End of Week 271 – The Frying Pan and the Fire…

Purple Tree

I followed  my diet. I worked out more than last week, and made my session on Friday. Even went Saturday morning. Scale is going up. Only by a pound, but it’s still frustrating. I keep telling myself one pound can be fluid (my ankles have been misbehaving the last few days), or any number of things. I’m just going to keep trying to “double down” as they say – try to keep to the plan. Something is bound to click sometime.

There are some who say it doesn’t matter if we lose weight, or accomplish our goals. That we are all going to be at war soon anyway. Ok, let me say up front that I have not reached that point yet. I really thought things would be quieter this week since SCROTUS is on vacation in NJ, but the news has been full of the stuff of nightmares anyway.

North Korea is still rattling their sabers.  So is SCROTUS.  I’ve read that there are talks “behind the scenes” aimed at reaching a diplomatic solution.  Problem is, what are they hoping to solve?  I have no experience with North Korea or with international affairs beyond following the news, and even I know that there is no way North Korea is going to give up their nuclear arms program.  Or, I should say, there is no way their leader (Kim) and their military will give it up.  I’m sure it means nothing to the citizens there, except that they are bombarded with it daily in their government controlled news.

It wouldn’t be so bad except for a couple of things. First, the technological progress North Korea has made toward completing a rocket and bomb capable of reaching the US caught our intelligence people completely by surprise. Second, SCROTUS insists on egging Kim on with his constant blustering and bullying. SCROTUS needs to keep his mount shut, his phone off, and let his diplomatic corps do its job. Since SCROTUS can’t seem to keep quiet, Kim is now directly threatening Guam, because it is a US territory. Guam is often a target for Kim’s threats, but now there is more technology behind those threats.

The other focus this week happened just yesterday in Charlottesville, VA.  There was a white supremacist rally because the town was taking down a statue of Robert E. Lee. The alt-right was met with counter protesters. Violence erupted, police and national guard were called in. Ok, so far, newsworthy but not exceptional.  Then an alt-righter from outside Virginia (he appears to be from Ohio) drove a car into a group of counter protesters. One woman died, 19 people were injured, some critically. Now we’re up to exceptional. The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency.

The head of UVa, the mayor of Charlottesville, the governor of Virginia, and all manner of politicians and celebrities came out to condemn the violence and the hatred symbolized by the alt-right/white supremacist/neo-Nazis/call them what you will. It is not clear who started the lower-level violence (such as throwing things, shoving, punching), but when one side shows up in helmets and shields (the alt-right), and the other side meets them with clergy linked arm in arm singing “This Little Light Of Mine”, I think we can take an educated guess at where the responsibility rests.

Regardless, it certainly was not a counter protester who drove that car into a crowd of people. It was a domestic terrorist. Which brings us to our next point – the reaction of SCROTUS.

First, it took SCROTUS a long time to even acknowledge what was happening. When he did, some of the communication was traditionally worded and expressed what one would expect.  I suspect someone on his staff wrote those for him.  His regular style is unmistakable, and it was not there.  Then came something that sounded a lot more like SCROTUS.  He issued the obligatory condemnation of violence, but called it “from many sides”.  Not only could he not acknowledge the source of the hate, he could not call the driver of the car what the driver was – a domestic terrorist.

SCROTUS’ message sounded like he wanted to fulfill a political commitment without alienating part of his voting base.  He knows he was supported by almost all those who describe themselves as alt-right, or white supremacist, or whatever.  As hateful as they are, he does not want to lose them.  During his campaign he instructed his supporters to use violence against those who disagree with them.  He even promised to pay their legal fees if necessary.  Many have pointed out, correctly, that indirectly SCROTUS is responsible for events like yesterday in Charlottesville.  His supporters are taking him at his word.

So, between North Korea and Charlottesville/SCROTUS I thought everyone might like something peaceful.  This week’s picture is a beautiful tree over a reflecting pool.  Maybe it will help us meditate, relax, and reflect on things other than the idiocy in the world. Enjoy.

Until next week….



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