Well everyone, today is the last day of 2020, and I have to say Thank GOD it is finally coming to a close. This has been a tough year for virtually everyone*, and for some people it has been just horrific. Kelly and I have managed to make it through the year without getting COVID (at least as far as we know) and we are both still employed**. But we did lose one of our beloved fur-kids – our little Thumbelina: the princess; the Khaleesi; the mighty little Emperox of our universe. We miss her and still often think about her.
We have been waiting four long years for this day to arrive. Frankly, I am so nervous about the whole thing that I had trouble sleeping last night (as I knew I would). Good thing I have today and tomorrow off from work.
Today, October 7th, is the 57th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty, officially known as the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water.
Considering how dangerously close we had gotten to World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis the previous October, this treaty was a long step towards a permanent solution to the dangers of nuclear war. I am old enough to remember the last few times we really had to worry about nuclear war, like back in 1983. That was the year the TV movie “The Day After” came out, and also happened to be the year we had a couple of close calls of which the American public was blissfully unaware.
Yes. Yes they did.
One of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution was fought on the Field of Logan (as it used to be called) in July 1775 between Massachusetts militia and two British army regiments: The Royal Regiment of Foot, Light or ROFL Regiment; and the Western Tottenham Regiment of Foot, or WTF Regiment. They were supported by a battery of artillery known as the Twickenham and Sussex Artillery, or the TSA.
T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, especially not a mouse.
The children were snoring all snug in our bed,
And I killed time as sermon number two was said.
Geoff read his history book in the loft,
After the last high notes of the night, I coughed.
We stumbled on home as the clock struck three,
And were greeted by Dash who needed to pee.
After feeding each dog and both of the cats,
We took off our coats, shoes, and hats.
With dawn fast approaching we took to our bed,
With visions of sleeping late stuck in our heads.
When in the back yard there arose such a clatter,
Dash sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
A dachshund stampede that was gone in a flash,
I groaned, shook my head, and then muttered “DASH!”
The moon couldn’t shine off of non-existent snow
(No White Christmas for us this year as you know),
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a flying sleigh, and nine panting reindeer.
My first thought was that I must be sick,
“There’s no way that I could be seeing St. Nick!”
More rapid than eagles his nine reindeer came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN!
And RUDOLPH! Keep that nose of yours shining with light!
There’ll be no mid-air sleigh collisions tonight!”
As a ball when it meets Teddy Ballgame would fly,
The reindeer and sleigh fiercely arced through the sky,
And up to the house-top the reindeer they flew,
And suddenly I wondered what Santa would do.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The pounding and scratching of each reindeer hoof.
I wondered whether Santa had already found,
That we have no chimney! And two small loud hounds!
I blinked to be sure of what I was seeing
When I realized that, yep, Rudolph was peeing.
Santa hopped out of the sleigh and dusted his clothes,
He strode across the yard like someone who knows.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all dirty with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had crammed in a sack,
He looked like Mall Santa, coffee break over, heading back.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He laughed as he kicked off melting ice and slush,
“Good God,” I said, “Santa Claus is a lush.”
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
So naturally we started to hear a loud screech.
“The smoke alarm! Where’s the stepladder to reach?”
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
Not anything like that creepy one on the shelf;
Then I saw he had another bag, packed full of coal,
And I wondered where he’d found it at the North Pole.
He saw the look on my face, and he smiled as he said
“Don’t worry, there’s no reason for you to feel dread.
That coal’s for the White House, they’ve all been quite bad,
Ivanka, Jr., Eric, and ESPECIALLY their dad!”
“But Santa,” I said, “do you have anything more?
Robert Mueller works very hard on this terrible chore.”
He chuckled and said in his cheery slurred speech,
“Fear not, they’ve got all that they need to impeach!”
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
They flew low and away, to avoid any missiles.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL*, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!”
*Except certain people in DC.
There has been much discussion lately about whether or not the left should try to maintain some level of civility in these difficult times. I can’t speak for everyone, but in my own mind, I don’t think there is any point to trying to be civil to a bunch of people who themselves stopped being civil long ago. The editorial board of the Washington Post does not agree, and they are apparently clutching their pearls so tightly that they have cut off circulation to their brain.
“We nonetheless would argue that Ms. Huckabee, and Ms. Nielsen and Mr. Miller, too, should be allowed to eat dinner in peace. Those who are insisting that we are in a special moment justifying incivility should think for a moment how many Americans might find their own special moment. How hard is it to imagine, for example, people who strongly believe that abortion is murder deciding that judges or other officials who protect abortion rights should not be able to live peaceably with their families?”
I would laugh, except this level of stupidity in one of the supposed flagship newspapers of our era actually makes me want to sob uncontrollably. Um… news flash, geniuses: those people have not been left in peace for, let’s see, several decades. In fact, they have been bombed and shot and stabbed and otherwise terrorized in every meaning of that word. John Salvi killed two people and wounded five right here in the Boston area back in 1994.
It’s like with Trump supporters. When have they ever been civil, honestly? They relish being offensive. It’s one of the things they LOVE about Trump.
In case you can’t read it, that woman’s shirt says “Fuck your feelings”. Because civility.
There are times when you can have a reasoned discussion with people who disagree with you. But we are talking about white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers here. Oh, sure, maybe there are some Trump supporters who say they aren’t racist. Maybe, but racism is definitely present in spades among Trumpers, and they are more than willing to put up with a lot of open racism in their ranks, not to mention all the racist garbage spewing from Trump himself and the White House. And that makes them complicit, or indifferent to evil at best.
But unless and until that happens, millions and millions of Americans watch helplessly as the president cages children, dehumanizes immigrants, spurns other democracies, guts health care protections, uses his office to enrich himself and turns public life into a deranged phantasmagoria with his incontinent flood of lies. The civility police might point out that many conservatives hated Obama just as much, but that only demonstrates the limits of content-neutral analysis. The right’s revulsion against a black president targeted by birther conspiracy theories is not the same as the left’s revulsion against a racist president who spread birther conspiracy theories.
Yes, exactly. This is NOT a case of “both sides do it.” The right’s criticism that Hillary Clinton and other Democrats are secretly running a pedophile sex ring out of a pizza place IS NOT the same as the belief that Democrats have about President Trump using his office to enrich his family and himself, or that the Russians helped Trump get elected. So trying to pretend that “both sides do it” is a big reason why we are in this awful place to begin with. As screwed up as they are, the Democrats don’t hold a candle to the vicious insanity of the Republican party these days. It’s like trying to point out that both sides are bad because one was caught jaywalking and shoplifting and the other has a basement full of human skins. Um, no, one is WAY worse than the other, and anyone with more than a handful of brain cells to rub together should be able to see that. I saw the writing on the wall years ago. It’s why I left the GOP more than 20 years ago and haven’t looked back. It’s only gotten worse since then.
So no, I am not going to be civil to these people, not as long as they continue to disregard the essential humanity of immigrants, and gays, and Muslims, and Jews, and everyone else they hate. I will treat them with the contempt they richly deserve. It’s far better than the treatment we can expect from them, at any rate. A lot of them want a second Civil War, or at least a chance to use those guns they have been hoarding. All we want is equality and justice.
Around the same time our “Stable Genius” leader was tweeting about the size of his “nuclear button” like he was a high school freshman, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they are going to hold a session on January 16th about teaching federal, state, and local first responders how to “prepare for a nuclear detonation”. Both Guam and Hawaii have been more focused on nuclear threats in recent weeks and months, as both places are likely within the range of ballistic missiles from North Korea.
As anyone who knows me well already knows, I am half Portuguese on my father’s side. His family came from the Azores, and as it turns out we also have converted Portuguese Sephardic Jews on his mother’s side of the family. Anyway, I have always loved Portuguese cuisine, and as I have gotten older I have come to appreciate Portuguese culture and history a lot more. Kelly and I originally planned to visit Portugal and France (my mother’s family is French-Canadian) on our honeymoon, but circumstances and finances prevented it. Perhaps one day we will get to go. I hope so.
Anyway, recently the Netherlands released a tourism promotional video that poked a lot of fun at our new President. It’s easier if you see it rather than me try to explain what they did. But it is hilarious. See the original below.