American Conservatism

Two Cats to Soothe Your Eyes

In an Earlier Post, I wrote about racism and its origins. Among other things, it is noteworthy that prior to enslaving Africans, Europeans never mentioned race at all. There were people in other places with dark skin, but that was as far as it went, because, who cared? Nobody. No reason to. Once you start doing wrong by people, though, you need to justify your actions to yourself. Enter race. The “Black Race” is clearly inferior, or else how could the “White Race” have enslaved them? Obviously, some serious genetic deficiencies are evident in the world. This was the worldview upon which the United States of America was founded. Even dour New Englanders were okay with other races being inferior to the “White Race.” They just didn’t think that this justified enslaving them. And, of course, we did benefit as a nation. Those slaves were instrumental in building the nation, whether they ever get credit for it or not. We eliminated slavery with our Civil War, but not the idea of racial superiority. Our laws covering cocaine, for instance, stem from an instance where somebody in Georgia axe murdered his family. He was “black,” and so the New York Times editorialized about “protecting our Negro brethren.” Yes, the New York Times. I once saw a post extolling the virtues of Ray Charles’s song, “Seven Spanish Angles,” in which the writer noted how Ray was backing up Willie Nelson on the piece. Trouble is, as Willie could tell you, Willie was backing up Ray, but the writer assumed the opposite, because, well, “Blacks” are inferior in every way, right? (Ray’s first gig was with a country band, for the record.)

So, what does this mean for Conservatives? Well, traditionally, America has benefited from a bogus structure of racism. It has allowed “White” people to enjoy tremendous prosperity, all the while they can not notice the underlying support they’re getting from “inferior” races. So, what Conservatives want to return to, to Make America Great Again, is simply the former mindless acceptance of a structure that suppressed a lot of minority people to the benefit of “White” people. In short, what Conservatives want to conserve is good old European-American racism. It’s really that simple. So when the current Republican leadership is accused of being racist, well, they are. No getting around it. Of course, there is a huge fly in the ointment of traditional racism.

That is that the game is up. As of a few months from now, there will be more “non-white” children in the United States than “white” children. (If you’re wondering about all the quotation marks, read my earlier post.) In another generation, those who insist on the superiority of the “White Race” are going to be seriously outnumbered. Fine with me, because I live in Clark County, Nevada, which is already a majority minority county. “White” folks have a plurality, but they cannot blindly dictate policy any more. The irony of the situation is that Vegas was once the “Mississippi of the West,” due to the extreme segregationist policies enforced here. Sammy Davis Junior had to go into the resort through the kitchen before presenting his sold-out shows. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. It can’t be, even though there are still plenty of people here who probably wish it could be. But, how could it?

The game being up explains the fierce following of MAGA folks. And I’m not calling them bad people, or stupid either, because bad and stupid people are everywhere. I am calling them victims of a centuries-old scheme of racism combined with a skillful application of populist propaganda. Too bad for them, really.

We could just wait it out and let things sort themselves out, of course. But the damage could be quite substantial to our institutions, prestige, and economic vigor. So, my advice is that all of us who see things for what they  are get out there next year and vote those people out. Don’t start fighting over ideological purity, just put up someone we can all at least tolerate for a few years, and vote them out. Please!

ODDGODFREY MAKES A BOOK

I’ve been reposting Oddgodfrey (read Leslie Godfrey’s) posts since they took off almost three years ago to circumnavigate the planet. They’ve had some most excellent adventures, and no doubt about it. Well, do continue to follow them. They took off, just two in a 40-foot sailboat named Sonrisa, and went to the place where land is just a distant memory. (Remember when they posted their lattitude and longitude, and the result upon putting those into Google Maps was just a blue screen with a pin in it?) In the near future they will be visiting home in Las Vegas, but the exciting news is that OddGodfrey (Leslie) has created a children’s book, about a unicorn that goes to sea. It’s not entirely fictional. And they are looking for people to help them get the word out. Okay, here’s my first contribution, but I’m just me. You can help, too. Just cllick this link: https://www.oddgodfrey.com/oddlog/launchteamrecruits and read all about it.

Of course, if you don’t like adventure, exotic food, children’s books, or unicorns, you can ignore this post entirely. But please don’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Basics

I am a writer. I’m writing even as I write. Yes. But I can’t just put writing related stuff here once a week and call it good. Sure, I’ll put writing related stuff here, when it is the topic. But, not always. Not today. You know, absolutely anything feeds a writing career. You can stand aside at a party and make up stories for all the weird people you see (and everybody is weird.) You can read a manual on how to repair a weed whacker and get inspired. Okay? So, everything you read here is writing related, ipso facto. So.

Today I’m going to write about watching a presidency crash and burn. This is my second one, and the similarities are legion. The denials, the new evidence contradicting the denials, the further denials, and then, finally, the camel’s back breaks and, here’s a big difference, Dick Nixon (I voted for that asshole!) had the grace to retire before he was utterly destroyed. The incumbent this time, eeeeeeeehhh, probably won’t. He really is a Narcissistic Personality. Not just a guy with narcissistic tendencies. Hell, I have narcissistic tendencies, but a full blown psychiatric disorder. Don’t believe me? Then read this description from the DSM:

https://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/courses/materials/Narc.Pers.DSM.pdf

It’s in PDF format, so, no worries, you can read it. Download it, even. Read it and weep, because it describes President Trump perfectly. In fact, my PhD psychologist daughter told me that, prior to his being nominated for President, he was commonly used as a literal textbook example of a narcissistic personality.

Being NPD, Trump can no more resign than he can fly (though he may dispute the fact that he can’t fly, but you and I know he can’t.) He also, of course, can’t live to be 150, negotiate better than anyone, or bring peace in our time, but he likes to think he can, so he thinks he can. A person with NPD is, you can see, divorced from reality. Since he can see no difference between himself and the world, the world is, for him, limited to his own experience, which is limited, because everybody’s experience is limited. One thing that has shocked Trump is the fact that the President of the United States is actually one of the least powerful people on the planet. If he had the following he thinks he does, maybe he could have more influence over the world. As it is, he can influence only other individual world leaders, and then only enough to let him think that he’s won. Sad, huh? Since, in his experience, he has never lost anything, or at least never failed to cover his losses with bluster and bluff, he will never see a reason to retire with some remaining dignity and grace. (Some would argue that he’s never had any in the first place.) Which means that he’s going to be pulled out of the Oval Office by his ankles, should he be impeached (as seems likely) and convicted (which seems less so, but the way he’s going these days, I wouldn’t bet against it.)

Whatever happens, it is interesting to watch, just as it was in the fall of 1973. You know, the fall of an American President. Here comes that big hill . . .

 

 

Thai Smooshies — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

The best part of making new friends at the night market is that they will give you the local scoop on where you have to go to see the best parts of Thailand. We had other plans, but the fellas told us to alter course and visit Phu Chi Fa instead. This mountain peak is one of the highest points in a

Source: Thai Smooshies — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

A Growing Affinity For Chewy Squid Chips and Thai Villages — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Our land tour of Thailand continues up into the highlands crisp and dusty from the lingering dry season. We enjoy wandering village roads so small our map apps can’t tell us where we are. Here, we find more new food to try, new friends, and scenery that burns itself into our souls.

Source: A Growing Affinity For Chewy Squid Chips and Thai Villages — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Choosing The Red Pill, By Katherine “Kitty” Hepburn — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Betrayal makes a heart go hard, but love is the great tenderizer. I’ve been there before, I know. And, it seems I’m going there again. Will I stay or will I go? Will I give up my territory, the comfortable truce with Bess, and life on the ledges to follow Andrew and Leslie where ever they may le

Source: Choosing The Red Pill, By Katherine “Kitty” Hepburn — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Catnapping — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

I’ve always heard rumor that a cat will choose you, you don’t choose a cat. But, is this cat choosing to live on a sailboat, at sea, one that is scheduled to cross the Indian Ocean next year!? Join us in this blog post as Andrew and I prepare to catnap Katherine “Kitty” Hepburn for a li

Source: Catnapping — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Stereotypes

The oldest house in Paris, next to the Jardin de l’hôtel de Sens

Which makes the house, duh, l’hôtel de Sens. Since you’re curious, here’s a bit of the garden.

The garden and hôtel pictured are in the area of Paris known as Saint-Paul. You can call up a walking tour of the quarter on your phone and follow it around, which is what we were doing when we visited this garden, which is in fact a lovely park in a quiet neighborhood. The building is medieval, as you can see. Most of Paris was razed and redone during the 19th century at the behest of Napoleon III, but a few things, like this and Notre Dame, were spared. So it’s worth looking for.

While we were looking for it, and other parts of the quarter, we walked looking at our phones. Time after time a Parisian native would stop us and ask us if we needed help finding something. Of course, we didn’t, but this behavior was from people popularly thought of as snooty and unhelpful, on the good side. I’m here to tell you that such is not at all the case. Indulge me in another story if you will, this time involving motor fuel and cash.

Tami and I carry the same credit card, so when one of ours (nevermind) was lost on the bus from the airport to the Gare Montparnasse, we had to cancel it. This meant that we had no credit card with which to buy gasoline for our rental car. (We did set it up so that the card was valid for the rental car company, and nobody else, until the end of our rental period.) (Europecar. I recommend them.) We took a train to Angoulême, where we stayed for five days. Charente is a beautiful area (formerly a province, but long story,) and here’s the view out of our bedroom window to prove it.

A view to the East from Angoulême near the center of town.

From Angoulême we drove to Bordeaux, Saint Émilion, Cognac, Royan, and Chabonais over the course of several days. By that time we were low on gas. The station we found (there aren’t as many as we have here) was credit cards only at the pump. The kiosk where one can convert cash to a ticket with which to buy fuel was broken. Thing is, I had never really spoken French before, but when we decided to ask someone to use their card and I’d give them cash (our debit card still worked at least, but not on gas pumps) I looked around and saw only French people. It was raining hard, too. I asked the man at the next pump, “comprendez-vous Ainglais?” and got a “non.” Digging deep, deep into what I’ve learned from various sources (Duolingo is a great place to start) I then used my no doubt horrible French to ask him the favor. He was eager to help the poor American, and I gave him fifty Euros, after which he pumped fifty Euros and one cent worth of gas into our car. (Amazingly, that exactly filled the tank.) I gave him every compliment in French I could think of, and he smilingly said goodbye.

I ask you, is that rude and unhelpful? (Spoiler alert — no, it is exactly the opposite of rude and unhelpful.)

I’ve posted about this before, but whatever you do to other people is reflected back on to you. In France, we take pains to be polite. French polite. That means always say hello, please, thank you, and goodbye. To everybody. Sounds silly, right?

Not to the fine, friendly, helpful people of France it doesn’t. Votre santé, France!