Parental Expectation

I was born in the spring and beloved of my mother.

She had great faith in me, her only child.

She held immense expectations for me, my life, and certain it would be better than hers,

My mother would proudly proclaim, “My Son!”

I was told that I held great potential,

My educators were far less enthusiastic; I was born with a congenital flaw you see.

I began to doubt my dame’s belief in me, along with my own,

nevertheless, life went on.

Achievement was a myth, a cruel lie, never coming to fruition.

Mediocrity was my greatest accomplishment; I reveled in it.

‘Not to be’ became my sad lament.

Then I found myself with a woman and called it_ LOVE.

Today my greatest triumphs are my two daughters.

I am careful not to set the bar too high for them, let it be if it is to be.

The drop is deep and painful when you reach the bottom.

“My daughters!” They are the best of me.

Immigration

Featured image from – Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Immigration is the issue that both Political Parties had hoped to ignore until it went away, well that did not work out, did it. Enter malignant narcissist Donald J Trump and his Right-wing ideologue and anti-immigrant mouthpiece Stephen Miller. Their response to Refugees seeking asylum along the US southern border, “Go away, we do not want you!”

Lovely, this is as inhumane as it gets.

Europe has dealt humanely with the emigrants from the Middle East wars; did the US really think that we would be spared? At some point in the near future, the refugees from civil conflict, war, or climate disruption will overwhelm our border systems with or without a stupid vanity wall.
Perhaps it would be wiser if we dealt with the root causes that are forcing these people out of their homelands instead of vilifying a group of desperate people seeking refuge.
“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.” ~ Louis D. Brandeis
“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
How can someone like Trump and his republican enablers hope to enact immigration reform unilaterally when they have demonstrated a total lack of respect for our existing legal system?
“For years, both political parties have tried — and failed — to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, mindful that someday the government would reach a breaking point.
That moment has arrived. The country is now unable to provide either the necessary humanitarian relief for desperate migrants or even basic controls on the number and nature of who is entering the United States.”
“The U.S. Immigration System May Have Reached a Breaking Point”, :For years, there have been warnings that America’s immigration system was going to fail. That time may be now.”, “The New York Times”, “By Michael D. Shear, Miriam Jordan and Manny Fernandez”, “10 April 2019”. < https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/us/immigration-border-mexico.html >
There is no crisis on our southern border, it is a fabrication created in the mind of a madman.
“National emergency: Is there a crisis on the US-Mexico border?”, “BBC”, “by Micah Luxen, Jessica Lussenhop and Rajini Vaidyanathan”, “15 February 2019”. < https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44319094 >

 

Whom to vote for in 2020?

Yes, I am a Socialist, pure and unadulterated; if I were elected to Congress, I would be in favor of every Progressive initiative so far suggested.

  • Single Payer Health Care because a healthy Nation is a productive one. Check
  • Free College Tuition because our young people are our best resource and profiting off their education is criminal and uncivilized. Check
  • Basic Guaranteed Income because people who are secure are more productive. Check
  • A Green New Deal because destroying our ecosystem is not a viable long or short-term option; it is just stupid. Check

Fortunately, or not, I am not a member of Congress; I am just a little damaged guy with one vote, wondering for whom I should cast that one vote.

 

Murrumph Aeyerrrm, whom to pick? A neo-liberal Democrat retread or one of the shiny new comers? I never heard of Obama, until Oprah introduced him, and he worked out OK!

The question and the major detraction, of course, is “How to pay for it all?” Therefore, should I pick a moral pragmatist instead of a Progressive visionary to battle the Trump? Because that is the overriding criteria, whom can make DJT a one term President?

However, let me ask you this, where would we be if President Roosevelt acted pragmatically during the Great Depression of the 1930’s instead of ethically and with compassion?

The Democrats under FDR spent liberally to pull us back from the brink and still had enough money to successfully fight and win the Second World War. So excuse me if I am mildly dubious of fiscal conservatives crying poor mouth, especially when Republicans, those champions of Deficit Reduction, recently gave $1.3 – $1.9 Trillion in Tax cuts to the wealthiest families and corporations in the US without much concern for incurring hyperinflation.

The US uses a Fiat Currency.

“Fiat money is a currency without intrinsic value that has been established as money, often by government regulation. Fiat money does not have use value, and has value only because a government maintains its value, or because parties engaging in exchange agree on its value.” < Goldberg, Dror (2005). “Famous Myths of “Fiat Money””. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. 37 (5): 957–967. >

 

Whom to vote for in 2020, I still do not know.

A Social Democrat with loads of progressive ideas

OR

A retread middle of the road Democrat? Perhaps one of the newbies possessed of abundant charisma and energy but short on experience?

 

I do not know; thankfully, I have until Tuesday, March 3, 2020 to decide.

< https://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com/2020-presidential-primary-schedule-calendar/ >

 

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

Do we always lose what we love, or is it just me?

Is it part of human nature to lose what one loves or have I just been singled out for this particular curse?

I have observed many happy couples who have overcome life’s vicissitudes and remained pair bonded, or what passes for marital bliss well into their golden years; therefore, I know that it is possible. Unfortunately, for me, if I love it_ I lose it.

“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human- in not having to be just happy or just sad- in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

I loved deeply when I was a younger man a most beautiful young woman and my first real love. I lost her to the malfunctioning of my damaged brain; it would not be the last time that this cruel defect of birth would interfere with my rosy envisioned destiny.

Maybe my destiny is to walk the final miles alone, although, that hardly seems fair. Apparently, there is no justice in this world. It is difficult to process the emotions of loss, strange because you would think that I would be really, really good at it by now but no; it never gets easy. The scars are always fresh, just waiting to be reopened anew.

It Is Complicated

If you have not noticed, people are very complicated. Consistency is not humanity’s best-known trait; although, I have come to value it more as I grow older. Supposedly, in psychology, five factors determine different personality traits. The big five factors are:

  • Openness: appreciation for a variety of experiences.
  • Conscientiousness: planning ahead rather than being spontaneous.
  • Extraversion: being sociable, energetic and talkative.
  • Agreeableness: being kind, sympathetic and happy to help.
  • Neuroticism: inclined to worry or be vulnerable or temperamental.

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, there are sixteen different personality types. It is more likely that an individual will tend toward several different ‘types’ rather than matching only one. Moreover, a person often changes types as they walk, or run, through life’s mysteries. In addition, there is luck, good or bad, yogurt happens.

If you are consistently fortunate and life has smiled on you then it is more likely that others will describe you as possessing positive personality traits, a bonhomie, if you will. e.g. Adventurous, Helpful, Affable, Humble, Capable, Imaginative, Charming, Impartial, Confident, Independent, Conscientious, Keen, Cultured, Meticulous, Dependable, Observant, Discreet, Optimistic, Dutiful, Persistent, Encouraging, Precise, Exuberant, Reliable, Fair, Trusting, Fearless, Valiant, Gregarious.

Alternatively, if your life circumstances have been less kind and you have experienced events that are more negative then you might find your descriptors fall into this other list. Arrogant, Quarrelsome, Boorish, Rude, Bossy, Sarcastic, Conceited, Self-centered, Cowardly, Slovenly, Dishonest, Sneaky, Finicky, Stingy, Impulsive, Sullen, Lazy, Surly, Malicious, Thoughtless, Obnoxious, Unfriendly, Picky, Unruly, Pompous, or Vulgar.

Personally, I believe we could all be described using adjectives from both sets of traits depending upon your life circumstances at the time. If the fluidity of our lives dictates our personality traits then for the Ayn Randian advocates, how much control do we exert over which group of adjectives that others will use to describe us?

What part does luck play in defining our personalities?

I dreamt of meeting my earliest true “girl friend” last night. Never have I experienced such feelings of love for a woman, before or since. We ran into each other in an Airport Terminal. She appeared just as lovely as I remember her, although significantly taller; I guess in my dream reality, she grew after we parted. Growth is a part of life and one would hope that we grow all throughout our lives, in one way or another. I remember thinking upon waking, “what might have been?” My illness began manifesting itself just prior to our breakup, although no one knew it at the time. What would my life story, and subsequently, my personality descriptors have been, had I not had the misfortune of being born with a colloid cyst blocking the Third ventricle in my brain?

My first wife was fond of saying that there is no such thing as luck. She was a fan of self-determination; “you are what you make of yourself.” She is someone whose descriptors would come from the former group of adjectives. I wonder if her belief has changed over the years; however, I am disinclined to seek her out and ask.

Lunch with President Trump

If you could have lunch with the President, what would you ask him?

 

An old man finds himself in a near empty MacDonald’s restaurant, not quite sure why or how he got there. Sitting alone, in a booth at the back of the home of the Happy Meal, is a rather large golden haired man in a business suit.

Clearly recognizable as arguably the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States of America is chowing down on a Big Mac, fries, and a coke.

Seeing this as the opportunity of a lifetime, the old man cautiously approaches the larger man.

“Pardon me Mr. President, I am sorry to disturb your lunch; however, as you are an employee of the Federal Government, my government, I wonder if I could impose upon you to answer a question or two?”

Looking up from his burger, with grease, and special sauce running down the sides of his mouth and dangling from his ample double chin as the old man offered a handful of napkins and locked gaze with the coldest pair of blue eyes he has ever seen, the President said, “Thanks, what do you want to know?”

“Well, some would say that Kim Jong-un has played you like a violin, the North Korean leader received world recognition, a cessation of war Games between the US and South Korea, all without having to give anything up in return. What do you plan to do to make the world safer and fulfill your promise that the Korean peninsula will denuclearize?” The old man inquired, nervously leaning on his walking aid.

Setting down his half-eaten double-cheese burger with pickle slices and special sauce on a sesame seed bun, he irritatingly replied.

“No, no, you have that all wrong! I have made the World safer; the North Koreans have stopped there testing! No missile tests, no nuclear detonations. I have had many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!” [1]

Undaunted and unconvinced, the old man continued. “I beg your pardon Mr. President but did it ever occur to you that the only reason that the North Koreans have ceased their testing, nuclear detonations, and missile firings is because they already have completed development of the weapon systems that they desired and are now simply making more and stockpiling them?

Without a response, the old man moved on to his second question.

“With the enactment of your Tax Reform Bill, America’s budget deficit has ballooned to $779 billion in 2018, as higher spending and stagnating tax revenue pushed the nation’s debt burden higher. How do you propose to offset those disturbing numbers?”

“We will cut wasteful spending and that will eventually put the nation on a sustainable fiscal footing.” The golden haired man confidently replied with hubris and bluster.

“So what you are really telling me that the $1.5 Trillion that has been gifted to large corporations and the wealthy will be paid for by the most vulnerable, by cutting their social safety net programs and you are OK with that?” The old man asked with a more acerbic tone than he would have liked.

“Well, you know, we all have to sacrifice a little to make America great again.” The President said with a diabolical grin stretching across his pouchy face.

“One more question, if you do not mind Mr. President?” Asked the old man sliding onto a seat in the booth across from the man with grease on his chin and feeling a sense of disbelief that this person occupied the highest Office in the land and yet he felt no remorse, no empathy for the agendas and actions for which he was directly responsible.

“There are over 200 children from separated, undocumented immigrant families who remain in US custody, according to what officials have said in a court filing Monday night. Most of the 245 children in custody have parents who were removed from the United States — 175 children, according to the latest government tally. How do you justify what many would call a cruel and inhumane policy?” [3]

With burger still masticating in his mouth, the blond man across the table replied between chews.

“Well, I will say this: If they feel there will be separation, they don’t come. You know, if they feel there’s separation, it’s a — it’s a terrible situation. We want to go through Congress, but the Democrats don’t want to approve anything. They’re obstructionists.

If they feel there’s separation — in many cases, they don’t come. But also, in many cases, you have really bad people coming in and using children.  They’re not their children.  They don’t even know the children.  They haven’t known the children for 20 minutes, and they grab children and they use them to come into our country. You got some really bad people out there.

We’re doing an incredible job. But the one thing I will say: The country is doing so well economically and every other way that more people want to come in than ever before. So we have to be very strong.” So said the leader of the Republican Party and President of the United States of America, the onetime beacon of the Free World.” [4]

“Thank you Mr. President for answering my inquiries. I only have one final question, why have you and your Republican supporters in Congress introduced a series of proposals that they say would replicate the existing protections but really do not. Critics contend none of them covers as many situations as the ACA does. For example, a bill unveiled by several Republican senators in August would require insurers to offer coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, but not require coverage of the conditions themselves.

I mean why lie about it; you have been trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act since you were elected. Therefore, why use subterfuge to achieve your goal, why not simply do the right thing for the American people and do what you promised, give them great healthcare insurance without pre-existing conditions exclusions?” [5]

Again, the only response from the man across the table was silence as the old man searched those vacant blue eyes.

“While we are discussing the Health Care issue, why the falsehoods around ‘Medicare for all’ harming Medicare Advantage programs, it is as if you want to confuse seniors like me! This stuff is difficult enough to comprehend without the Federal Government trying to muddy things up! Just give people a fair and honest deal and perhaps you would not be so vilified.”

“No, you do not understand! The Sander’s version of ‘Medicare for All’ legislation actually abolishes Medicare and Medicare Advantage, as well as employer-provided coverage, union plans and plans people buy for themselves. Every person will be forced into a mandatory, government-run system with the phony name “Medicare for All.” Whether you want it or not. The quality of your medical care will plummet.” Railed a red faced visually perturbed Trump.

“Well, let us just go to the source and check the facts of that statement, shall we? The Sanders plan plan would create a federally administered single-payer health care program. Universal single-payer health care means comprehensive coverage for all Americans. Bernie’s plan will cover the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments. Patients will be able to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network and will be able to get the care they need without having to read any fine print or trying to figure out how they can afford the out-of-pocket costs.” [6]

You and your unified republican government have botched the sixty-five year truce that has kept the peace on the Korean peninsula and allowed North Korea to successfully develop nuclear weapons, blown-up the deficit to a new high with a tax scam that has benefited no one except the one percent, avoided taking responsibility for the most heinous treatment of innocent refugees that the civilized world has witnessed since the 1940’s. Your economic policies are a rehash of the failed trickle down economic policies from thirty years ago; they are a swindle, and a fraud. As for your international policies, you have single handedly made the world a more dangerous place. You have alienated our allies, abandoned our best hope of mitigating the damage caused by anthropogenic climate disruption, the Paris Accords. Not to mention scraped the functioning Iran Nuclear Deal for no other reason than because your predecessor negotiated it. Your unified republican government has destabilized a functioning healthcare insurance program for millions of American Citizens and cast aspersions on their best chance for a single payer system that would benefit us all. In my opinion you are an epic failure!

You would do better to choke on that Big Mac or have it clog your arteries and succumb to a heart attack.

I will be voting this November but not for any member of your Party! In addition, I believe many people will vote along with me but not for Republicans.” So concluded the old man’s soliloquy.

Like magic, the old man found himself back in his humble apartment facing another lonely, repetitive day. As for President Trump, he continued with his lunch alone, putting the recent conversation out of his mind, and assuming incorrectly that his regime would just continue doing what he wants without the repercussions that result from abuse of Executive power.

 

References:

[1] “Trump brags in tweet that he saved us from war with North Korea”, “Amid reports North Korea isn’t going along with denuclearization, Trump wants everyone to thank him for not being at war.”, “By Emily Stewart”, “03 July 2018”. < https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/3/17530456/north-korea-upgrading-nuclear-trump-war >

[2] “Deficit balloons to $779 billion in Trump’s second year”, “The Washington Post”, “By Jeff Stein”, “15 October 2018”. < https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/10/15/deficit-balloons-billion-trumps-second-year >

[3] “More than 200 children from separated immigrant families remain in US custody”, “CNN”, “By Catherine E. Shoichet”, “16 October 2018”. < https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/15/politics/separated-families-reunification-update-undocumented-immigrant/index.html >

[4] “Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure”, “IMMIGRATION”, “White House Press Briefings”, “13 October 2018”, < https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-marine-one-departure-16/ >

[5] “FACT CHECK: Who’s Right About Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions?”, “NPR”, “By Julia Rovner”, “11 October 2018”. < https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/11/656503264/fact-check-whos-right-about-protections-for-pre-existing-conditions >

  [6] “Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind”. < https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/   >

Manage your adult children before they manage you.

I do not plan to live long enough to require professional nursing care; actually, I plan not to. However, one must take into consideration the benevolent intervention from loved ones who may feel differently regarding your end of life choices.

Have an exit strategy; because once you are under the purview of medical professionals, making decisions for yourself becomes nearly impossible. It does not look good on the change of shift report that so-and-so died of not so natural causes. The resulting paperwork alone is enough to keep the nursing staff’s eyes laser focused on any resident with a mind of their own.

Nursing facilities are known for assisted living, not for assisted passings.

My youngest daughter, who has always looked after her aging, damaged dad with dutiful diligence bordering on the authoritarian, has advised me that she plans to visit in the near future to “tidy up a bit.” The precursor to this upcoming domestic intervention was a visit by Julia and her spousal unit, Nick, the day they took me to purchase my new chair. We had to rearrange some of my living room furniture, the big items that I am unable to move on my own. Julia was aghast that her father lived like a meshugenah, surrounded by stacks of books, and innumerable tchotchkes.

Now, I am not a very meticulous housekeeper, cleaning is least among my daily living concerns, and I focus what cleaning proclivities I do have on personal hygiene, cooking area, felis catus, vacuuming, and laundry. I do make my bed each morning, something I take as a necessary awakening ritual, like coffee, the day just cannot start unless the bed is made. As for the rest of my apartment, it more closely resembles the domicile of some half-mad book hoarder who is more comfortable surrounded by chaos than someone concerned with order or efficiency but I know where everything of importance resides.

As a child, I recall my father often reciting “a place for everything and everything in its place,” I guess that was one of the many lessons I ignored or forgot and I forgot a lot.

I fear that I may have shocked my daughter, who apparently lives according to the rule, “cleanliness is next to godliness,” another victim of the vagaries and vicissitudes of time; however, I am unable to just drop in and check the veracity of that assumption.

On the other hand, I do love my daughter and do not wish to see her upset due to my aberrant lifestyle; therefore, I must manage-up so that I can remain free to live out my life for as long as I deem necessary or it worthwhile.  Therefore, I have engaged in pre-emptive spring-cleaning in preparation for her visit as distasteful as cleaning is, I will do what I must to ensure that I can range free.

“Certainly it hurts, “The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.” ~ T.E. Lawrence; therefore, I will clean adequately to prove my stamina, while leaving just enough detritus so that my progeny will feel satisfied that she has fulfilled her familial duty.

This minor subterfuge is lovingly meant and since my daughters do not subscribe to this blog nor do they follow me on Facebook or belong to either of my groups they will remain blissfully ignorant of my sly machination.