Category Archives: Presidental Election

Ground Level Conditions Presidental Election

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Wish Starts to Come True

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Mexico’s Next President Elected!

I have not heard any reports of the percentage of the electorate that actually voted in the elections today in Mexico, but I can’t help but wonder about the beneficial effects of Sunday elections. Having the vote take place on a day on which most people don’t work has to influence the ability of people to participate in a democratic process.

The astonishing news, of course, is that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been elected the next President of Mexico by an overwhelming margin. It is fortunate that the polls showed Obrador with a huge lead. If he had only had a lead of two percent, as Hillary Clinton did heading into election day in the U.S. in 2016, I have no doubt that the results would have favored another candidate.

As I just mentioned on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I remember Alejandro González Iñárritu accepting the Oscar for his exquisite directing work on a film about a floundering actor who once was the incarnation of a popular culture hero. In his acceptance speech, Iñárritu said, “I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve.” He also mentioned “the ones living in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.” As of this evening, it would seem that the first half of Iñárritu’s reclamation of human rights has made more progress towards fulfillment than the second half.

I send my best wishes to my friends in Mexico, and hope that your expectations can be met as quickly as possible.

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The Typesetter in “The Post”: “The Hand of Labor”

December 23, 2017

Yesterday, Linda and I took Laurel Ann Bogen out to a movie and dinner as a Christmas present. She wanted to see “The Post,” which turned out to be a surprisingly good film for its category. The main driving point is the publication of “The Pentagon Papers” by the New York Times and the Washington Post. The latter paper is facing a financial bind, and the hopes of providing some relief on that pressure depend on a successful stock sale, which is up for grabs at the very time that its publisher (Kay Graham) and its editor (Ben Brantley) must decide whether to challenge a court injunction that blocked the New York Times from further publication of this material.

Rather than add to the commentary of the typical aspects of a review, I have decided to concentrate on two very, very minor moments in “The Post.” This idiosyncratic preference for minuscule meaning drove my English teachers crazy when I was a freshman in college. Obviously, this is one other feature of a blog that I truly love. I get to do what I want.

Laurel, Linda, and I all worked at newspapers at various times in our lives, and each of us at dinner expressed the pleasure we got from the film during its moments when it displayed the production process of the paper itself. Bringing a newspaper into a reader’s hands, each of us knew, was not some magical process, but involved considerable physical labor, effort, and concentration. Towards the end of the film, the publisher stands behind a typesetter. Not a word is spoken, but the body itself of the typesetter was remarkably full of history. A Korean War veteran, most likely, whose son had forestalled being drafted by going to college. This typesetter was not a combat veteran like the protagonist of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” In fact, he had learned to be a typesetter in the military. Did he vote for Humphrey or Nixon in 1968? Or did he vote at all? To a certain extent, he is a more representative character than anyone else in the film of the pressures that have faced the American electorate the past half-century. Yet he does not have a voice, only the nimble fingers that reflect “The Hand of Labor.”

The second moment in the film that I want to comment on involves a scene where the publisher, played surprisingly well by Meryl Streep, is sitting on the edge of a bed. The left third of the screen is taken up by a lamp on a small table. The camera does not move for quite some time. No doubt it was less than 90 seconds, but it seemed more like three minutes. I had an odd “Fluxus” moment: I wanted the whole screen to fill up with the image of the lamp and for the soundtrack of John Williams’s fine understated music to play without any human voice, and then for the people who worked at the factory that made the lamp to appear and for them to begin to speak, out of history to history. If a newspaper is the “first rough draft” of history, it is their words that need to be recorded in its opening paragraphs and in the intonement of its final pronouncements.

Note: It was hard to resist making the headline of my blog post today about a milestone in my blog: 1,000,000 total hits. At some point in the next few hours, my blog will surpass that symbolic figure. When I woke up and checked this morning, the official number was 999,751, so it won’t be long before my blog’s dispersal over the past year and a half reflects a wider audience than it was getting in its first two and a half years. I am not under any illusion that this mean my blog has some kind of wide readership. That is hardly the case. To a large extent, I write this as a version of an intermittent diary, albeit one that is available for others to read. To those of you who read it, and have on occasion written me, thank you for your attention and care.

Health Care Presidental Election

Caliban Chronicles: “The Will to Change” the System

Saturday, December 2, 2017

There are news reports Mr. Flynn has allegedly been “flipped” and will likely be giving damaging testimony against associates of President Trump who worked on behalf of his election. I seriously doubt that anything said in a court of law is going to result in Trump resigning, and as long as Congress is controlled by the GOP, does anyone believe that he would actually be impeached?

In fact, to be blunt, impeaching Trump would not really solve anything. Pence is no better. “Even mad chief need sane lieutenants,” said Hayden Carruth in a poem about “Adolf.” The only way to stop the madness in which those are who wealthy disclaim any responsibility for the health and well-being of their fellow citizens is to alter the party in power in Congress in 2018, and at least bring to a halt the dismantling of the social safety net. It will not be possible to rebuild what is being torn apart until at least 2022, but we can minimize the damages that will accumulate between now and then, if and only if we vote in sufficient numbers to change an unbalanced system.

The best analysis I have read of our situation can be found in Larry Smith’s latest edition of the Caliban Chronicles, and I urge you to read it. The only “friendly amendment” I would attach to Larry’s call to action is that the Baby Boomer generation is far too susceptible to the illusion that changes in Social Security and Medicare will most likely affect the next generation. Hey, folks: that’s the plan. First, the next generation is asked to make “adjustments,” and then they will come after the Baby Boomers and demand that they, too, reduce the economic returns on their lifetime of hard work.

Consider the following:
The United States is already facing a gloomy fiscal landscape. The federal deficit this year topped $660 billion, despite healthy economic growth, and the national debt now exceeds $20 trillion. Janet L. Yellen, the outgoing chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, appointed by President Barack Obama, warned last week that the national debt “is the type of thing that should keep people awake at night.”

The “Grand Off-shore Party” knows that the secret of political domination is to divide the opposition, and their plan is to fuse the resentment of Generation X and the Millennials over their “raw deal” and cause them to band together in viewing the Baby Boomers as their “enemy.” Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders’s campaign failed to see that his proposals about assisting each block of these voters was widening this generational split at an early point in this crisis. Sanders played right into the hands of the GOP’s long-term strategy.

Here is the link to Larry Smith’s call to action:

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The GOP (Grand Offshore Party) and the Perfidy of Imposter Taxation

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Grand Offshore Party

I have not yet had a chance to investigate the Paradise Papers, but is there any need to spend precious time on reviewing what has been public knowledge for quite some time? Over the past several years, corporations have parked billions of dollars of profits in off-shore vaults, waiting for their tax rates to be lowered. It’s all perfectly legal.

It also has consequences. Is each and every dying person in this country receiving sufficient care to ease their travail? Is each child provided with a teacher who inspires imaginative and ethical curiosity? Is each parent of a disabled child given the assistance needed to empower that individual in all the impingements of her or his own life?

Yes, “ordinary” people must contribute to the kind of social program that would answer the above questions with an affirmation, but a society in which the distribution of wealth is skewed by a sanctioned version of double-entry bookkeeping can only endure by magnifying its repressive mechanisms to squeeze those who have the least amount of power. The thin layer of operatives who have extreme amounts of wealth and use but a pittance of it for anything other than furthering their own largesse are currently engaged in the perfidy of imposter taxation. They pretend to be individual citizens, owing no more than a family farmer of less than a thousand acres, or a carpenter, or architect, or teacher, or lawyer doing significant pro bono work, or police officer; yet they pay a proportionately small percentage of taxes than these workers.

This cannot be allowed to persist. I urge you to sign the following internationally based petition:

This is a global vote.

For more information on this issue, go to the following links:

Fact Sheet: Offshore Corporate Loopholes

* * *
“At the end of 2016 the giant US technology companies alone were estimated by Moody’s Investors Service to have $1.84 trillion (£1.4 trillion) of cash held offshore. …. The calculations of the economist Gabriel Zucman – analysing discrepancies in countries’ national accounts – suggest that around $7.6 trillion, or 8 per cent of global wealth, is held offshore. That’s up 25 per cent over the past five years.”

* * *
“The richest 1 percent of the world’s population now owns more than half of global wealth, and the top 10 percent owns about 90 percent.”

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“How would you feel if your father smoked pot?” (circa 1970)

July 15, 2017

“How would you feel if your father smoked pot?” (circa 1970)
(or, “Don’t Bogart That Joint, Dad. Pass It Over to Mom.”)

Buttondown Collar PS - 2

This advertisement appeared almost a half-century ago in a student newspaper. Under the guise of stimulating thinking, its lead question asks “how would feel….” The blending of the initial rhetorical emphasis (“how would you feel…”) and the purported value of “thinking” is quite intentional. This appeal to an emotional outcome of a supposedly rational consideration of drug laws is a standard tactic of those who wish to repress the Dionysian exploration of consciousness in any form whatsoever.

One also might reflect upon the stereotyped image of the older generation: did the advertisers expect young people to imagine their fathers being so up-tight as to keep their collars buttoned down, even as they are halfway through their joints?

It is still difficult for me to believe that the cultivation of marijuana will become legal in large swaths of the United States. I would caution those who might take this shift to be a permanent alteration in the consciousness of the American electorate to remember that this country is on the verge of making abortion, once again, a felony. The individual’s right to control her body has been under relentless attack for several decades, and we see the consequences. The shift in drug regulation could also turn out to be a temporary alleviation of repressive state control, unless we are more vigilant than we were about reproductive rights. Let us remember that many people have gone to prison for the possession of marijuana in the past, and if Jess Sessions and his friends have their way, such will be the law of the land again.

In the meantime, I choose not to light up. Or to light up when you least expect it.

I would also call for a Democratic member of Congress to introduce an amendment to the current Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that would make a doctor’s prescription for marijuana a mandatory part of any health insurance policy sold in the United States. Just so we can do a head count to remind ourselves of how temporary this respite might be.

I am curious if anyone can guess the name of the sponsor of the ad. Trust me that there’s more than a touch of irony involved. Feel free to send me your guesses at

Ground Level Conditions Presidental Election

High Bid/Low Bid: Donald Trump, Jr.’s Implausible Naivete

Thursday, July 13, 2017 (updated on Friday, July 14, 2017; updated again, Sunday, July 16, 2017)

“I” and “Them”: Donald Trump, Jr.’s Roll-Call of Retail Politics in the Glowering Tower

In his interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity, Donald Trump, Jr. claimed that his meeting with a person acting on behalf of the Russian government was nothing more than an exploratory encounter. “I wanted to hear them out and play it out.”

The pronouns in this assertion are crucial: “I” and “them.” The former is deceptive, while the latter turns out to be accurate. Let us note that Sean Hannity did not correct Mr. Trump, Jr.’s use of the singular pronoun in the subject of that assertion. At least two other American citizens, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, were known to have been at the meeting in addition to Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer, and Rinat Akhmetshin, who has been identified as a Russian lobbyist whose background might include training as an intelligence officer. Mr. Hannity should have corrected Mr. DT, Jr. immediately: “You mean, ‘We wanted to hear them out and play it out,’ don’t you?”

The most important question for Donald Trump, Jr. is “What exactly were the three of you planning on giving them in return for the information about Hillary Clinton that was purportedly going to be dangled in front of you? ‘Play(ing) it out,’ after all, means only one thing in this context: payment of some kind for services rendered. So what was your high bid going to be, beyond which you were not willing to cough up? What was the low bid you hoped they would accept?”

Surely, Mr. Donald Trump, Jr., you don’t expect me to believe that Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and you showed up at this meeting without ever discussing or considering what would be asked for in return? Paul Manafort is a man who knows about getting paid for services rendered, and Jared Kushner is hardly a man who believes in selfless devotion to non-profit NGOs. Each of you perfectly understands that in politics, in which “money is the mother milk,” nothing on a scale of international importance is going to handed over in service to the ideals of the public good.

Surely, Mr. DT, Jr., you were not expecting to be given this information for free? “Opposition Research” is expensive, and the more valuable and damaging it is, the more expensive it will be. So what was your budget, and how is it you arrived at that budget? How could you not have calculated the bottom line in advance of the meeting? Surely you understood that the amount of money and effort already expended by the providers of this information would be a sum that would need exponential repayment in order to compensate them for the risks they took in engaging in dubious practices themselves, for as you well know — all espionage ultimately involves blackmail and bribes. Or did you honestly believe that this information had been turned up by someone in Russia who merely typed the words “dirt on Hillary Clinton” into her computer’s browser, and presto! It all popped up without having a pay a single ruble to a hacker.

Your statements make it sound as if you showed up just to find out what information was available, and if so, then and only then would you inquire about the price. Once again, I find that incredibly implausible. If a piece of real estate you are very interested in becomes available, something you explicitly say “you love,” you know down to the penny what it might be worth in the long run, and you have a fairly solid idea of how you would assemble and package the funds that would pay for it. “Opposition research” on Clinton was prime political real estate, and as always it’s location, location, location. In this case, the location is Moscow, and going into this meeting, you knew perfectly well who the escrow company was.

Or did you think you would play the role of naïve amateurs? Were you planning to say, “Oh, did you want something in return for this information?” If so, what you expecting them to ask for? Please don’t tell me, under oath, that you weren’t expecting them to ask for anything in return.

With high stakes negotiations foremost in your anticipation of a positive outcome, how can you characterize your participation in this meeting as anything other than scandalous? To get to the bottom of your apprenticeship in espionage, how much money was available in a slush fund drawer at the Trump Tower to serve as a down payment on this information? Or was it already in an attaché case next to one of you? It’s hard not to imagine well experienced entrepreneurs showing up for a potential game-changing appointment not prepared to do business. It’s always possible, of course, but since your good friend and colleague Jared Kushner failed to list this meeting on his list of contacts with foreign nationals when he applied for his security clearance, you’ll forgive me for suspecting behavior that you would not wanted recorded and broadcast, unedited, on a reality TV show.

And now for the “them” part of DT, Jr.’s statement: “I wanted to hear them out…” If Mr. Hannity had noticed the plural, he would have expressed curiosity as to why Mr. Trump did not say, “I wanted to hear her out.” If he had done so, perhaps his stature as a journalist might improve slightly, for Mr. Trump’s response that someone else representing the interests of Vladamir Putin was in the room in addition to Ms. Veselnitskaya would have been a notable scoop. In point of fact, another person accompanied her, and Mr. Rinat Akhmetshin was not present simply to be a quality control monitor of the refreshments that were served. Was Mr. Akhmetshin on the phone, too, to the same extent that Paul Manafort was alleged to be? If so, his phone as well as Mr. Manafort’s, should have their activities at the time of this meeting made a matter of public record.

These are questions that I would like one of the Senators from California to ask Mr. Donald Trump, Jr. when he shows up to testify in Congress about the meeting of Manafort, Kushner and himself with Natalia Veselnitskaya and the person assisting her in these negotiations.

Finally, I find to my amazement that Charles Krauthammer and I agree on something, and I would urge all readers to read what a profoundly conservative voice has to say about this matter:
“What Donald Jr. — and Kushner and Manafort — did may not be criminal. But it is not merely stupid. It is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any code of civic honor. I leave it to the lawyers to adjudicate the legalities of unconsummated collusion. But you don’t need a lawyer to see that the Trump defense — collusion as a desperate Democratic fiction designed to explain away a lost election — is now officially dead.” — Charles Krauthammer

FOOTNOTE: In my fourth paragraph, I wrote: “Paul Manafort is a man who knows about getting paid for services rendered…” For more details about the employment history of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and how he was compensated for his lobbying efforts on behalf of the former President of Ukraine, Viktor F. Yanukovych, and his Party of Regions, see the following article:

It has been alleged that Mr. Yanukovych absconded with at least one billion dollars during his political career, before he was forced out of office. One possible indication of the presence of an “off-the-books” political economy is that the Party of Regions reported less money being spent for its operations than Mr. Manafort reported receiving as income. There is no proof whatsoever at this point Mr. Manafort was aware of this discrepancy or that he knowingly took money that might in some way be tainted. Mr. Manafort, however, is manifestly alert to the correlation of work done and compensation paid upon demand.

Ground Level Conditions Presidental Election

Grand Jury Indictment Time for the Trumpsville Express

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Next Stop for the Trumpsville Express: Grand Jury

Mr. Trump’s supporters no doubt believe that those who object to his agenda are simply “sore losers.” To lose an election is indeed no fun, for the consequences are real. One might very well, for instance, also lose one’s health insurance. I most certainly expect my spouse’s premium to increase significantly by 2018.

Let us remember, though, that Clinton won the popular vote. She lost the electoral college, but that outcome merely reaffirms the racist, misogynistic legacy of the so-called Founding Fathers. The election polls were not completely inaccurate: they predicted that a much larger number of people wanted Clinton to be President. The margin of Trump’s defeat in the accumulated total of enfranchised citizens was almost 3,000,000 votes.

Trump knew from the start of his candidacy that Hillary Clinton was going to be more successful in winning the popular vote. Trump also knew that the effects of the popular vote can be manipulated, since it is diluted by the tilted playing field of the electoral college. Unlike George W. Bush, however, Trump did not have a friend in Florida who might help him squeak out a victory on the state level and thereby secure the White House.

But he did have a “friend” in Russia. Maybe not a Facebook friend, but a friend nevertheless who understood the peculiar allocation of political power in the United States even better than Hillary Clinton. Vladimir Putin was quite cognizant that Clinton would win the popular vote, but he also calculated that all he needed to do was to help Trump tilt just enough states to win the Electoral College, and his puppet would be in the Oval Office.

Contrary to repeated public denials of any collusion with Russia, the e-mail exchange involving Donald Trump, Jr. and his extended circle of contacts in Russia reveal an individual intent on making use of the intelligence gathering services of a foreign power run by people who authorize the murder of their political opponents.

Mr. Donald Trump, the winner of the Electoral College vote, does not seem to understand that a vast number of middle-class taxpayers in the United States do not trust Vladimir Putin, and that anyone who demonstrates an eagerness to engage in “quid pro quo” arrangements with him is ethically suspect. The Magnitsky Act must remain in effect until Mr. Putin and all of his associates are brought to account for their actions in the World Court.

It is time for a prosecuting attorney to begin to make plans for a presentation to a grand jury and for indictments to be handed down. Given how anyone mentioned in these e-mails is likely to be called as a witness, those attorneys who are “ambulance chasers” cannot help but hear the sirens. Sad!

I doubt those of us who oppose Trump’s regime will be able to remove him from office, either by impeachment or by shaming him into resignation. There is no reason, however, why his son should be exempt from the maximum term in prison, should he be found guilty of breaking the law. While members of Congress probably yearn for a moment in the spotlight, such cross-examination should not be used to stall the momentum of a judicial proceeding.

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An Affirmative Fourth of July, 2017

July 4, 2017

July 4, 2016

Donald Trump is in a state of severe psychological distress. He seems to be occupying a hall of mirrors in which Baudrillard’s theory of the simulacrum conflates with Freud’s musings about the return of the repressed. The most recent Delirium Tremens installment involves the dissemination of a video from an old wrestling show in which he lampoons himself as a Don Quixote vanquishing “fake news.” He may have taken a public oath of office administered by a Supreme Court Justice that grants him residency in the White House, but that speech act did nothing to change his personality, which is that of a narcissistic bully.

A year ago, Linda and I went to Rod Bradley’s house and enjoyed a lovely evening with his friends and family. As dusk began to summon distant glimmers of fireworks at the perimeters of Los Angeles County, we took in the spectacle with little expectation that a malign transmogrification was about to launch itself into public power over social policy. Despite this grim turn in our national self-governance, I choose to celebrate this holiday as an affirmation of the virtues required to stand up to bullies and to punish them for their bad behavior.

Even as we admit how discouraging this travesty of an administration truly is, let us remember how persistent the resistance has been. As we take in this evening’s panoply of lingering bursts of color, let this ritual reinforce the dexterity of our citizenship; let our pledge of allegiance be to a nation that still embraces those who live and work with us out of no other choice of tolerable refuge. Let the despair that drives them here be a reminder of the effusive hope we must sustain amongst ourselves to preserve the viability of this experiment in democracy.

Atomized Fireworks

As the soundtrack anthem for today, here’s a link to my favorite for this occasion:

Hey Baby, It’s the 4th of July (Dave Alvin & X)

For those who wonder about the technology of fireworks, here is a link from one of my favorite websites:

How fireworks get their colors

Autobiography Presidental Election

Shelter from the Storm

Rupert - 2017

When one rents, one never knows how long the landlord will retain the property and let the lease in place ride out its month to month contingency. We have lived in the same house for the past eight years, and I am grateful for the continuity. We live at a minor intersection, which is to say that it can be noisy on occasion, though at least two of the families on the other corners are friendly and kind, and there is a sense of a neighborhood. Most of the people in the most adjacent houses have lived here even longer than we have, so if a major emergency occurred, we would at least have some sense of this vicinity being our joint responsibility. We are its caretakers, if not uniformly its owners. The neighborhood is a plural self-possessed.

It’s final exams week at CSULB. Back at the very beginning of this semester, there was a knock on our front door. Brookes, who lives in an apartment behind us, and Jill, who lives across the street, had just happened to hear a cat meowing on the corner of Geoff and Dana’s house, and it was the meow of a lost and hungry cat. “Would you be able to keep the cat for just one night?” Jill asked. “I’ll take it to the vet tomorrow morning and see if it has a chip.” It had already been a very wet winter, and more rain was due soon. Ever if a storm was not due that night, it was very cold out. A strong wind from off the Pacific Ocean a half-mile away was definitely bringing more clouds by the next afternoon. The cat was big, probably a male, and its orange fur glowed in the porch light. “OK, one night.” Famous last words.

The chip turned out to have an initial registration date from eleven years ago. The registration had long expired. A rambunctious beast, it turned out, who must have perfected his act of drumming on windows until he’s let out at several other residences during the past decade. The first few nights were on the sleepless side. “Dogs have owners; cats have staff” is the old saying, and this cat regarded us as staff that needed to be properly trained.

He is still here, though I fear his habit of crossing the street to visit Jill’s house, without looking for traffic, is going to lead fatal consequences some day. It’s been hard to accept that a new cat lives where I once cared for my beloved Cordelia, but Rupert has a raffish charm and he certainly knows how to campaign. More than a few neighbors have reported that he spends time on their porches, wooing the attention of their small children. “Rupert” still feels like a temporary name, like an alias for someone trying to make up for someone else’s mistake. We have yet to take him to the vet, though a visit can’t be put off too much longer.

In the meantime, the chastening of an incompetent President continues to be the main order of business in Washington, D.C. Power ill-gotten can never lose its dubious legitimacy, and the process of indirect elections is hardly serving as an exemplary means of staffing the public sphere by a large-scale human relations department. In contrasting the very local and the national scenes, Rupert probably has a better chance of being ensconced in this house four years from now than Trump has of being re-elected and occupying the Oval Office in the spring of 2020. My bet: even if he’s removed from office, Trump will run for election again in 2019. Extraction from office will only exacerbate his lust for the illusion of political dignity. That man has grown too fond of the panoply of public rallies to settle for being a re-run on the History Channel. Unlike Nixon, Trump will demand our attention again. You heard it here first.

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Sandy Flees Jackson, Michigan (Trump Territory)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sandy Flees Jackson, Michigan

Last summer, I happened to find myself in Jackson, Michigan, and ended up using the public library in order to write my friends Larry and Nancy Goldstein in Ann Arbor about the possibility of visiting them before I headed back to Long Beach. Although I was willing to take the train, they very kindly saved me the trouble and made a round-trip to pick me up, where I spent what proved to be a very delightful time with them. After writing from a computer in Jackson’s library, I went to a local version of an enormous grocery outlet, at the front area of which, near the cash registers, was one of those children’s mechanical rides that I remember along with gumball machines as being ever-present, if infrequently used, in my childhood. The price tag on the ride seemed to be less of a “loss leader” than a comment on the disparity between what jobs paid and what things cost. If “Sandy” could have voted, she would have shown some horse sense and cast her lot with Bernie Sanders. At that point in the election, though, she had little choice but to get the hell out of Jackson.

It is a grossly overweight town. While I certainly need to lose more than a few pounds as I verge on my 70th birthday, I had never before been around so many young and middle-aged people whose girths reflected bad diets. Given that Jackson voted overwhelmingly for Trump, one has to wonder about the relationship between a diet lacking in sufficient vegetables and fruits and political naivete. I suspect that their allegiance to a fast food regimen hasn’t changed since the inauguration of the 45th president, so those of us who want a government that respects intelligent imagination have work ahead of us that will require us to take control of the political machinery. For too long, we have sold our votes for a penny a ride.

One Cent Sign - Jackson