The Trailer in the Rose Garden

You don’t have to live in a trailer to be trailer trash.

Actually, the term “trailer trash” is one Miss Fidditch deplores.  But sometimes even the deplorable can be useful.

My take on it today, however, is not about people who live in trailers or about the usual kind of trash.  My take is metaphorical and about the billionaires and multi-millionaires who behave, as my granny might have said, “as if they were born in a barn.”

The most recent headlines and “news” stories coming out of Washington, D.C. and from GOP campaigners chill the soul of anyone brought up to take the high road.

The swamp grows deeper and the smell worse by the hour.  Much of today’s behavior among the so-called leaders or wanna-be leaders of our country would have been an embarrassment even to the National Enquirer not so many years ago, much less have been considered acceptable behavior for those charged with protecting the good of the nation.

Some days one wonders where and how it will end.  Other days one wants to turn off the picture and the sound and walk some other direction.  I’m choosing the “other days” more and more often, heading to the beach or playing in the garden.

Many of us have carried the foolish notion that people who have everything they want in the material sense could be more generous, kinder, satisfied.  That they could leave the rest of us to make our way through life. We have been wrong.

Yes, there are a few of the privileged who live in houses along the high road and keep the faith, but more and more of them are showing up now in broken down old trailers down by the swamp –  bickering, punching, kicking, telling lies, swaggering and generally acting like jackasses.

Or jennyasses spitting, brawling, enhancing and then baring one body part after another.

I’ll grant that the jacks and jennies are not alone in this thing.  Our culture has become one that salivates over the latest crude, disgusting word or move.

The values of integrity, goodness and generally doing the right thing don’t depend on wealth or status. They depend, as they always have, on kind hearts and souls, not the size of a bank account.

Miss Fidditch is hard-pressed to see where it will all end.  The stench and stain on our country will not go away anytime soon.

 

 

Advertisements

David Meets Goliath, and Tom Joad Calls It

The kids from Parkland warned us.

They made it clear.

They’re calling bull shit.

And young David Hogg just did it again.

David is the young man Laura Ingraham tried to bully with an obnoxious tweet about his failure to get into a few colleges he’d applied to.

Imagine, a grown woman with her own “news” program attacking a kid who had so recently watched his classmates die in a violent slaughter.

A couple of years ago, I would have thought it unimaginable, but since Trump and his nasty cohort sprang full-blown out of the head of Darth Vader, anything’s possible.

But Ingraham and Rick Santorum and the NRA honchos and the rest of the gang who are used to dealing with easily intimidated and weary, battle-worn adults didn’t count on the  vigor and intelligence and determination of the kids of Parkland.  They didn’t count on David Hogg.

David countered by getting a list of Ingraham’s advertisers and asking them to drop her show.  And many did.

When Ingraham “apologized” in a smarmy tweet for the nasty message she’d sent, David pulled the rug out from under her.  An easily intimidated and weary, battle-worn adult might have accepted that apology, but not David Hogg.

He called bull shit.

He didn’t accept the apology.  And he went one step further to say he knew it was not sincere, but simply offered because of the loss of advertisers.  I doubt he’ll be accepting this pseudo-journalist’s invitation to go on her show for a “productive conversation” either.

Ingraham is blowin’ in the wind and the wonderfully articulate kids from Parkland are letting the world know, especially the House of Trump, that they are a force to be reckoned with and will continue to be that force as they come of age, register to vote and bring down people who have been elected or made a living inciting hate, anger and violence in America.

People like Ingraham are slow learners.  They know what they know and have no ability to process or respond to new information like a growing band of bright young people much smarter than the Ingrahams of America.  They fall back on their tried-and-true techniques – bullying, gossip, making up and/or believing anything that will suit their position and then spouting it from their radio and television pulpits.

But a different day is coming.  And there are millions of young people who just might end up being led by David Hogg, all of them smart and brave and vigorous enough to call bull shit when they hear it.

To add a 21st century twist to Tom Joad’s words in Steinbeck’s greatest novel, The Grapes of Wrath, I believe these kids have been called to bear witness and to act on what they see.

Wherever they find vindictive and bullying adults, they’ll be there.  Wherever  the establishment is preaching hate and violence, they’ll be there.  Wherever politicians want to put bright young people into a creaky old paradigm, they’ll be there.

And wherever anybody tries to lie to them, they’ll be there calling bull shit.

 

 

The Oppositional Man in the White House – What Me Worry?

After reading this morning that Donald Trump was advised by his minions, in all capital letters, NOT to congratulate Putin on his election but did it anyway, I was called (pushed? driven?) to look up once again information about Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

I’ve copied it below and leave you to make your own decision about Mr. Trump.  I’ll add that it usually shows up in children but can continue into adulthood.  I rest my case.

—————————————————————————————

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists criteria for diagnosing ODD. The DSM-5 criteria include emotional and behavioral symptoms that last at least six months.

Angry and irritable mood:

  • Often and easily loses temper
  • Is frequently touchy and easily annoyed by others
  • Is often angry and resentful

Argumentative and defiant behavior:

  • Often argues with adults or people in authority
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
  • Often deliberately annoys or upsets people
  • Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

Vindictiveness:

  • Is often spiteful or vindictive
  • Has shown spiteful or vindictive behavior at least twice in the past six months

ODD can vary in severity:

  • Mild. Symptoms occur only in one setting, such as only at home, school, work or with peers.
  • Moderate. Some symptoms occur in at least two settings.
  • Severe. Some symptoms occur in three or more settings.

For some children, symptoms may first be seen only at home, but with time extend to other settings, such as school and with friends.


This is the man entrusted with our future.  Worried yet?

Mark Zuckerberg – Off the Turnip Truck or Just Plain Lies?

Mark Zuckerberg either just fell off the turnip truck or he’s lying through his shiny white teeth.

In the first case, he claims to have believed the words of a college professor who developed an app for “research” and allowed the professor to put it on Facebook to gather “research” information.  Then when the app turned out to be a problem, like invading the privacy of millions of Facebook users and used for scurrilous means, Zuckerberg believed the story that the app had been taken down.

In the second case, Zuckerberg was as culpable as the minions of Donald Trump for flat out lies to the Facebook users who shared their personal information.  The dollar signs apparently got in the way of Zuckerberg’s integrity, and he just ignored the potential for widespread abuse of the system he created to let college kids communicate with each other. He didn’t know it was being used to sway the election?  Oh, please.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Zuckerberg seems to fit perfectly with Trump and his godawful troupe of banjo billionaires.   He was as responsible for Trump’s election as the Russians.

Now, like Trump, he’s weaseling and saying this was not a “data breach” but that the professor misled him.  Duh, Mark, duh.

Put on your big boy pants, Mark, and face up to your responsibilities.

Trump’s already lost face and his lies no longer carry the weight they once did.

I think the same is in store for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.  We’ve learned so much from Trump and his errors, his lies and bad behavior.  We’re experts now in detecting bull shit.  Giving millions to charity isn’t going to do it, Mark.

Give people back their privacy.

You’re not a young genius. You’re a con man.