This Veteran’s View of the Current State of Affairs

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”  ― Theodore Roosevelt

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jtolbertjr, Basic Training, United States Air Force, October 1981

Pissed Off

Because my office overlooks San Francisco City Hall, I’ve seen my share of; participated in; and even photographed, scores of demonstrations on every conceivable political issue. As I exited the office this evening, I ran into this demonstration.

I’m not going comment on Brett Kavanaugh and the rest of his anti-human brethren. It does give me hope, in a distracted world, that there are still people who think critically and become outraged to protest and organize. Trump, Kavanaugh, Weinstein, and company have really pissed off a lot of women…to the core. I could feel the righteous indignation like no other demonstration I have experienced.

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“The name is Trump, Donald Trump”

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BREAKING NEWS: It has come out that, in private, President Trump called Jeff Sessions “Mr. Magoo.” Sessions and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster are rumored to follow in Hope Hick’s footsteps. Jared Kushner lost his security clearance and the FBI is looking into Ivanka’s business deals. This is just a fraction of the domestic chaos.

Unless politics is your hobby or you are a political journalist, very few of us can keep up with the news coming out of Washington DC without incurring some type of stress. Donald Trump is a master at upending the status quo. He really missed his calling in the intelligence agencies. Can you imagine a Donald Trump during World War II? The Germans and Japanese would have immediately surrendered, weary from chaos and it may have stopped the United States from using the atomic bomb! Maybe this is his plan for North Korea…wear Kim Jong-un down in chaos?

It was Napoleon Bonaparte that said “The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.”

 

Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn

giphyYesterday, the President indicated that he’d be thrilled with another funding lapse for the government if he doesn’t get his way on the immigration issue. “I’d love to see a shutdown if we can’t get this stuff taken care of,” Trump said.

I’m reminded of the scene in The Dark Knight  where Alfred explains that the Joker ‘s behavior may not be motivated by money or logic as “Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn.”

It’s Not A Donald Trump Life: A Primer on Minimalism

     The new barracks in Texas didn’t look anything like the one I left in Alabama. In fact, it resembled a modern apartment building. New cars and motorcycles were everywhere and after duty hours, all types of music blasted from expensive sound systems.
     Never considered Spartans among the other military services, Air Force personnel were not immune to immediate and permanent deployments anywhere in the world. That reality didn’t stop my fellow airmen from having sofas delivered by flatbed trucks! I often wondered where they put these things if we left for overseas. I had a service-issued duffle bag and a backpack containing everything I owned in the world. Without any of the other big-ticket purchases to connect-to; maintain; and store, I was “unencumbered” and proud of it. I was a warrior, not some high-maintenance prima donna dependent on large screen televisions and George Forman grills. I was always mindful of the mission; battle-ready; organized; sacrificial; and highly motivated.
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 I was one of those guys that could go into a jungle with only a knife and clean underwear and come out victorious (I looked forward to continuing with an Air Force career but that is another story). The point is that without consumer distractions, I focused on my work. In turn, I was recognized and promoted far ahead of my peers. I had time to read more extensively; had time to compete in distance runs; earn a Masters Degree; and took in at least four movies every weekend! Whether I continued in the military or not, I figured my “lean, mean fighting machine” behavior would come in handy one day.
     And it did. It’s not a Donald Trump life but I have few complaints and through the years I’ve maintained my minimalist beliefs and practices. I still wear nine-year-old sneakers and I’m always evaluating my belongings to see if they interfere with my space or distract me. Living with less, having fewer concerns is a major part of my lifestyle. Besides, It gives me joy to deny the exploitive capitalists my money.
     There are many books, videos, and other websites on minimalism but I fear that it will evolve as a chic practice…something hip to do that will be abandoned as soon as middle-class money is made. So this will be my primer on minimalism. Time-to-time, I will write on it or reference resources that may be helpful to our gaining more mental and physical space in these perilous times. I recommend first visiting The Minimalists website. Watch their movie. You can see it now on Netflix or you can purchase and download an expanded version through their site or sites like iTunes.