Time for a Women’s Strike

Women have been aware of their secret weapon for centuries. But they haven’t been mad enough to use it. Until now.

The hidden truth is that women do the bulk of the world’s work. And provide the bulk of men’s entertainment.

They are expected to do all the things Peggy Lee sang about (but I bet she didn’t do) while keeping their girlish figure and a sublimely cheerful disposition.

They are bullied into being selfless and supportive. They are overworked and underpaid.  Scrutinized and criticized. Always falling short of the absurd expectations imposed on them.

And, on top of all that, they are harassed at work by men like Donald Trump. Obliged to laugh at ugly “jokes” and endure uglier physical advances.

As long ago as the Fifth Century, a playwright named Aristophanes figured out one place where women could hold men hostage – the marriage bed. In the play Lysistrata, the women of Greece decide to withhold all conjugal services unless their men quit fighting.

The women won of course.

I don’t know how far they plan to go this time, but  the women of America are finally talking strike. Apparently, they’ve had enough of Trump and all he stands for.

They marched a few weeks ago – at least half a million on Washington, 3 million strong across the country.

Now the organizers of the women’s march are planning a general strike.

And I say, what took you so long?

More on the planned strike

Click for Peggy Lee

 

Change You Just Can’t Stop

Some changes are forced, some are natural. And nothing can stop natural change when the time is ripe.

Who would have thought, for example, that our local power company would go solar? But there it was on TV last night, acres of solar panels belonging to dear, ol’ Lakeland Electric, producing power for us folks over here on Post Lane.

Meanwhile, the Trump regime is forcing change in he other direction, doing their best to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency, for example.

Real change tends to occur when it makes sense. And it tends to last. Forced change is fleeting at best. The EPA will live on long after Trump and his ilk are history. Americans will not put up with the destruction of the wonderful world God gave us.

And alternative energy is obviously here – and here to stay. There’s nothing the likes of Trump can do to “bring back coal.”

It’s a global tidal wave with China in the lead but with other nations not far behind. And Spain has come up with a way of producing solar power on cloudy days – a development that’s sure to boost the popularity of solar energy.

And solar power is just part of it. Many other alternative energy sources are proving economically feasible – from the wind and the tides to hidden fires beneath the earth’s surface.

I even read that pig farmers in Jamaica were cooking with methane gas produced from their pigs’ waste.

Lakeland Electric turned to solar “farms” because it made economic sense to do so. They also burn natural gas – when that makes sense.

It does not make economic sense to burn coal.

Sadly, Hillary Clinton had a carefully crafted program to fill the gap created by the demise of coal. It included retraining coal industry workers for jobs in the emerging alternative energy industry.

I guess nobody learned about Hillary’s plan during the campaign. We were all preoccupied with the grossness of that awful Trump – and the fake “news” about Hillary.

Lakeland Electric embraces the future

China’s solar program

The global tidal wave

 

When the Magic is Gone

In sports and in life, there is a magic that defies logic. If you play any sport, you’ve probably had a day when everything goes right. But when you try to recapture the magic on another day, you can’t.

Nobody knows why.

What makes a ball find the basket? Why does a putt drop? How do those wide receivers make such impossible catches?

Analyze all you want, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the laws of physics. Or any other laws.

It has to be magic.

Sadly, it seems Tiger Woods has lost his magic.

I am not disputing his reason for withdrawing from the Dubai Classic. I don’t doubt that his back is spasming.

But I suspect the spasms are less cause than effect. When the mind balks, the body can respond like that.

At this point, I have to give up on Tiger. He just doesn’t have it any longer. He’s like the tightrope walker who looked down.

I’m sure he still has extraordinary skill. And he might still be able to recover from his physical problems. But the magic is gone. When it matters, the putts don’t drop, the chips roll long, the drives veer into the rough. He is not “better than most” the way he used to be.

He may go down in history as the Greatest ever. His record will probably never be matched. But I’m afraid he never will play like the old Tiger again.

Tiger’s withdrawal

 

Invade Mexico? Again?

Donald Trump’s  threat to send troops into Mexico is an eerie reminder of the bullying tactics America once got away with. And it shows the kind of world a Trump-Putin alliance might produce.

Vladimir Putin has invaded neighboring states with impunity. I wonder whether that has anything to do with Trump’s aggressive behavior toward Mexico.

Could Trump get away with another invasion of Mexico? Would the world let it happen?

What could the international community do, anyway? Impose sanctions? That hasn’t worked so well with Russia, has it?

I am beginning to wonder what might now be possible – even acceptable – in this increasingly lawless world.

How would China react? Would the Chinese simply grab Taiwan? If not, why not?

That’s the way things were centuries ago, when European powers walked into Africa and claimed chunks of territory, when the British, the French and the Dutch gobbled up other countries at will.

And that’s the way it was back in the days of Standard Oil and the United Fruit Company. Uncle Sam took what he wanted. California, for instance. New Mexico. And Texas.

Is that what Trump means when he promises to make America great again?

A century and a half has passed since the US invaded Mexico. You would think the world has become more enlightened in that time, that such behavior would no longer be tolerated – or even contemplated.

But if Putin can annex the Crimea and invade the Ukraine and Georgia, who knows what the other super powers can do?

And what else does Putin have in mind? Is there a deal brewing that would let him seize the Baltic States and other neighboring countries in exchange for backing a Trump invasion of Mexico?

Trump’s threat

The way things were

 

Incoherent and Disoriented

I know the world seems to be spinning into the abyss as Trump spreads chaos (deliberately?) from his vantage point in the White House. But it’s impossible for me to make sense of it today as I fight my own personal battle for survival.

At about 3 a.m., I woke up to find myself surrounded by strange men in uniforms, men who kept asking me questions.

What day was it? Where was I? That kind of thing.

As reality settled in, I realized I was in our bedroom and I was being treated for insulin shock.

I had an IV in my arm. A sugar solution.

One of the men suggested Sandra get me a drink of lemonade and she added a peanut butter sandwich.

He said my sugar was 34 when they tested it.  Thirty-four! The normal range is between 60 and 120.

I had no recollection of being tested or of anything that had happened earlier.

Sandra said she woke up to find me incoherent and disoriented. She called 911.

The men in uniform were questioning me again.

Did I want to go to the hospital?

No, I did not want to go to the hospital. The hospital is the last place I ever want to go. Been there, done that.

So, here I am today, awake and aware once again, but wondering what on earth is happening to me.

I’ve been having bouts of low blood sugar recently. Waking up drenched in sweat, shivering and so on. Why?

Does it have anything to do with the ear/mastoid infection? The antibiotics I’ve been taking – intravenously and orally – to cure the infection? The recurring bleeding ulcer? The leaky heart  valve?

So much can go wrong at my age.

I have been so careful with my insulin. The only new thing in my diet is Glucerna. I checked the web this morning to find out if Glucerna could be making my insulin more potent, but I could find nothing conclusive.

Do you know? If you know anything, please share it with me.

I have so many questions these days, so few answers.

As for the Trump nightmare, is he deliberately provoking massive unrest to provide an excuse for martial law? And, if so, what then?

I’ll have to depend on you to figure it out.

I am left incoherent and disoriented by that, too.

More on Trump’s chaos

 

Another Mad Monarch

People close to him have been warning for years that Donald Trump is mentally ill. And I am beginning to believe that he is.

As a child he was so much trouble his parents felt obliged to send him to a military school. And his entire life has been marked by erratic behavior.

His bizarre antics were dismissed as publicity stunts or theatrical trickery designed to outwit business associates. He was thought to be “crazy like a fox.”

But now, as president of the United States, Trump is running amok, lashing out at random targets like a latter-day Queen of Hearts.

Across America, protests are raging as various segments of society react to the new president’s impulsive attacks. And around the world, anger is flaring at his  arrogant and imprudent pronouncements.

I had thought Trump would turn out to be nothing more than a con man, bent on personal profit. But he seems to be something much worse – a raging egomaniac with self destructive impulses.

Is he a danger to himself and others? It certainly seems so.

China is warning of war with the US, for example. And that’s a threat to be taken seriously. I doubt that civilization would survive such a conflict.

As I recoil in horror at each new atrocity, I wonder what can be done to avert Armageddon.

And I am reminded of that mad monarch, George III of England, and the colonists who finally said, “Enough!”

A professional evaluation

Another opinion

The madness of George III

The colonists’ response

A possible solution

 

End of an Empire?

As Trump’s America descends into Third World autocracy, nepotism, corruption and oppression, the end of the mighty US empire could be approaching.

The gulf between blue America and red America is widening as Americans grow increasingly hostile to one another.

And individual states are becoming more eager to go their own way.

I just read about a poll showing Californians  increasingly favor secession. And I expect the secessionist trend is becoming stronger throughout the nation.

I’m sure you know how much Texas wants to leave the union.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if the South were to rise again and march off in search of the Nineteenth Century.

The assault on Obamacare is likely to add momentum to the secessionist movement. Republican Senators Susan Collins and Bill Cassidy have introduced a plan to let the states decide whether they want to keep Obamacare, and I suspect that whatever the Republicans finally do to “replace” the current health care law, they will give the states more say in its implementation.

Already, individual states are announcing their own visions of health care reform.

Health insurance is not the only area in which the states will become more independent. Several states have legislated their own minimum wages, for example And as the Republican Congress shreds the social safety net, states will be obliged to provide more welfare services.

Hot-button issues like environmental protection and public education are also likely to prompt unilateral action by states as the Trump cabinet demolishes federal standards.

Another divisive issue in America is legalization of marijuana. If the feds decide to turn back the clock, the states that have legalized pot could be motivated to leave the union.

In the current political climate, it doesn’t really matter how big a wall Trump builds along the Mexican border or how formidable an army he amasses. America is threatened more by internal dissension than by terrorists and other external foes.

I don’t know how long it will take, but I see America unraveling into a loose union of autonomous principalities, some more democratic and progressive than others. I see the mightiest empire in history slowly crumbling as the states comprising it squabble with one another and Washington becomes less and less relevant – at home and in the world.

More on Calexit

More on Obamacare replacement

More on secessionist movement

 

Innovations from the Course

 

Whether you ever venture on to a course or not, the golf equipment show in Orlando is spotlighting innovations you might find, well… interesting.

Not that we golfers need anything more to buck us up. After all, Tiger is back on the links today in San Diego, and even if he succumbs to ring rust from his long layoff, I’m sure he will produce a welcome buzz.

This show should get a wow! or two from non-golfers too, though.

Bubba’s jet-pack golf cart, for example. Who wouldn’t want to soar up to 3,000 feet in the air on or off the course? As Bubba Watson (above) observes, it should speed up play – which is one f the issues recreational golfers complain so much about.

As you can see, it’s rather bulky. And you would need a pilot’s license to fly one in the US, but I’m sure kinks like that will be straightened out before too long.

Bubba’s flying machine too ambitious for you? How about a motorized, skateboard-style cart from  Golfboard (above, right)?

Then there’s the GPS on the back of your hand (below, right). Wouldn’t that be useful for those of us who get lost walking home from Starbucks?

When will they come up, though, with a GPS that finds your ball? Or a floating, motorized ball that automatically swims to shore when you hit it into a water hazard?

Maybe next time.

Click for more on the show

 

Two Years to Get Ready

 

You could collapse in despair as Trump and his Republican minions shred the Constitution and turn back the clock. Or you could start preparing for battle, knowing “we the people” get to have our say again in a couple of years.

As  the bigots and xenophobes impose their will on the rest of us, they will expose their primitive agenda.”The people” will return to the ballot box in 2018 with wide-open eyes.

Half of America’s eligible voters skipped November’s election, probably taking it for granted that nobody remotely like Donald Trump could be elected president of the United States.

You can bet they won’t stay home next time. And you can bet they won’t be voting Republican.

Of course we will have to say “President Trump” for four long years. But we can clip his wings by undermining his support in Congress. Remember what the Democrats did in 2006?

There’s always a backlash in midterm elections, and I expect an especially vigorous backlash this time.

The House of Representatives gets a complete do over every two years. A third of the Senate will be under review. And dozens of governors and legislators must face the voters.

Yes, I know the Republicans gerrymandered a lot of districts to put Democrats at a disadvantage. Yes, I know Republican legislators and their allies have relocated polling stations, passed ID laws and generally conspired to suppress minority votes.

But that just means Democrats have to work a little harder.

And if we get started now, you know we can get it done. We won’t accomplish much by cowering in a corner, lamenting our cruel fate.

More on 2006 midtern elections

More on 2018 elections

 

“Decency” Under Attack

 

Ideas I have accepted unquestionably all my life are under attack. Not just in America but worldwide, “the people” seem to be rejecting my concepts of good and evil.

In America “the people” have chosen to follow Trump and the Republicans. And our new rulers are leaving no doubt about their path forward. It’s going to be the law of the jungle, and we can forget about such notions as liberty, equality  and fraternity.

In Britain, France and Germany, me-first jingoism is also raging. Even Canada and Holland are experiencing an upsurge of right-wing populism.

I am left wondering why “the people” would cast aside decades of hard won benefits to engage in a bare-knuckle, winner-take-all battle for survival.

But when I think about it, why shouldn’t they?

Where did the notion of government “of the people, for the people and by the people” come from. anyway? Who says we have to be fair? Who made us our brothers’ keepers?

Why is it praiseworthy to share your good fortune and shameful to be a miser? Why love your neighbor? Why treat others as you would want them to treat you?

In my case, the answer is simple. Because Jesus told us to. He admonished us to be good Samaritans, to clothe the naked and feed the hungry, to be kind to our enemies and treat everyone like brothers and sisters.

I don’t claim to be a good Christian. That would be absurdly presumptuous. But I would like to be. And I admire those who are – the late, sainted Mother Teresa (above, right), Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis (below, right), to name a few.

Of course, Christianity has no monopoly on decency. Mahatma Gandhi, for example, was a Hindu. And there are many from other religions who lived selfless and exemplary lives but never made the headlines.

Humanists also embrace the concepts I consider “decent.” But I suspect there’s a religious influence at work there somewhere. I believe it is religion that shaped the thinking I consider laudable.

Ironically, it is religion, too, that has led to some of the most horrific atrocities throughout history – the shame of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Oliver Cromwell, Bloody Mary….

And it is religion – corrupted religion – that has spawned ISIS today.

But, while it is surely the most barbarous, ISIS is not the only example of religion being hijacked for the Devil’s work. Americans, for example, must beware of ideological extremists masquerading as messengers of the Almighty.

They are not as savage as ISIS, of course, but in the long run, they could do even more lasting damage to the world we leave for our children and grandchildren.