Friday, May 27, 2016

The 2016 American Presidential Contest: The Ugly American vs. Liar, Liar, Pantsuit on Fire

So Donald Trump apparently has enough delegates now to claim the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot.

Given the choices that now face Americans in November, it is only a matter of time before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises his fellow citizens that he will build a wall and make the Americans pay for it.

Since the twilight years of Og the Caveman it has been normal for older folks to look back on the world of their youth as a Golden Age... and the current world as an Age of Brass. Or worse.

Somehow, humanity has progressed despite the misgivings of all the aging old farts telling wistful tales of Glory Days.

But now?


From one perspective, and perhaps only this one, I should be pleased: I'm as good as any of the Sunday morning talking heads who reassured their viewers that Donald Trump was a fraud, a fiction, a media-fueled farce. Youngest Son would ask questions about whether, maybe, possibly, there might be more to it than that, and I would start humming the "Entrance of the Gladiators" (Julius Fučík, Op. 68 -- and you would not believe how long it took me to look that up) -- you know, the circus theme song -- and I would say something stupid like who cares about the Russians conquering eastern Ukraine when the circus is in town?

Not Donald Trump. But
there is a resemblance.
I mean, Trump had to be a clown, right? Just look at the hair.

I don't fall for conspiracy theories easily. But for the longest time I was willing to believe that Hillary Clinton was behind the whole Donald Trump phenomenon; that she put him into motion with a mission to fatally undermine the eventual Republican nominee.

And now...?

The Talking Heads are certain that Hillary will win in a walkover because (a) she's a woman and (b) Donald Trump. I don't know what to think anymore. Except, maybe, it's a good thing I'm getting old because I won't have long to live in the grave new world either candidate will create if victorious.

My kids, and not a few of my contemporaries, accuse me of being to the Right of Attila the Hun. But I purposely and proudly voted for Bernie Sanders and his delegates in the Illinois primary this past March. My parents were probably rotating freely in their graves. Sure, Bernie's a Socialist. But he has some principles, even if I disagree with many of them (and not all of them, believe me). I am convinced that Hillary has no principles. She has only an unwavering dedication to her ascension to the White House -- derailed for eight years by the upstart Obama, but that's inconsequential now -- the Reckoning draws nigh.

The email scandal should have been long fatal to her hopes. How incredibly self-centered can one be to imperil the nation's greatest secrets for the sake of personal convenience? But no fact, no collection of facts, no accumulation of facts can deter Hillary from her Message. Or her selfish Mission.

I'm a discerning news connoisseur. I may read something about Hillary's potential legal troubles on Judicial Watch or a Fox News site -- but I consider the source. But, kids, the stuff that's being published in the Washington Post these days -- the Washington Post! -- is getting absolutely damning.

I still think she'll avoid being indicted -- but, then, I thought no one would vote for Trump either.

And I'm starting to think that if she's indicted, she will continue to run, and if she can't get the charges dismissed, she will still continue to run. And she might win even with a criminal trial looming over her head. After all, Donald Trump! And then she can simply pardon herself when she's elected.

On the other hand, Donald Trump!

I hope I can get into Canada before Trudeau seals up his Wall.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Curmudgeon's Laws -- dental edition

Some years ago, I suggested some "laws" I'd derived over the course of many years' experience. I further suggested they might be universal and they may still be.

They were not, however, viral, and I continue to labor in perpetual obscurity.

Which may not be entirely bad -- if I ever get back to posting regularly.

Anyway, this was the original list of Curmudgeon's Laws:
  1. These laws will never be more popular or well known than Murphy's.
  2. The farther away one gets from a problem, the easier the problem is to solve. (This is why, for example, bloggers and presidential candidates know exactly what to do about the budget, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, immigration,etc., etc., etc. and why presidents seem to have such a difficult time of it. This is also why I can solve every problem but those on my own plate.)
  3. You can't do anything without doing three other things first.
  4. By the time you've done the three other things, you will most likely forget what you set out to do in the first place. (This is why you often feel as if you've worked hard all day and have still done nothing.)
  5. The piece of paper that you had in your hand five minutes ago and that you need right now will invariably be impossible to find.
I subsequently added to the list with these winners --
6. It costs more to be poor in America than it does to be rich.
7. Expenses do not follow when income fails. (Originally, I said that "Expenses do not fall easily when income drops," but this sounds more pithy and Poor Man's Almanac-esque. Anyway, it's my blog and I can edit if I want to.)
To this perhaps not-nearly-so-distinguished-list-as-I-imagine I add the following:
8. If you have a dentist's appointment tomorrow, someone will offer you popcorn today.
I don't have to tell you that this is an offer you must refuse, right? Dental hygienists are, for the most part, lovely people. But they work with sharp, pointed objects and they can, and probably will, make you pay in a million ways for your pre-appointment popcorn consumption.

And there's no insurance in the world that will cover it.