really fails to see that his arguments do go both ways… even as he points out that they go both ways. He doesn’t seem to see the big picture.

However… I am a firm believer that people should be allowed to vote the way they want. I didn’t jump into this discussion myself, because I find arguing with people like Matteo to be a waste of time. It’s 90% white men who take the attitude that racism isn’t a problem in the United States, and that Republicans are all about not letting the government get too big and interfere in other people’s lives or, more importantly, ability to make money on the backs of less advantaged people. They are all about pulling one’s self up by the bootstraps, even if the bootstraps are hopelessly broken or dry-rotted. Well… despite Matteo’s protests, I do think Trump is a racist. I do think many people who support Trump are more racist than they’d like to admit. I think most people have some racist proclivities deep down, but it’s especially bad among white, conservative, southern men who are all too ready to embrace the false idea that Trump pushes– that they are the “real victims” of discrimination.

In 1989, Trump said he would rather be a “well-educated black”… because they have an “advantage”. Boy… this is exactly the attitude my friend was referring to! It’s a shock that in 1989, a man with Trump’s supposed “education” would be referring to people of color as “the blacks”.
Indeed…

But, in fairness to Trump, some Republicans are starting to turn on him. They see that he’s not someone with whom they want to be aligned. They don’t want to “get up with fleas.” I can’t say I blame them, although flip-flopping to get ahead is such a political thing to do. Trump should know, since he did it himself.

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movies, nostalgia, silliness

Moving Violations…

A couple of days ago, I shared an article from USA Today about how rude it is to recline your seat on an economy class flight. It generated a spirited discussion. Personally, I rarely recline on flights. The little bit the seat goes back doesn’t affect my comfort enough to make it worthwhile. I also hate it when people do it to me, so I don’t do it to others. And yes, I do think it’s rude to recline, especially on short flights, and especially when you don’t have any regard for the person sitting behind you. I mean, if someone asked me if I minded if they reclined, I probably wouldn’t say it did. In fact, I would appreciate the consideration. But if they stay reclined when I’m trying to eat, I would not think much of them.

I realize I’m short, though, so I don’t have too much of a problem with leg room. Also, even though I’m definitely not a small person, I can fit in the seat without spilling over. In Europe, I usually fly business class anyway, simply because I hate the whole experience of flying and want it to be as painless as possible. I’m going to be flying on Sunday in business class, while Bill will be in coach. He’s flying on his company’s dime, while I’m flying on ours.

Anyway… that thread got kind of contentious as we remembered experiences we’ve all had on flights. I’ve run into a few people who were total jerks on the plane. For instance, I remembered this one guy who was reclined in my lap for hours. I finally had to get up to pee, but his seat back was craned back, so I had to contort my body to get into the aisle from the window seat. I grabbed the top of the seat for balance and he gave me the stink eye. So I glared right back at him. Dude, if you’re going to be leaned back into my lap for hours, I’m going to have to wake you up when I have to pee. And then I added this…

Civilized, I know… I also need to watch The Help again.

The thread continued, and I was suddenly reminded of a somewhat obscure film from 1985. The film, which was made by the people who brought us the Police Academy movies of the 80s, was called Moving Violations. I saw it in the theater twice, accompanied by our neighborhood pervert, Mr. D., who used to show me porn magazines. For some reason, my parents didn’t think it was odd that a middle aged man was so interested in hanging out with their pre-pubescent daughter, but I digress.

Moving Violations is a super cheesy film, but it remains a guilty pleasure. It starred Bill Murray’s younger brother, John. John tried hard to sound like his brother. I thought he was funny when I was 12 or 13 years old. I now see why his film career was short lived. I still love this movie, though, even though it’s pretty lowbrow.

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Anyway, Moving Violations did have some pretty funny moments in it that are still funny in 2019. One of the women in the movie was the adorable Nedra Volz, also known for playing the housekeeper Adelaide on the popular 80s era sitcom, Diff’rent Strokes. In Moving Violations, Nedra plays Mrs. Loretta Houk, who is pretty much blind. She finds herself in all kinds of crazy situations, like the one below…

Those of us who were around in the 80s will remember Clara Peller, who got very famous as Wendy’s pitchwoman. She used to yell, “Where’s the beef!”

Because Nedra’s character, Loretta, was so blind, she got in trouble for driving her car on the tarmac at the airport. She, and a bunch of other hapless nitwits, end up having to take driver’s education dispensed by the most uptight asshole cops ever. It seems clear that they will never pass the course and will spend the rest of their lives taking public transportation. In Loretta’s case, the rest of her life wasn’t that long, but still…

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As I was reading the comments from my seat reclining thread, I was suddenly reminded of the scene in Moving Violations in which Loretta and the rest of the motley crew of would be drivers are trying to study for the driver’s exam. They’re a bit depressed at what seems to be insurmountable odds at getting their licenses returned to them. Loretta is not just depressed; she’s drunk! And when John Murray’s character, Dana Cannon, rallies the group’s spirits and revives them with the spirit to fight back, Loretta yells, “Yeah, fuck him! Rip his nuts off!”

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Suddenly, I wish I had this film on DVD, though someone has thoughtfully uploaded it on YouTube. I may watch it today, as I struggle to get through the next few days.

I hope if I make it to Nedra’s age, I’m half as cool and funny as she was. I fear I’m already taller than she was, although not by much. Glad I was around in the 80s, too. I like to think of that time when the United States was still kind of “normal”.

As for flying… I think we could all stand to be more considerate and empathetic. If you’re in coach class and you need to recline your seat, at least be polite enough to see if the person behind you is eating or using their tray table. Otherwise, you might find yourself in an unpleasant altercation with a stranger and a meeting with a tight-assed cop like the one on Moving Violations.

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