May You Not Live In Interesting Times

POST 1066

Read all the way to the bottom for some good stuff.

About Those Interesting Times

Of course, that expression, often claimed to be a Chinese curse (but without verified attribution), didn’t include the word “not” in the original. Decide for yourself if it was intended to hope for something other than bland life circumstances or for stimulating ones; whether it was meant as a tease or perhaps it really was meant as a curse. Regardless, the word “interesting” makes the phrase an analytical thing and distances us from passion and motivation and simply misses the point of humanness.

But if we are to identify with the original phrase we would certainly find things interesting. Our news media has been full of it since 2015 when the Grim Celebrity Phony slid down his golden escalator and announced that Mexican robbers, drug lords and murderers were coming to imperil us. Worse, millions believed him. That could be interesting on many levels, as could over 30,000 lies and thousands of racist dog whistles. Fine, we found it interesting, if not acceptable.

But now we find ourselves faced with a convict with the impulse control of a bratty 6-year-old, having rapidly waning mental faculties and spewing an increasing blathering of gibberish. He’s vying to have the nuclear codes. He’s promising that he will be a dictator and is free to commit murder.

Sure, that’s all intellectual food to digest, but he’s promising to be an existential threat. He might get us all killed. That’s no longer just interesting. It is a life-or-death threat. Sword of Damocles stuff. Pray you won’t have just moments to kiss your ass good-bye, all because that brat had a tantrum.

I have neither need nor desire for such interesting times. I want the chaos and insanity to go away, I want to live in boring times when my existence isn’t threatened. I’ll find my own way to get intellectual stimulation and I wish the same for you. May you not live in interesting times.

But you do and there is no getting around that. In fact, you can change “interesting” to “dangerous” and those are the times we live in.

Many people of influence are working every day to turn this nation into a dictatorship.

They call it “the unitary executive,” unaccountable to Congress or to the courts. Morally slippery Bill Barr is an enthusiastic proponent of this dictatorship.

They bring bizarre cases to the Supreme Court, one of which seriously contemplates whether a president may defy our laws, even to the point of committing murder and then be immune from prosecution. That would be a dictatorship.

The Supreme Court heard a case about electioneering and then bizarrely ruled to allow unlimited money to buy our elections, an issue not even part of the original case. That destroys faith in our judicial system and promotes authoritarian wannabees into dictators.

Presidents ignore laws passed by Congress and then defy those laws with “signing statements.” That’s dictator stuff started by Ronald Reagan.

Many declare that the Founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation, which is both factually untrue (ref: The First Amendment and various Federalist Papers) and which gives rise to dangerous Christian nationalism, which is actually a despotic Brown Shirt thug-ocracy.

They sent riot police to attack and arrest peaceful protesters on college campuses and, most profanely, they say that’s the right thing to do, this in the name of non-discrimination. That’s your kid they’re beating up in a mini dictatorship.

In case you aren’t already, you need to immediately become clear that there are millions who want to take away your rights. This is not an academic thought experiment. They are in action every day, taking the vote away from our citizens, thwarting accountability, cheating our election system, terrorizing immigrants, banning books in a Fahrenheit 451 orgy, siccing riot police on peaceful protesters and so much more. This is not just happening to others. These despots are coming for you.

So, you do live in interesting times. It’s just that these times are going to eat you alive.

Unless we do something about it.

Required Reading

Here’s how the far right (read: fascist pretenders to a despotic throne) see things, this from Heather Cox Richardson.

And here’s how this plot against America is getting funded, thanks to the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court scheming. Read this from Mother Jones.

For Our Moral Purist Voters

From Frank Bruni, May 3, 2024:

.  .  .  the smart way to bar someone “wholly unfit” from the White House [that’s Chris Christie’s descriptor of Trump] is to vote for that person’s opponent. That’s how elections work. “None of the above” isn’t a principled stand. It’s a moral cop-out — and its own dereliction of duty. [emphasis mine – JA]

The same goes for those who intend to vote for Robert Kennedy, Jr., Jill Stein or any other 3rd party candidate. Likely those intending to vote 3rd party think that they are making a statement of integrity or a principled stand against two unacceptable old guys. What they are really doing is abandoning their responsibility to guard our democracy and to protect and defend our Constitution.

You may not like the options. A vote for whoever you think is least bad may be onerous, yet it may be as good as it can get now. But a vote for anyone but Biden is a vote to attack and kill our democracy.

Print this section of this Disambiguation and bring it with you to the voting booth on November 5 as a reminder.

Something To Make You Proud

Our modern Foreign Service is 100 years old and it is staffed by amazing people doing the heroic as an every day thing.

I urge you to link here and read some of these short recollections from these amazing people who “were there when” and who stood a post every day to say, “This is who We The People are.” Reading these stories will make you proud both of our Foreign Service people and proud to be an American.

Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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