Who’s The Loser Now?

RIP Dolores O’Riorden 1971 – 2018

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Fee Fi Fo Fum, California Here I Come!

No matter what the giant from Washington says or does, California, and Nevada County in particular, is going to see radical changes with the advent of legal marijuana. It will take years to sort out all the details, but things will never be quite the same. Stay tuned!

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The Statue Of Lunacy

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We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

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Wheel Estate

More and more people are opting for a home on wheels, like they have much choice in this market…

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Inept vs. Insane: The Gonzo Presidency

“The voters are fed up with this orgy of dumbness and punishment. The electorate will demand a degenerate in the White House.”   -Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter wrote that line back in 1987, long before The Donald slithered into the oval office, and even before Monica Lewinsky graduated from high school. He wrote extensively on the epidemic of evangelical debauchery that consumed the Bakkers and Jimmy Swaggert.

But who would’ve guessed back then, when Ronald Reagan was the gold standard of decency, that the Bible Belt voters would turn out in droves to elect a three-time two-timer pussy-grabbing reality TV star and real estate tycoon to the White House? In what PCP-infused nightmare would pious Americans equate Boss Tweet with Jesus Christ, the Savior?

In Warren Hinckle’s five hundred page homage, Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?, no one actually answers the riddle of his death, and Thompson himself left no clues as to why he blew his brains out back on a cold February day in 2005. Armies of scribes, myself included, have speculated endlessly on his mental and physical state, but no one can say for sure.

As a world traveler, Hunter spent many a night in swank hotel rooms where he would seek inspiration from the Gideon Bible, and his favorite passages came from The Book of Revelations. Being accustomed to hellish visions and political intrigue, he could relate to its metaphorical meanderings and the threat of divine retribution for those who stood in the way of the Great Cleansing to come.

And Revelations is nothing if not a response to the monstrous  reign of Nero and his persecution of the early Christians in first century Rome.  Revenge is sweet, and the author of Revelations was counting on future generations to carry out  His judgement on the deviants and unbelievers of some depraved future scenario.

So it has come to pass. In the short span of forty years, the evangelical community has ditched political purity for expediency. The man who wallowed in excess at every level and even said in public that he could murder a person on camera and still get elected proved that morality is in the eye of the beholder.

They cheered wildly when Trump the Redeemer threw them the Jerusalem bone, befuddling our Arab allies and setting the stage for the ultimate Hollywood blockbuster: Armageddon Now!  Many fell to the ground, spinning around like Curly Howard and babbling in tongues when the Great Leader started lopping off heads of the multi-cultural  beast known as the UN.

And if the definition some have ascribed to “gonzo” journalism is the act of inserting one’s self into the story and sometimes substituting allegory for actual facts, The Donald has truly morphed into the Gonzo Presidency. In his eyes, the world revolves around him, and his followers dote on every cryptic tweet. He attacks his adversaries head on, with little concern for decorum, decency or diplomacy.

So maybe Hunter experienced some kind of acid flashback in his final days, one that sent him careening through the wall of time into the future. Maybe he saw What Was To Come and couldn’t process it. The man who savaged Nixon may have seen the final fate of The American Dream he chased for most of his life, and couldn’t deal with the horror of it all.

“The Apocalypse finds men mad, or leaves them so.” – John Calvin

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Trouble In Paradise

I knew this one was coming. I doubt the feds will be combing the hills for pot patches, but this will definitely throw a monkey wrench in any attempt to create a banking system for all that cannabis cash. No financial institution will touch it with a ten foot pole now.

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Year Of The Marijuannials

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Inept vs. Insane 2018: Opening Shot

Welcome to 2018. Now that the dust has settled from the first year of the Trump presidency, it’s time to look ahead at what kind of year we can expect in the coming months.

“The Great Divide” has shown no sign of closing the ideological gap between progressives and conservatives. If anything, it’s likely to become even more pronounced as Republicans and Democrats joust for control of Congress in the midterm elections. There will be much swearing and bloodletting. Shield your children.

The Republicans base is unlikely to falter in their support of Trump, and why should they? After all, he is the first Republican president to actually do the things that the far right has been harping on since the Reagan years. He’s slashed regulations, put a reliably right wing ideologue on the Supreme Court, crippled the Affordable Care Act, told the Iranians and North Koreans to go fuck themselves, told the United Nations that they can either support us or shut up if they want any funding from Washington, and he personally challenges the news media 24/7.

And at the last moment, he and his sometimes allies in the Congress passed sweeping tax reductions, proving that it is possible to herd cats when it is in the cats’ interest. (That interest being the slim majorities they will rely on to continue bleeding the bog.) Historical evidence suggests the controlling party will be ousted, but then, conventional wisdom said Hillary would trounce the Trumpster in 2016.

Democrats now find themselves in the unenviable position of talking down the economy, which will only work if the economy is worse by the end of summer. Will the corporations follow the program and dump billions into jobs and higher wages? A few have, so far, but there will need to be much more if the oligarchs want to avoid the slings and arrows aimed at their outrageous fortunes.

It appears the next big battle will be funding infrastructure. The Donald has thrown down the gauntlet to make the effort a bipartisan labor of love, but it will likely break down on party lines. Any Democrat that even dares to look at compromise will be skinned alive by the fanatic base as a warning to others.

Then there is the ongoing media onslaught. By the end of 2017, the partisan divide between Fox News and MSNBC/CNN reached a fever pitch, with pundits barely able to hide the foam sputtering from their quaking lips. Partisan hacks with bulging eyeballs and hearts full of hate will cite party-funded studies and skewed polls to the eager believers. Likewise, Twitter and Facebook are overflowing with half-baked, half-faked posts accusing the enemies of civilization of every conceivable crime known to humankind.

We have become a nation of schizophrenics; multiple personalities unable to reconcile our differences and unwilling to seek treatment. E Pluribus Fuck’em. Winning is all that matters, and governing seesaws from one extreme to the other and back again.

Even truckloads of opiates can’t dull the national pain. As the government safety net is dismantled, Republicans will seek to divert public health to the churches, in the hope of converting the diseased to the proper religion for salvation. This is their plan to bring the nation back to its glory days. History will be sanitized in their own version of political correctness. (The Indians should be happy we white people saved them from their primitive lifestyle!)

Meanwhile, progressives are tightening their stranglehold on the west coast, with California in the lead. Even so, the Democratic party is sharply divided between the pragmatists and the hardcore Bernie-bots.

In the coming months, this column will strive to make sense of it all, and continue to look for some ray of hope that sanity will prevail upon “the last best hope of mankind on earth.” This cannot occur unless both sides get off their high horses and find common ground instead of drawing lines in it. Impossible? America’s always been about doing the impossible.

Stay tuned…

 

 

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Another One Bites The Dust

I offer my last gasp at 2017, with apologies to poets everywhere…

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