Category Archives: Moral Outrage

Unclear On The Concept

There are a fair number of things that push my buttons these days, and I seem to have a lot of buttons. I’m trying to “maintain an even strain,” particularly here (mainly because I fear that once I let those floodgates crack open there won’t be any way to shut them) but an image today has piqued my interest in a special way.

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

I will attempt to be brief and to the point.

  1. I have nothing charitable or nice to say in any way, shape, or form about those who are ignoring the scientific facts with the current pandemic, particularly those who are actively campaigning to “open up” our cities and states.
  2. I’m a “recovering Catholic” who got a LOT of dogma rammed down my throat as a child. While I find theology a fascinating topic in general…
  3. …questioning Catholic dogma got me in a **LOT** of trouble about the time high school rolled around. (It’s tough having Mom trying to get me to be an altar boy multiple days a week when Father Murray is horrified by the fact that I said something like “What a crock of shit!” when he gave me a stock answer to my wise ass question about something that didn’t make any sense at all.)
  4. Points #2 and #3 being a given, just because I thought it was nonsense didn’t mean I wasn’t paying attention. (You never know, that point of doctrine from St. Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th Century could show up on Final Jeopardy when you most need it!)

So when I see this particular picture, all of this dogmatic trivia coalesces in my brain (sort of like congealing grease mixed with yesterday’s leftover oatmeal, grey and lumpy) into the following thought:

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Moral Outrage, Religion

Fifty Years Ago Today – Not Star Wars

Yes, yes, “May the Fourth…” Maybe next year.

Remembering fifty years ago today:

I was only fourteen, raised in a conservative, Midwest, middle class household. I knew that people were protesting the Vietnam War and a lot of people hated Nixon, but I wasn’t involved. I was too young, had too many other personal, angsty teenager things to deal with, like girls, trying to fit in while being a fish out of water in a new state that I (at the time) hated, missing my friends from where we had moved, and trying to figure out how to get out of being an altar boy seven days a week because we lived across the street from the church.

The perspective has changed more than a little bit for me. (Well, except for the girls thing – still a mysterious mine field.)

I don’t know if I think that the military or police or National Guard today would open fire on a crowd of unarmed student protesters.

But given what’s going on in Washington today, and some of the potential outcomes for November…

Hypothetically, if a certain orange monstrosity lost the election by an epic, historic landslide but still refused to leave the White House next January (like you can’t imagine THAT being possible!) and a few tens of millions of people took to the streets around the country demanding that he go (despite what I worry might be a raging COVID-19 pandemic by that point with over a million Americans dead) and it started to get ugly (think Chile, or Turkey, or the fall of the Iron Curtain)…

Would the military or police or National Guard open fire on that crowd?

I would hope not. They might. But I would bet they wouldn’t.

But would these shits stains open fire on innocent protesters?

michigan lockdown protests(Reuters / Seth Herald)

Even thinking about that brings me right back to the 1960’s (we were living in the Chicago suburbs during the 1968 Democratic National Convention) and 1970’s (“Four dead in Ohio’).

Let’s hope that at this time next year we’re having “Yoda-ritas” and watching Star Wars marathons with actual adults in the White House and Senate and House.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Deep Thoughts, Moral Outrage, Politics

Juxtaposition

I am, of course, following the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission tonight. It’s fifty years ago that the explosion occurred while they were about half way to the moon, turning what had started to become a “routine” flight to the moon (c’mon, really??!!) into the world’s most “successful failure.”

All of the Apollo missions can be re-lived at apolloinrealtime.org – it’s an astonishing project. For this mission, go to apolloinrealtime.org/13 and click on the “sync to today’s clock” clock icon in the middle left – you’ll follow along in real time with pictures, video, all of the ground to space audio, all of the audio from dozens of ground controllers as they tried to troubleshoot the problems. Or you can use one of the slider bars on top to go to any particular point in the mission and follow along.

It was a major catastrophe that hit pretty much out of nowhere. In seconds they went from bored to dozens of life and death decisions per minute. One mistake and the crew would be lost and our space program would have gone in a much different direction.

I’m amazed by the teamwork shown in listening to the “background” loops as the different systems engineers worked together to make sure that they could shut down the damaged Command Module and do an emergency power up of the Lunar Module to use it as a “lifeboat” to get the crew home. It’s amazing, a thing of joy.

And that got me thinking about the crisis we find ourselves in.

It might not have sprung out of nowhere to hit us in seconds – we had months to see the problem start, grow, spread, and finally reach us. But more importantly, our situation doesn’t involve three lives – it could easily end up with 300,000 lives just in this country, and in a worst case scenario where the virus spreads unchecked through places like India and Africa, it could easily cost 3,000,000 lives worldwide in the next year.

And listening to that 1970 NASA team spring into action and troubleshoot that situation and solve one problem after another, step by step, truly highlights the deplorable response to our current crisis. As if the normal, daily, background incompetence and buffoonery wasn’t bad enough, today we got the Mango Mussolini totally melting down at his daily press conference and apparently declaring himself to be a god? Supreme grand high poobah? Chief cook and bottle washer?

Oh, right, “megalomaniac dictator” is the term I was looking for. He’s not even trying to hide it any more.

Good thing that the GOP “leadership” is going to step up and use their clearly defined powers under the Constitution to act as a brake on his lunacy…

So, when we talk about how great we are as Americans, how we “put a man on the moon,” how we’re the folks that can solve any problem, beat any enemy – tonight we get to see how that might have once been true, at least a little bit, but it was fifty years ago.

Today? We can’t even get rid of this two-bit, tin pot dictator who’s killing hundreds of thousands of us, enriching himself and his cronies, lying through his teeth with every breath, and betraying our country to our allies.

If we want to actually solve any of the problems dragging us down to be a third-rate, backwater country maybe we could start with removing that particular cancer so we can start again being like Gene Kranz and his crew.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Moral Outrage, Politics, Space

This Reality Has Some Serious Continuity Flaws

Can’t make this shit up folks.

Trump got acquitted today, as expected. It’s incredibly disappointing and depressing and it sucks to be watching the death of the great American experiment as we sink into authoritarianism under a fascist, criminal regime – but that’s a rant for another day.

Here’s the thing…

Turning on the 11PM local news tonight, four stations (CBS, NBC, ABC, and KTLA) the #1 news story of the night, the lead, the biggest news that they’re ALL going to spend the first five minutes talking about was…

…the death of Kirk Douglas.

Okay, it’s Hollywood, La-La Land. We’ll cut them some slack, maybe? The impeachment will be second, right?

Nope. Some of them had the coronavirus scare #2 (a Korean air liner had to divert to LA because people on board had been exposed) and a local measles outbreak #3 (the irony is delicious and lost on them, running back to back stories about a panic over a 100% preventable disease like measles vs the coronavirus, which could be a humanity killing pandemic or just another false alarm that kills in ten years fewer people than die from car accidents in the US in a week), and some had the measles and then the coronavirus, but NONE of them had the impeachment acquittal.

Story #4 after the second commercial break seemed to be all over the place – a murder here, a freeze warning there…

This is how we’ve been worn down and beaten into submission by the Trump cult. Something that would have been the “Story of the Decade!” in another decade isn’t even reported in this one.

Geez, the LEAST they could have done is shown the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade as the #2 or #3 story! If you’ve done the measles story, just do “Coronavirus – ditto!” and move on to something good!!

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Filed under KC Chiefs, Los Angeles, Moral Outrage, Politics

Twitter Time Out

There’s a story I tell about my childhood transition from six years of Catholic school in Kansas City to the public school system in the Chicago suburbs.

Suffice it to say there were…differences…between the two environments. In Catholic school I was an altar boy, incredibly sanctimonious, indoctrinated into Catholic doctrine, and probably on the fast track to be the first American Pope. A few short months later as I hit middle school in the Buffalo Grove School District I was frantically trying to keep my head above water socially and stumbling through a process by which I might become a thinking human being again.

The punch line to the story is, “I started that summer thinking that if I told someone to ‘go to Hell,’ the ground would open up at my feet and Satan would personally appear to escort me to Hell on the spot. By the end of the summer, I was telling people to fuck off and not thinking twice about it.”

That line came back to me today as I’ve been put in 12-hour Twitter Timeout for “potentially abusive behavior” when the only thing I can think of that I possibly would have done is tell some wannabe bot account to “go to Hell.”

Who knew that my pre-teen psychological terrors would come to life fifty-plus years later courtesy of an overly aggressive Twitter algorithm?

(Warning – my Twitter presence is much more political and swear-ish than this site. I don’t suffer fools gladly, and there are a lot of them over on Twitter.)

Perusing my timeline this afternoon, I ran across this:

Bullshit right-wing propaganda, probably from a bot account. I was in the mood to respond, as I had been to similar subhuman cretins for a while.

“…some potentially abusive behavior…”

I don’t see it. If we can’t call a lie a lie and call a liar a liar, we’ve lost. It’s a bot, so the account should be deleted. If somehow it’s actually a human, they really do need to think about their life choices.

And then I said “Please go to Hell.” I didn’t even remember saying “please.” How is that “potentially abusive?”

About half a second after posting this, I got a message from Twitter:

The only thing I can think now is that it might be coincidental that this notice showed up just as I posted that particular response. I had been on a roll for an hour or so. Nothing anywhere near meeting any rational definition of “abusive” or “threatening”, but I do recall the phrase “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” being used several times. It was sort of a theme for the day, in particular to a string of right-wing, wannabe fascists who think that…

(*breathe*) (*again*)

Let’s say that we strongly disagree on a number of political and social topics and our visions for the future of our country are highly divergent.

In “Bull Durham” (an all-time favorite film) Crash Davis only gets thrown out of a game by an umpire after using a certain “magic word” in an argument. Maybe I’ll try that next time. At least then I’ll know WHY I’m being put in Twitter Timeout!

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Filed under Death Of Common Sense, Freakin' Idiots!, Moral Outrage

Spring Thunderstorm 

We had a couple of lines of fairly strong thunderstorms move though SoCal today, which is fine…

…except we don’t get spring thunderstorms in Southern California. Let alone a couple of inches of snow up at Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear.

The problem, of course, being that reality doesn’t give a shit about what we expect or what hasn’t ever happened in the past.

If you choose to believe that climate change isn’t real or that human activity isn’t causing it or that it isn’t nearly as serious as “the left-wing fear mongers” make it out to be or that it’s a conspiracy to cripple American industry or whatever, and you choose to believe that for political and ideological reasons in the face of an overwhelming avalanche of evidence, that’s your right.

It’s my right to point out that you probably are either A) a cult member (i.e., a Republican), B) a freaking idiot, or C) both. “C” is the most likely. It’s also my right to ask you to take a long hike off of a short pier. Go away.

I will not debate reality with you. This does not mean that I’ve got a problem with free speech, nor does it mean that I’m somehow afraid to “debate” the facts with you. It means that you’re trying to argue that 2+2=328,281.54 which means you’re mentally ill. Life’s too short for me to put up with that sort of bullshit. Your pursuit of status in your psychotic cult is not something for which I owe you my time.

Would you like me to tell you how I REALLY feel about it?

Meanwhile, I’ll be out watching the rain and listening to the thunder. I do like thunderstorms. Even the ones that are thinly veiled harbingers of doom.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Moral Outrage, Panorama, Photography, Weather

Another Abomination 

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Really??!! A Jaguar SUV??!!

Even more disgusting is that it’s labeled as some variation on the F-type model.

I remember the introduction of the F-type sedans & convertibles a couple of years ago. Those are HOT cars!

But this? On overpriced, middle-class Mom-mobile with a stolen valor badge!

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Moral Outrage