People forget what an extremist Ronald Reagan was. He wasn’t a kindly old man who told funny stories, he was a demagogue who wanted to end political unrest by slaughtering all the hippies:

“If it’s to be a bloodbath, let it be now.”

Later he claimed that “bloodbath” was just a figure of speech. I’ve never heard anyone else use “bloodbath” as a figure of speech. Certainly the National Guard at Kent State didn’t use it that way.  They loaded their rifles with live ammunition, took aim, and fired.

Of course this is the same man who, when called out for telling a joke denigrating Poles and Italians, claimed that he was merely giving an example of the sort of thing he personally did not find funny.

So I don’t think telling the truth was of particular importance to him.

And I don’t think our current political climate is an aberration.

It’s more of a culmination.


Oh, Joy.

From SlashDot:

According to a new report from First Orion, nearly half of the mobile phone calls received in the U.S. next year will be scams. “The percentage of scam calls in U.S. mobile traffic increased from 3.7 percent last year to 29.2 percent this year, and it’s predicted to rise to 44.6 percent in 2019.”

My phone has become something I carry solely for emergencies and to see what time it is.  I use text or email for casual conversation.

I never answer calls anymore, unless it’s from someone in my contacts.

The Man or the Myth

John McCain liked to tell that story that his North Vietnamese captors offered to release him early, but he heroically replied, “Not without my brothers!”

Consider that scenario:  “John, we’re thinking about making a move, but first we wanted to get your input. Is this okay with you?” I have a hard time picturing that, myself. It seems unlikely.

He was a “maverick” who voted the party line in the upper ninetieth percentile, a “hero” who knowingly bombed civilian targets.

It made a nice story, I guess, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

Who made who?

Excerpted from Maureen Dowd’s  column in The New York Times, Sunday July 8, 2018:

Trump has certainly made political discourse more crude and belligerent. But is he making the whole country meaner, coarser, and less empathetic? Or was the pump primed for a political figure like him because the internet had already made America meaner, coarser and less empathetic?

Putting the blame on The Internet would seem to imply that we were always a vicious, self-centered people just waiting for the means to unleash our vitriol on the world.

I don’t believe that.

I don’t know what changed.

And I don’t know how to change it back.