Jackboots And Apple Pie

Most Americans are spectators in this democracy….I say that because most elections only about 49% of the voting population actually shows up.

But in the last year it seems that this fragile democracy is in danger of falling apart….yes, I am talking about the time from 2016 election to today……nothing happening is encouraging if anything it appears losing ground weekly…..

It can be analyzed back to Pres. Trump……

The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage.

Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues. Trump provides the daily entertainment; the elites handle the business of looting, exploiting and destroying.


I am not alone…..most thinking people, that means people that can count beyond 10 sees problems mounting up….

Democracy is in under siege around the world, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The annual Democracy Index tracks the health of the world’s governments. And the results for 2017 are depressing. In 89 countries, democratic norms look worse than they did last year, the report’s authors write. Just 4.5 percent of the world’s residents live in fully functioning democracies, down from 8.9 percent in 2015.


So far events in government point to a leader that is more concerned about his personal affairs and not those of the country…..a leader that demands loyalty to him and not necessarily the rule of law….BTW this country was founded on the rule of law, in case there was confusion…..a leader who shows affection for authoritarian heads of state…..

It appears that Trump wants to be a dictator…..

It began the day he was sworn in, with his vow to end “American carnage”—a direct echo of his autocratic pronouncement when accepting the Republican nomination that “I alone can fix it.” Donald Trump has chipped away at the pillars of democracy ever since. According to a new report from Freedom House, an independent watchdog group that has monitored democracy globally for decades, “The past year brought further, faster erosion of America’s own democratic standards than at any other time in memory.” The nation’s core institutions, the report says, have been “attacked by an administration that rejects established norms of ethical conduct across many fields of activity.”

In his first year as president, Trump often appeared driven by his urges for self-aggrandizement, self-enrichment, and revenge against anyone and everyone he perceived to be his political enemies—targets to be punched 10 times harder or screwed 15 times harder than they’ve punched or screwed him. He has used the presidential platform to taunt and threaten, going after federal judges, members of Congress, law enforcement leaders, celebrities, professional athletes, private citizens, and, of course, his greatest bête noire: the “Fake News” media, which he has blasted hundreds of times since taking office.


TO political observers nothing about the Trump act seems to be democratic……he desires total control on all aspects of government and even some within the legislative branch are enabling his moves toward authoritarianism.

American democracy is in danger!

That is the tale back when I was a radical wanting to rid ourselves of this system….it is humorous that they saw a danger then but do not see it now…..selective knowledge.

I do not think that our republic will be replaced with some sort of Trumpian mind fuck…..I just see the games being played that can be dangerous to our way of governance.

Did you know that about 1 in 4 Americans would accept authoritarian rule…..

A new survey reveals that although most Americans like to believe they prefer democracy over authoritarian forms of government, the actual content of their convictions can veer precipitously toward authoritarianism.

“If given a direct choice, the overwhelming majority of Americans choose democracy,” writes Lee Drutman, Larry Diamond and Joe Goldman of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group. “In fact, on each of the five questions we asked, three quarters or more of all respondents provide at least some support for democracy, and half or more express support for the strongest pro-democratic option. By contrast, depending on the question, between an eighth and a quarter of respondents provide an answer that does not support democracy.”


A scary thought and turn of our democracy…..we should be careful and watchful….

Could this be the beginning of a 3rd revolution?

Get ready, America. According to a new study on inequality and revolutions throughout history, the United States soon may experience a profound paradigm shift, Inverse reports (with a hat tip to Lee Camp). A team of scientists at Washington State and 13 other institutions conducted the study, and their findings, published in the journal Nature, could have major implications for today’s world.


If accurate which way will it go?

Will the revolution be televised?


Corporal Punishment

A Sunday of lots of rain so the garden is out of the question without a slicker…..but what crops I have planted can use the water….

I’m gonna step back in time……

When I was in high school I was a bit of a trouble maker….I was a member of a group called the Red Tidal Discussion Group…..we protested that our history book was printed in 1942 and not updated….we lead a sit-in in protest of no black history classes and I lived in Mississippi in the 1960’s….enough about my earlier years…needless to say that punishment in those days was a good paddling…or what they call ‘corporal punishment’ these days….I visited “coach” several times for he was our disciplinarian……5 whacks per offense we had to remove our wallets and anything else we had in our pockets so the full impact could be appreciated (sarcasm)…..by my junior year I had lost count of the trips to “Coach”……

I bring this up because of something I read about the students that recently walked out of class to protest the deaths of 17 students in the most recent school shooting…..

I seems that some things die hard in the South….Arkansas will deal out corporal punishment to those students that walked out of class….

Three students were punished for walking out of their Arkansas school Wednesday during the national protest against gun violence, and their punishment is now in the spotlight. Per ArkansasMatters.com, the Greenbrier Public Schools superintendent says the students never gave a heads-up so their school could prep for their demonstration, adding they were disciplined not for exercising their First Amendment rights, but for leaving class. Their choice of punishment, per the super: suspension or getting a parent-OK’d paddling. He wouldn’t say which punishment was selected, but the mom of one student did. On Wednesday, Jerusalem Greer tweeted that the kids “chose corporal punishment,” adding: “This generation is not playing around.” Her revelation soon went viral, with reactions ranging from calls to contact the ACLU to a horrified “Holy hell. Corporal punishment is still a thing in schools?!”

And that’s proven surprising to many, as, yes, many states do still allow it, though the exact number differs (it’s usually said to be 19). The Daily Beast reviewed Greenbrier’s school policy and found it stated physical punishment couldn’t be “excessive, or administered with malice”; an attempt to talk to the school’s assistant principal about the policy was met with a hang-up. Greer’s son, Wylie, told the Daily Beast his two “swats” didn’t hurt or cause any injury. He says he has “the utmost respect for all the adults involved,” as they were “merely doing their job,” though “the idea that violence should be used against someone who was protesting violence as a means to discipline them is appalling,” he noted. (Alabama paddled 19,000 kids in one school year.)


Too bad we cannot use corporal punishment on politicians…kinda like a public flogging….I know where I would bring…..you?

The South hangs on to their institutions from the past…statues and corporal punishment and a simmering racism…..

Bury Me Not

I begin my Sunday watching it rain like cats and dogs….(yeah I know I just stepped in a poodle)……makes for a lazy day…….my granddaughter may stop by and give me the ‘skinny’ on what’s what….

Garden update….my radishes, mixed lettuces and grapes are doing great…..lots of rain and sunshine…..citrus trees in full bloom…..peach and plum trees in bloom also…..has the makings of a good year…..

Bury me not on the lone prairie…..as the song goes……

It appears that Americans are taking the song to heart…..

Visit someone’s home nowadays and you may notice their dead loved one—on a shelf, on the floor, or wherever. “They are in my house,” says Ellen Herman, an LA ad saleswoman, of her deceased parents. “Actually, in my bedroom! In boxes, under a bunch of other shit.” That’s because more Americans are being cremated, a shift that reflects changes in our economic and emotional lives and possibly the environment, Popular Mechanics reports. Back in 1980 only 5% of Americans were cremated; now it’s 50%, partly because the Great Recession drove people away from expensive burials. The crematorium at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, NJ, for example, is burning 25 bodies daily to keep up with demand and pauses only on Sunday. “We just need a day off,” says the cemetery’s president.

In Rosehill’s crematorium, each body is burned in a brick-lined chamber that’s heated to 1,200 degrees; a second chamber then burns off the gas and particulates before it all goes into the atmosphere. Problems do arise in the cremation business, like loved ones slipping in personal items that explode, such as cell phones or even a coconut, the Bolton News reports. Cremation’s popularity has also aroused concerns about emissions and sparked interest in a water-based post-mortem process. Mourners are encountering new emotions, from relief at avoiding a funeral to pain or comfort in taking the ashes home. Many leave the urns on cemetery grounds, but others love having them. “There is no pressure or guilt of having to visit them in a cemetery,” says a woman who took her parents’ remains home. “And they will stay with me until the end of my time.”

I will be cremated…..no need for family members feeling obligated to visit a grave site and then eventually stop altogether and you become a memory only to the grounds keepers that have to mow around your head stone….not for me.

The family can get together and have a send-off for me……a wake if you like….memories presented and a good time for all and I ask no more after that….I already have my obit written on IST held in drafts…all someone has to do is hit “post” and it is over…painless and quick…..


Inequality: How Bad Can It Be?

There has been a lot written, said and thought about inequality in this country, especially with this last election….the populist resurgent has come on the heels of the inequality in the US.

Both Right and Left emphasizes it at every turn…..but is it as bad as they claim it is?

The answer is yes it is and believe it or not kt is worse than you think….

The more the ultra-rich prosper, the less they’re burdened with taxes, the greater the benefits for society as a whole. If you’re familiar with Republican economic theory of the past 40 years, you’ve probably heard this line of reasoning. In fact, just the opposite is true

Take it from the world’s third richest man, Warren Buffett, who recently noted that between 1982 and 2017, “the wealth of the 400 [richest people in America] increased 29-fold—from $93 billion to $2.7 trillion—while many millions of hardworking citizens remained stuck on an economic treadmill. During this period, the tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward.”

The reality is the United States is now home to some of the worst income inequality in the developed world, and thanks to the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this wealth gap will grow exponentially wider.


Few want to believe the tale of the tape…..so inequality continues to grow and as it grows so will the outrage…..eventually that outrage will effect the results of elections….and that outrage will fuel the programs that address the inequality.

But can that outrage eliminate inequality?

I think it can but unfortunately not in my lifetime…..hopefully my granddaughter can see an end to the inequality.


It’s The Second, As Always!

The mass shootings lately, 18 of them so far in 2018, has  Americans yelling and thinking about the 2nd amendment…..this amendment to the Constitution has its uses…..

What about the days of the Founding Fathers, this is where the amendment came from……

In the days since the tragic murder of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, the number of people clamoring for tighter restrictions on the right to purchase or otherwise obtain a firearm crescendos daily, sometimes hourly.

Of course, those familiar with the Second Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America (that is the official name) would never support such tyrannical proposals, particularly those well-versed in the nearly 1,000-year history of the Anglo-American protection of the right of self-defense.

There is an urgent need for Americans to refamiliarize themselves with the wisdom of the Founding Fathers on this topic, as well as the wisdom of those writers whose words inspired and informed our Founders.


So many claim that the 2nd is what keeps our politicians honest….(pause here for laughter)….our reps are just as corrupt with or without the 2nd in place…..with that in mind…….

As the subject of the Second Amendment reenters the public discourse, the question of whether or not the right to keep and bears arms is an effective deterrent against tyranny must be examined. In the days of drones, fighters, and tanks, what good is a semi-automatic rifle? This question is typically posed by those who envision pitched battles between US Army forces and rebels. That isn’t how wars are fought anymore. Any uprising in the United States would be in the form of an insurgency. During an insurgency all of those high tech toys aren’t government assets, they’re insurgent assets. This doesn’t imply US soldiers would defect en masse to the rebels.


I guess goes along with that quote that has been attributed to Jefferson about the tree of Liberty and the watering with blood….or something like that……

(I expect the readership to go up because my more right wing brethren will have lots to say when it comes to the gun thing)


Closing Thought –15Mar18

With these latest shooting there is yet another debate/conversation going on about the state of our mental health problems…..and our new president has shown the value of the social media in the world of politics…..he has illustrated just how one person can lead the conversation in the direction that they desire…..

There is also many stories about how the society is suffering at the hands of social media…..how it feeds some people’s mental illness…..

Since the advent of social media, in the past decade, information about people’s lives has become increasingly accessible in the public sphere. Especially in the past year, new story features in popular social media platforms have allowed people to broadcast their lives to the world in real time, with updates by the second and renewed in a mere 24 hours. On one hand, these changes have allowed society to be more inter-connected than ever and the world has consumed it on a large scale. On the other hand, the broadcasting of our lives in real-time has also caused a worldwide mental health problem.

In the United States, Ashawnty Davis killed herself after a video of her in a schoolyard fight went viral on the app Musical.ly. Davis was just 10 years old. Less than a week later, Rosalie Avila hung herself after receiving abusive online messages. This time, the child was just 13 years old.


It is an international problem……here in the US it is getting out of control…..but is there any way to stop the rise in this mental illness?

TTFN…..gotta bounce…..be well, be safe…..chuq


Day Of Protest

Yesterday was the big day for the students to protest the killings in our schools……

Ten days before a massive rally against gun violence in Washington, DC, students across the country will walk out of school Wednesday to mark one month since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students at elementary schools, high schools, and universities will walk out at 10am local time for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims killed and to call for stricter gun laws, reports USA Today. A website for Empower, the youth branch of the Women’s March, shows more than 3,100 walkouts planned (NBC News has an interactive map to help you find those near you), and not only in the US. Students in Germany, Israel, and Australia, are taking part. Non-students are also encouraged to participate by wearing orange or walking out of their jobs.

Democrats in Congress will do so. They’re expected to join students following a march from the White House to the Capitol, where a haunting memorial was seen Tuesday. Some students will face suspension, per the Los Angeles Times. But “my peers and I feel there is no time more critical than this to make clear that we have had enough of gun violence,” says a senior at University High School in Tucson, Ariz., where students plan to call lawmakers, per USA Today. “For far too long, it has made us feel unsafe in our communities and in our classrooms.” The walkouts are a precursor to the March For Our Lives, expected to draw 500,000 people to Washington on March 24. Thousands more will participate in sister marches. Another walkout is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

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It does this old radical’s heart good to see that someone is decided that civil disobedience is making a comeback after so many years of being dormant.

To all adults….Lead, Follow or GTFO of the way!

The IST seal of approval……