Friday, July 21, 2017

The Stuff of Dictators

Six months into what, with luck, will be a single, truncated term for an illegitimate president, I still find it difficult to write that illegitimate president’s name. This seems fairly common. I often see references to “45,” or “Drumpf.”

Trump, the imposter, campaigned on a handful of vague ideas, like building that idiotic wall and barring people he doesn’t like from entering the country. The last remaining hope for his travel ban is the Supreme Court – weighted in his favor, thanks to GOP duplicity.

He also pledged to “drain the swamp.” The DC ecosystem hasn’t changed much; certainly not for the better. The White House is itself a biohazard, oozing toxic sewage.

As this is written, the GOP plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act has apparently crashed and burned, perhaps for the last time. Let’s hope so. Yet what can you say about a party and a president who are, to date, unable to pass a single significant bill – in spite of controlling the White House, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court?

The indefatigable Trump requires someone to blame. He tweeted that “we” were “let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans.”

Later, in a rare non-tweeted remark, he said, “We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us and they’re going to say how do we fix it?”

This is his idea of leadership?

For nearly a year, I’ve been using this minuscule LUNG forum to vent my frustrations, resentment, and even rage at this fraud, beginning with a post in August 2016. I titled that one “President Trump,” at a time when joining those two words seemed obscene, even menacing. They are still obscene and menacing.

Since it has become a reality, I have continued. Almost no one reads these posts – certainly not Trump supporters. It’s fighting a forest fire with a squirt gun. But I must continue, for all the good it doesn’t do.

Along the way I’ve become a fan of Charles M. Blow, the New York Times columnist, who has been using his vastly influential position to really go after Trump. “I don’t trust anything — anything! — coming out of this White House,” he wrote last May, in a column titled “Trump is Insulting Our Intelligence.”

I anticipate each new Charles Blow column, even though he’s mostly preaching to the choir. I see him from time to time as a talking head on MSNBC or CNN. He was interviewed recently on Charlie Rose, that PBS interview program. Blow said he isn’t trying to change anyone’s mind, so much as bear witness. I guess that's what I am doing, too.

I love Charles M. Blow's stuff, but it doesn’t square with my conception of the mainstream media, which ordinarily is part of the problem. Maybe his and similar columns suggest the Establishment is trying to undo what Blow called the most significant mistake the country has ever made.


If I was a newspaper reporter, working in the context of a 1940s movie, and I was writing what I’m writing right now, I’d have to tear the paper from my Smith Corona, crumple it up, and toss it, exasperated, into the wastebasket.

There would be a cigarette dangling from my lips, and atop my head, a stylish fedora pushed back at a rakish angle. Thered be coffee, black coffee – lots of it – and a bottle of not-very-good scotch concealed in my desk drawer.

But I’m not a reporter in a 1940s movie, I’m writing this silly blog post – so I don’t have to trash what I’ve got so far and start over. Yet that is the temptation, as I hear (via Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell) that Trump is toying with the idea of pardons – for aides, for family members, and himself.

It may only be a trial balloon – but that’s the stuff of dictators.

Anyway it’s nearly three o’clock, as you can see, and I’m on deadline. What do I make of this latest development? How do I handle it? What will Perry White say?

We live in interesting times.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Say No More


“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”


“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.”


Hubris is extreme pride and arrogance shown by a character that ultimately brings about his downfall.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Olo Boiler Welding

That thing that looks like a big green cube in the photo below is really a historic old building in downtown Denver.

It’s located near the city’s Union Station transit terminal. I pass it almost every day on my way to work. The photo was taken from a moving bus in early July 2017, using my cell phone.

The building began to intrigue me a year or so ago. I really love these old brick buildings. For me, they evoke great nostalgia, like a Scott Joplin rag.

I became so fascinated with this building that one Saturday morning on my day off, I took the bus to Union Station, my bike on the cowcatcher in front, and rode the four or five blocks to this building to check it out. I took more than seventy pictures, a few of them shown here.

Later I tried to find out something about the building. Even though it’s a registered historic landmark, and has been since 1986, I couldn’t find a scrap of information. (And I thought Google was infinitely powerful!)

It is, or once was, called the Olo Boiler Building - whatever that means. That’s about all I know.

After taking all those pictures, I rode my bike home. It took about two hours.

Now, a year later, that old redbrick building is draped in green, and its immediate surroundings are deeply excavated. I don’t know what the work is all about, but I’m glad to see the building is being preserved.