Something different, I know. A Different Kind of Weather just sort of came out of nowhere, wrote it up over an afternoon. Thinking about Love, all the varieties of Love out there these days. And maybe they always have been out there. Maybe it was too hard to see for all the hate pushing it down, forcing it out of sight, out of mind. I’ve been thinking about what these varieties mean to all of us, what it takes to make Love work. The essence of ‘who am I’ and ‘why shouldn’t I embrace my true self?’ About our differences, and how they bind us one to another. How we’re stronger when we hold on to that one essential truth. How important it is for all of us to hold onto that thought in an age of Hate.
Had a fun discussion about sundresses here last Friday night, about God and Springer Spaniels too, but I’m still not quite sure what a sundress is.
Anyway, I had someone ask why I shut down comments over at Lit a few weeks ago. A stream of nasty comments concerning my lineage, something about female dogs and rabies, and how those relate to my beliefs re: climate change and, of course, not loving Herr Drumpf. Nothing about the stories that person had, presumably, read – just a whole lot of Hate. Then he/she went to all my stories posted over there and started posting the same garbage. Sorry, not playing that game. Not when the truth is staring me in the face. That person’s belief’s are his own business, but I’m not going to spend hours ferreting out his Hate. So, sorry folks. I’m getting too old to deal with juvenile delinquents. Spent enough of my life doing that, and you have to know when to say enough’s enough.
Enough said. Though I have turned comments on for ‘a different kind of weather’ – so I’ll watch when it posts, and go from there.
Wild emotions about climate change seem to be ‘in the air tonight,’ yet almost everywhere I turn I feel a kind of biological ‘false spring’ – as if climate change is sneaking up from behind, kind of like a fast train looming in the night. Record warmth up here for three weeks, snow almost gone – two months early. A massive winter storm due to hit earlier this week simply dissipated, the atmosphere too warm. Lift tickets at Steamboat discounted from 120 to 50, in a mad race to get skiers up on the slush before the grass pokes through what’s left of the snow – which is now almost gone – and a month early. And as we seem to be spiraling down the ethical drain these days, shouting and yelling at each other as we go, perhaps going down with a smile on our face isn’t such a bad idea. For some reason I think Kunstler’s assertion, that the biggest growth industries in America are tattoo parlors and weight loss clinics, may not be a joke after all. Well, the joke may turn out to be on all of us, so why don’t we all run out and get tattoos this week? I’m thinking a Global Warming Is A Chinese Hoax tattoo is in order? How about you? Up for it?
And so, assuming no tattoo this week, are you up for a little fake gnews instead? Some alternative facts to go with your latte and Cheerios this morning? Well, good…
But first, let’s play “What’s in a picture?”
So, you ready for some real fun? Okay! Let’s play!
Meet Angela Merkel. Arguably the leader of the free world these days. Look at the expression on Angela Merkel’s face. Closely. No, no, closer than that. Now, let’s play ‘What’s in a picture!’
Angela is listening to a prominent German-American, whose father got his start running whore houses in America (hey, so did Wyatt Earp, so cut the man some slack!) but I’ve been trying to figure out that expression on her face for days now. Has the prominent German-American: 1) just groped her hee-haw; 2) has he just said she gives great, well, no, let’s not go there; or 3) has he just dropped a small fury rodent down the back of her dress?
Honestly, the longer you stare at her eyes, the more you see. Like fright, maybe? Or revulsion? Pure disbelief that he said what he said? So, you look at Angela some more, then you tell me what that expression means, would you? Really…fire away, cause I’m still, well, groping (for an answer).
Sorry, really I am.
And for chrissakes, look at that man’s haircut, would you? I’ve only seen that haircut once before in the last sixty some odd years, on a plumber I used to know back in the day, a guy named Norm. Good plumber, too. Bad haircut, but a good plumber.
And is it just me, or does Angela look like your grandmother, too? All I know is I love her, like I wish I loved him.
So, on to the GNEWS.
(would you trust this man to give you a prostate exam?)
(links are highlighted in blue, click to go to articles mentioned)
I’m sure you think about what goes on in America’s prisons almost all the time (I mean, like, dude, who doesn’t?) but some of the things that happen there, done in your name, if you know what I mean, ought to open your eyes, maybe even more than just a little.
Of course, you can count on The Onion for a different take on things. NY/O
Referring to the ACHA as “insane, cruel and reckless,” late night hosts had fun this week with Paul Ryan & Co – and all the other alternative facts emerging from deep inside the bowels of Trumptopia. Talking about Herr Drumpf , Trevor Noah said: “He’s like a Kardashian robbery inside a white Bronco chase inside a missing Malaysian airlines flight,” which, I think, nicely sums up the current zeitgeist. (MUG)
Ever wonder what ‘end stage capitalism’ might look like. The world we seem to be flirting with, like a proctoscope at the beginning of an endless colonoscopy? Well, here’s a bracing look at such a brave new world. (NY)
What about healthcare? Why is it that countries with socialized, single-payer systems tend to rank highest on ‘Happiness’ indices around the world. Could it be that by looking at healthcare as an investment, instead of a liability, we might see better long term outcomes? As I’ve mentioned, a friend from Oz wrote me of his recent experience with what would be a crippling medical cost in America, even with insurance. His total cost: A$7.50, which was the cost to park his car at the hospital. Over here, my guess is the cost would be around a half million bucks, with anywhere from 80 to 100% covered after out of pocket costs are deducted, so that could potentially be really crippling. Coverage under the Republican plan would have been far worse, one assumes, if CBO estimates were even close. But then again, the Republican plan was always about stealing from the poor and giving to the ultra-rich – one more time, but that’s been their shell game since ’80s. Cut Federal taxes! Then shift the burden onto state and local governments. Always the same grift, isn’t it? Smoke and mirrors…when will we learn? And the hard core conservative Freedom Caucus wanted to do away with maternity care, as well as pre and post natal care? You talk about a sure recipe for extinction…Keep it up guys, really. You just might lose 200 seats is congress next year. Go Team Go! (NY)
With the demise, for now, of the AHCA, Trump has said the immediate way forward is to let the ACA collapse, destroy itself. But really, just how responsible is that? Given that crucial provisions of the original ACA were gutted by Rubio and Cruz, provisions that would have allowed losses accrued by insurance companies some form of immediate compensation – and that would have kept the exchanges strong – you have to wonder, what else can Republicans do to kill poor people? I’m sure they’ll think of something, but for God’s sake, why? To see how many more people they can kill? What are they trying to prove at this point, other than that they simply do not know how to govern – unless governing means cutting taxes for billionaires and letting everyone else fend for themselves? Yeah, baby, that’s freedom! Drill, baby, drill!
“In 2015, Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton made global headlines after documenting a shocking rise in the proportion of white Americans dying in middle age.” Wait, there’s more, and it’s an eye opener. (Brookings)
The “Halo Effect” and the rise of right wing populism in Germany? Not heard of that? Here’s an article you can’t afford to miss. Think Indiana or Iowa while you read this one with your morning Joe, and try not to look over your shoulder after… NYT
Along similar lines, why do evangelical Christians support Trump in such strong numbers? It flies in the face of conventional reasoning, after all, what with him being the pussy-groper-in-chief in search of a Russian golden shower. Well, here’s a more than plausible explanation. (MUG)
Ah, Trump Tower. Could it have been targeted for surveillance because a bunch of money laundering Russian mobsters lease space there? Heaven forbid…(DK)
Are you beginning to wonder about the moral fiber of Republicans? Don’t bother, just read this one from Slate for a handy run down of, well, you’ll see. (S)
Trump’s poll numbers dropping? A growing number of Americans think he’s simply a liar? No, tell me it ain’t so! (S)
From The Handwriting On The Wall Department: an inside look at how billionaires are prepping for the future. Admit it! You want one too! (CNN)
And, for a truly Different Kind of Weather, let’s look at the Sun:
“A large canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet. Estimated time of arrival: 2 to 3 days from now. This has prompted NOAA forecasters to issue a geomagnetic storm watch for March 28th when storm levels could reach category G2–that is, moderately strong. Auroras could descend from the Arctic Circle to northern-tier US states from New York to Wisconsin to Washington. Visit Spaceweather.com to learn more about the incoming solar wind stream and what makes it so potent.”
(meet Bonzo, the hair apparent)
I’ll let Kunstler have the last word today, about RussiaGate and the coming Trump-apocalypse. He’s always so entertaining, always worth doubling up on your Prozac for. (CFN)
Oh well, been there, done that, so happy reading and we’ll see y’all around the campfire. Oh, and a just a reminder…the only thing you get from sitting on fences is a pain in the, oh, well, you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Later, AL