The Divide Between Aware and Unaware 

I just came back from a tour of four western states. Yes, it was a vacation, but driving over 900 miles opened my eyes to some things about this country. Besides the native Americans living in abject poverty on valueless deserts and plains, we saw the rich ski lodges of the Rocky Mountains and the challenge of military families forced to live in underserved small towns. We have a lot to cheer about in this country, including the purple mountain majesty and a thing called democracy. I saw the bumper stickers reminding me that “freedom is not free,” and wondered what that actually means. Democracy gives us a say but freedom doesn’t mean we can do any damn thing we want. We have a responsibility to not intrude on the freedom of others.

I read the “My body my choice” signs held high at the anti-mask rallies by the same women who will be screaming against liberal women holding the same sign at Pro Choice rallies. The Covid-19 global pandemic has taught a lot, and now we know that Covid-19 can kill children. If Johnny doesn’t wear a mask it places Suzy at risk. Sean Penn, the actor and pro second amendment guy, says not wearing a mask is the same as pointing a gun at another. Covid-19 has the potential to hurt, sicken or kill our students and we must deal with this reality.

I am starting to think that the division in America is not political but a chasm between “aware” and “unaware” people. It’s all too easy to put a person down without understanding their personal knowledge base. Consider this. I hold a hammer and ask the person standing next to me to put their hands on the table. They quickly pull back, thinking I want to hit their hands with the hammer and knowing how badly that would hurt. Over our lifetimes, we have gained knowledge of hammers and hot stoves and we automatically avoid them. Those people screaming “enough is enough” at school board meetings claiming that little Bobby shouldn’t have to wear a mask are asking for the hammer to come down on their hands. They are unaware of what Covid-19 can do because they haven’t taken the time to understand it.

While the Sarasota school board here in Florida was debating mandatory mask requirements for students, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law forbidding mask mandates in public places, schools and businesses. The rich irony of those who carry signs that say “We Don’t Co-Parent with the Government” is they don’t realize that the government is telling them what they CANNOT DO. It’s the exact same kind of powerful government overreach they are protesting. Why are these folks helping the government be more powerful and overbearing in their lives? Do they derive pleasure from the pain of the hammer?

The early figures from our school district here on the west coast of Florida are disturbing. In the first week of class, 166 staff members and 683 students tested positive for Covid-19. 69 staff members and 1,421 students were required to quarantine after contact with an infected person. Governor DeSantis forced the Florida Department of Health to slow the release of coronavirus data. What was he thinking? Oh, yeah, he wasn’t thinking. He even admitted during a press conference a week ago that a once- weekly release of Covid statistics was not in the public interest. I guess he did it to underscore his authority.

We’ve had a long history of the term “anti-American” activities. Donald Trump was quick to use the trope against anyone who disagreed with him or his policies. Any chance that the Donald could be a good president was dashed by his inability to see beyond his beliefs. He has a strange isolationist strategy. If you like him, he likes you and he gives, but if you are not a hundred percent with him then you are his enemy. Baby-Trump DeSantis has threatened to cut off education funding and the salaries of those who teach our children if they vote in mask mandates for their schools and students. He’s being anti-American by saying the state government should control local governments and school boards. Ron DeSantis is a vindictive son-of-a-bitch.

I heard lots of complainers on my trip. The conversations were anti-this or anti-that. Biden messed up Afghanistan, I don’t want my kids to wear a mask. One father demanded his kids be home schooled because the elementary school had a mask mandate. Another guy whined about bad roads and, in the same paragraph, said he was against the infrastructure bill because Biden was robbing the people. Being against something seems to be more popular than taking the time to be aware, to investigate and understand what is really going on. It’s so much more fun to be against something. Americans became more “anti” over the last four years because they were taught that being a complainer, a putdown artist and an outrageous personality wasn’t a disorder; it was a valuable attribute. Yes, it’s Donald Trump’s fault. Sorry to complain.

Motoring over stretches of barren land last week, it dawned on me that we Americans waste so much time on insipid conversations, unimportant social media rants, likes and dislikes that we no longer have awareness of what we are doing and what is happening all around us. We are melting our planet with emissions, burning our forests with raging fires, and creating strange weather pattens that will wash away our homelands. Did we want another whack of the hammer so badly that we elected a climate change denier?

We stood down and took foolish advice from a craven lunatic instead of fighting the pandemic. We should have shut things down and started wearing masks at the very beginning. Sadly, we had no one to lead us, no one to cheerlead us to victory. We simply had an unaware anti-American in the White House.

And those deeply loyal Republicans in power, who cling to a fantasy that things were oh so good with President 45, are just as much part of the problem. They, too, are anti-American. When Rand Paul claims that masks do nothing, I wonder what he would say if a doctor about to operate on him refused to scrub up and wear a mask. About 20% of us are anti-science, anti-mask and anti-vaccine. “I don’t trust anything from the government” may be an interesting bumper sticker, but we will tread on you if you stand in the way of our kids’ safety and health. You can be a drunken driver in your backyard, but as soon as you take your vehicle to the road you are on GOVERNMENT LAND. Follow the rules.


We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES. Get some here. 

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Trump Thrown Out of White House

One of the things that every opposing party does is criticizes the president for taking too many days of vacation. This may come as a shock, but I feel sorry for Trump, although, his defensiveness is unbecoming on this issue.

According to the web site SBNATION, Donald Trump whined and tweeted 27 times about Barack Obama playing too much golf. And they actually list them all here. Mr. Trump’s beratements of Barack Obama are so ironic coming from someone who loves golf so much he builds golf courses all over the world. You would think he would promote the sport and encouraging anyone to take up the game.

Democrats used to put down George W. Bush for spending so much time on his Crawford, TX ranch. The Bush’s 1,583-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch was a place the 43rd President could get away from Washington and recharge his battery. There is nothing wrong with having a rested President in the White House. I don’t understand why we don’t follow Europe’s lead and close down everything for two weeks in August.

Our great Orange Leader tweeted today (8-7-2017), “Working hard from New Jersey while White House goes through long planned renovation. Going to New York next week for more meetings.” And we get it and understand your depression era guilt and desire to be viewed as the martyr here, but please. take some time to relax.

The Donald must keep everyone abreast on the details of working hard while banished to the Bedminster property. You are working to promote your brand and being President at the same time. Wow, Multi-Tasker-in-Chief.

This time you have an excuse, they are remodeling the White House and you had to leave that “dump” so they can fix the AC and Heat. While retooling the ducts, we only hope that they put in the microphones and cameras. Did you check if the workers have NSA backgrounds, Mr. President?

It would be good if Trump did actually take some time off and think about what he has wrought on our great nation. I would hope that someone would spend some time with him and figure out a way to better communicate.

It seems that everyone out of the White House is continually pushing back on one issue or the other. They are seen by the non-supporters as argumentative and constantly in a state of agitation. They get anxious and annoyed at the least judgmental question. As they say on TV, the speakers for Trump aren’t addressing the audience or the interviewer, they are simply performing for an audience of one: Trump.

Which brings me to an observation about this administration and the President we currently have. Everything that is done or said, seems to be aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population. The President seems to only focus on those who voted for him. The people who speak on behalf of the President seem to only address the Orange man in the White House.

The Congress cares about each one of the areas that they represent, but as we can see with their lack of bi-partisan effort, they only care about the people who will re-elect them.

We hope the Supreme Court cares about all of America, but we shall see if their individual dogmas determine the way they rule. Shame on them if they do.

But that begs the question, who’s speaking for me? I am a liberal, a Democrat, and I pay taxes just like anyone else. When I hear someone say that things ought to be a certain way, I ask, what gave you the right to tell me how to live? I certainly didn’t ask you to decide what I believe in, so, why would your far-right, religiously motivated thinking cast a net over all the electorate?

I would probably NOT have a lot in common with Mike Pence. He seems like a nice guy, but his homophobia seems to make him unfit for government work. I am being serious. Mike and his wife ought to take a vacation at a gay nudist colony. You know, just to balance out his feelings.

Mr. Pence, you are there to help govern in the spirit of separation of church and state, not attempt to convert the unworthy. Remember that when you are running for President in 2020.

My conservative friends, yes, I have some, are all pushing back on my dream of getting Trump out of office. They claim I am just jealous of Trump’s big victory and cannot understand that Trump is the best thing that ever happened to America. As anyone who has read this blog from the beginning, I do not to look backwards and only judge what this administration does, or doesn’t do.

If Trump is good for America, why do millions of people not like him? It’s not like the polarity of a “shock jock” on the radio where ratings come from those who hate the person and those who love him. This is our country. I really don’t care what the 70% of hard-core Republicans think. I worry about the 66% of all voters who think he’s doing a bad job. Isn’t a Democracy supposed to be where everyone votes and the majority rules?

Trump is anti­-Democracy. That would be a good message for Democrats. Why would we ever want someone to lead us who lies most of the time and is basically against Democracy? The guy really does need a vacation. I sure could use a three-year vacation from him.