Friday, March 24, 2017

Questions for Representative Goodlatte A guest post by Chris Bolgiano


An Open Letter to Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, VA 6th District
Dear Mr. Goodlatte: Thank you for your letter responding to my concern at seeing avowed white supremacist and anarchist Steve Bannon appointed as President Trump’s chief advisor. Bannon has said he will “deconstruct” the government as we know it. As you pointed out, Congress is not empowered to confirm or deny Bannon’s appointment, or the appointment of Sebastian Gorka as chief counter-terrorism advisor.
Numerous credible reports have connected Gorka with the Hungarian group Vit├ęzi Rend, listed by the State Department as a Nazi-linked group whose members are inadmissible to the U.S. Indeed, Gorka wore the medal of that group to President Trump’s inauguration, and often signs his name with the v. used by members.
One entire side of my extended family was murdered by Nazis in areas not far from Hungary. Thousands of African-Americans were lynched in America by the Ku Klux Klan, whose endorsement President Trump accepted.
Mr. Goodlatte, you may not have legal authority to question these appointments, but that does not relieve you of moral responsibility to speak out against the appointment of self-declared racists and known anti-Semites that are shaping this president’s policies. I implore you to vocally state that you, as a representative of the GOP, have enough moral backbone to oppose the takeover of our government by persons with beliefs antithetical to every tenet of our democracy. I entreat you: Do Not Let It Happen Here -- because as a historian I know that it can, if you and the GOP do not speak out.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Courageous Battles

Wow!   The act of dying, that moment; it’s got to be intense; it’s got to be a shocker.   But, you’re probably going to dead for awhile, and maybe that can be a little calming, maybe even boring.   Now, according to most evidence*, it looks like you might be dead for a long time, maybe millions of years…. maybe longer, maybe forever.  So in a way, being dead for millions of years, or even forever, begins to sound like a pretty OK deal.  It looks like being dead is identical to what it was like before you were born.  Remember that?
 I’ve got a 34 year old dislocated toe, a right pinky finger that was bent twice 90% the wrong way, a missing joint in my middle finger of my left hand where I gave body parts to a table saw, and a left sacroiliac joint that goes “twingey” every now and again.  I wear hearing aids when I remember to, and I’m near sighted (so if I put my glasses down I can’t find them), and even though my prescription hasn’t changed in five years, the opticians of the world refuse to replace my scratched up and broken glasses.  I’ve got a tick bite that still itches eight months after I got it. That’s the easy stuff. 
Arthritis in my left thumb, carpal tunnel (after repair) in my right wrist that now has my hand swollen twice the size of the left one (did I mention that I used to like playing the guitar?) I am finding it difficult to pick up a full coffee cup with it.  Both hands are weak, sore, and inflexible; they hurt when they aren’t numb, often they awaken me from a sound sleep at night.  Both shoulders have had surgery and neither of them are above 60% of normal strength (much less pain free), I’ve got ED, and I have to get up to pee two to three times a night.  Right now I have had six weeks of bloody buggers.  I’ve still got a baby tooth, but the space between it and one of the eight molars I have left (most people have twelve) gets wedged with food debris at every bite.  I’ve aged at least ten years in the last six months.
 
I would never denigrate the “courageous, brave, and inspiring battles” that so many other people have waged; people who have far more daunting physical challenges than I have.  But, they are going to die, and I am going to die; so at what point is it wise to just recognize that simple fact and make a rational decision as to what it is all worth?   I’ve already suggested that being dead can’t possibly be bad.  Are those “courageous battles” really against death, or are they simply denials of reality?  Especially for those who believe in an afterlife!


*All evidence, really.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

You Country Boys have been so had

“A Country boy will Survive”…   Think Hank Williams Jr.  Yup, all those virtues of  rural life with the realities of what’s really important…  Yup!  DonDon Trump whose concept of the outdoors is that space between his doorman’s umbrella and a waiting limo at street level below his 40th floor apartment in New York City...  or maybe it’s the space between his limo and his private jet or when he gets to Florida, his cart on the golf course…   That's the out doors.  Yes!  He’s got your back! He’s a country boy!

You people have been soooooooo had.  How in Hell did you ever think that this spoiled billionaire city brat was your champion?  Is Fox News propaganda that convincing?  And now, will you be able to deny reality as you die from DonDon's and the big business, big city guys' plans to make himself and all his billionaire buddies even richer?  As all your services are cut to nothing.  Health care?  Rural development funds? Subsidies to farmers, medical research, clinics, heat for homes, food for shut-ins… ?  Why would a poor woman in Detroit pay for National Public Radio... when she can pay for poisoned water in her tap and watch her tax money pay her Republican Mayor and Governor's salaries?  DonDon's children's travel expenses?  Think.

DonDon has spent more time on golf in his first nine weeks, than Obama spent in his first year in office.  DonDon is charging YOU to pay for the Secret Service men for their golf carts.

Ah but then; those are alternative facts. 

Oh, it must be Obama/Hillary's fault.