Back in Socal with plenty of time to read this morning as I woke up on eastern time. Article after article, it’s all about politicians fighting divisive culture wars, fighting each other and wallowing in corruption. It’s become clear that the political class is completely lost – they no longer care about representing us, the electorate. They care about getting re-elected and gaining personal wealth and power. With very few exceptions, they represent corporations, not private citizens.
So here’s an idea. Rather than deal with the miles-wide political divide of red versus blue, let’s start an organization dedicated to refocusing all politicians, red and blue, on what really matters. Governance. Budgets. Health and safety of citizens. Education. Infrastructure projects to improve living conditions everywhere. The stuff that can make US citizen’s lives better.
We could borrow Woody Harrelson’s SNL term and call it the Purple Party (don’t love it, but I’ll have to think for a while to come up with something better). The party’s platform would be:
Term limits for all political offices, elected or appointed
Repeal of SCOTUS’s Citizen’s United decision – corporations are NOT people, and shouldn’t have the same rights
Legislation blocking Congress from stock trading while in office
Legislation to restructure or get rid of political action committees (PACs), the endless piggy bank of career politicians
Those four actions would go a long way towards reversing the course we’re on. The Purple Party will stay away from cultural trigger issues like abortion and gun control. It will focus on the single goal of making our “representatives” accountable and replaceable. Today they are neither.
Yesterday was a very fine day. Time with the boys in the morning, then took a trip to Simpsonville to reconcile with some relatives I haven’t seen in a while. There was a falling out over social media (not involving me) 3-4 years ago, and we didn’t see each other for a few months. Then a year. Then…a few years. It adds up. But I gave warning and then showed up with gift treats from Blue Dog. We had a great day, a nice no-fault reconciliation, and I pitched in and helped build a new horse corral. Just proves again how toxic social media can be. And the power of forgiving.
After the corral work, we watched an amazing UK game versus Auburn. Kentucky won by 30, and could have won by 50 if they had kept the starters in. This team is a mystery – often they are hapless, and occasionally they look like national champs. Yesterday was one of those “looked like champs” days. I should stop analyzing them and just enjoy the wins.
Right after the UK game we saw a replay of the incredible AZ-AZ St game finish, in which an AZ St player hit a 60 foot shot with no time left to win the game. One of the best shots I’ve ever seen – it was pure.
For the icing on the cake, I woke up yesterday with a good idea for a novel. The basic theme is “consciousness”, that hard to define thing that gives us volition and agency, but it will go a lot of places from there. I’m excited enough about it to start outlining it immediately.
Have to say, I’m not loving the way things are shaping up in global geopolitics and war.
After Biden’s visit, the US and NATO are all in supporting Ukraine against Russia. Now China has decided to back Russia with weapons, drones, and who knows what else. So instead of the US fighting Russia by proxy, we’re now fighting both Russia and China by proxy.
That sounds a bit like WW3.
I don’t understand why China would support Russia, but then I’m not a geopolitics expert. If China would just stay neutral, or even better join the US and NATO in this conflict (unlikely), Russia could be taken off the table as a world power and China would have free run over western Asia. But they apparently don’t see it like that.
So while the US Republican party is busy fighting culture wars against diversity, public education, science, woke-ism and gender pronouns, WW3 is beginning. May be beginning. This is something I would prefer not to see in my lifetime, or even my grandkids’ lifetime. Unleashing the destructive military power of US and China on each other would be a disaster. And if the war were brought to our respective shores…tough times. Tough times that the US population isn’t ready for.
It’s a colored animal day. Breakfast quiche at Blue Dog this morning. Then a great bowl of burgoo at Red Hog for lunch.
The temperature dropped 40 degrees overnight. All the Louisville flowering trees that have bloomed early – some redbud, magnolia trees, flowering crab apples – are in for a shock. Not to mention the people. Shorts yesterday, heavy coats today.
Another day and another happy case of UK winning a must-win game, this time in Florida. The Cats were schizoid, playing great for stretches and then collapsing – three or four cycles of this. Fortunately we ended the game on an up cycle and came away with a W. Saw something I’d never seen before – a Florida fan grabbed a UK player on the sidelines and briefly kept him from returning to the court. The fan and two henchmen were removed from the arena, but still…damn. People have no shame these days.
For a lot of the morning each day this week I’ve had my TV tuned to the Friends of the Big Bear Valley eagle-cam, watching two bald eagles patiently hatching an egg in some of the worst conditions you can imagine. High winds and snow, 120 feet up in a Jeffrey Pine. The same storm that’s dropping rain on our Fallbrook home is piling snow on at Big Bear, elevation 6752 feet. It’s calming and fascinating. The eggs are due to hatch any day now. We camped at Big Bear Lake a couple of years ago, and it’s a magnificent setting, once you get out of the ski area downtown clutter. The eagles picked a good spot to live.
Getting ready for college classes in West Virginia:
My childhood church cult is staying true to form – keeping women in their place. How can an institution like this thrive in 2023? The answer – it’s really hard to get past the childhood indoctrination. Things you’re taught as a completely impressionable 5-12 year old stick with you. My parents had good intentions, but did me no favors with brainwashing sessions three days a week.
I’ll say this. This kind of patriarchal, tribal, ten-commandments-touting organization is good for some folks. It’s better than the life of drugs and violence they might lead on their own, without guidance and guardrails. And for those who truly *believe*, well, good for them. But let’s try and bring those beliefs into the 21st century. Any religion treating women as second class citizens isn’t much (any?) different than Islam, which treats women as property – something to own and control, with no real agency. As a man with a daughter, I find that despicable.
Speaking of conservative patriarchal authoritarians, how about The Speaker of the House giving thousands of hours of sensitive videos to Tucker Carlson and Faux News? Unethical, check. Treasonous, check. Dangerously stupid, check. Having anything to do with governing – nope.
I had some time to kill so I decided to go out for a nice lunch. I could have gone anywhere in Louisville, and I chose Cask Southern Kitchen. I had read recently about it being one of the gems of Louisville cuisine, and I’ve had some decent meals there in the past. So I decided to see if they had upped their game.
In a word, nope. I was really disappointed in them. I chose their buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with fries based on the server’s recommendation. I *do* like chicken sandwiches. I also got a starter of their grit fritters.
The service wasn’t bad. But the food was really poor. The grit fritters tasted OK, but they were cool and mushy. Supposedly deep fried. The chicken sandwich was just OK – well cooked, good bun, but no seasoning and on the small side. I could’ve gotten a much better sandwich at Joella’s.
The deal breaker was the french fries. They were cold (OK, maybe cool) and stale, as if they were leftover from yesterday. I let the server know. But for me that’s a cardinal sin – fries should be the best part of the meal, and these were…just bad.
All in, a disappointing lunch. I won’t be back to Cask for a while.
It’s been a nice long weekend in KY – good weather, time with family and plenty of time with the grandsons. Time zone fatigue (CA, then Mexico, then CA, then KY in 2-3 weeks) and my clean living lifestyle have led to (very) poor sleeping, but what the hell. The old saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” may apply.
Meanwhile, out in the world things are flying apart. More natural disasters (Turkey), an unnatural disaster (Ohio), more mass shootings (US), and now Russia is ready to strike back after Biden visited Ukraine and gave Russia the finger. In response Russia just announced they’re exiting the nuclear arms treaty with the US – a symbolic measure, but definitely a message being sent. “Remember, we have nukes and are just crazy enough to use them”, or something to that effect. Combine that with our commitment to keep sending weapons to Ukraine as long as it takes, and it becomes clear that we’re in an escalating proxy war with Russia. Sixty years after my gradeschool classmates and I were scared shitless by having to hunker under our tiny desks just in case Russia dropped a nuke on us, it’s finally happened. This time I’ll need a bigger desk.
All this wonderful news plus insomnia have created a feeling of general malaise, an ever-present thought that “things aren’t right”. It doesn’t help that there’s absolutely nothing one can do about most of this. It’s probably time to hunker down and stop worrying about the world at large, and just focus on being healthy and happy(er). Easier said than done.
First day back in Louisville was a hit! Lots of fun time with the grandsons, then got to watch a *huge* UK win against TN this afternoon with M&D. After that a nice meal with the whole gang down in Butchertown. What a day.