I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 23, 2018 - 12:17 p.m.
I went to the Met game last night, that's a sure indicator of bad weather. It rained much of the day and was misting when I left the house. It wasn't bad enough to delay the game or to stop us from sitting under cover. I am now prepared and bring a towel to games to dry off our seats. I got there early enough to sign up for the designated driver free drink. This game fell right into routine.
Alan's tickets are between home and first. They are first row on the upper section but that turns out to be obstructed view seats. It doesn't bother Alan, but it drives me crazy. The obstruction is from the top of the stairway to the level. You must look through Plexiglas and a metal bannister. As most games are not close to sellouts we don't sit in them. I discovered that there are almost always seats available on the upper level right behind the plate. These are much closer to the action and not obstructed. I always get there first, Alan tries to arrive just in time for the first pitch. I take the seats and text Alan where I am. We could not do this in the days before cell phones. Alan is a bit of a luddite; his phone is a clam shell.
I've been lucky most of my starts and seen Syndergaard most of them. This game against the Marlins, the worst team, the Mets started Wheeler. He's been doing terrible. He didn't last night. He gave up three runs in six innings and was hurt by an error by Jose Reyes. Jose used to be an All-Star, a Met hero. Now he's a huge liability. So far this season he's worth 0.6 Wins Below Replacement. Every team has a guy in the minors that could do better. It's time to let him go. The Mets had a run of outfield injuries and signed Jose Batista. He's a former All-Star with a WAR as high as 8.1. That's superstar level. As recently as 2015 he was worth and excellent 5.2 WAR. In 2016 that dropped to 1.3 and then last year he fell to -0.5, worse than a replacement player. He's continuing that this year. He's clearly over the hill, both Toronto and Atlanta gave up on the 37-year-old. The Mets signed him. He got a double his first at bat for the Mets but he's still awful.
After six innings the Mets were down 3-1. Then Ramos gave up two more runs. Alan and I both decided to leave early if the Mets didn't score. We left after the 8th. I wouldn't do that if the trip home was more predictable. Last game it took me two hours. Google Maps said that if I left when I did it would be just a bit over an hour. It was right. I left around 10 and was home by 11:05. That's much better.
The Mets lost but as always, I enjoyed the game. It's baseball, one of the best things on earth. I got to spend time with Alan. I had pizza before the game. That adds up to a good day.
Now for something completely different, politics. There's a comparison that I haven't seen that seems obvious to me. Of course, I haven't made it either so maybe every sees it. The political effect of Obama's elections was similar to the passing of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts in the mid -60s. The backlash to both created a fundamental pollical realignment. In the sixties it meant the loss of the South to the Democrats. As Johnson said, "We've lost the South for a generation. It's been longer than that. Where it's starting to fade as in Virginia it isn't became the old population changed but because of an influx of people from other regions. Virginia is still bright red except for the area around D.C.
Obama's election cost the Democrats the white working class. The question is can the be won back over? I'm not going to presume to guess. I have no expertise, but I can see what's right there in front of me; Obama's effect on the psyche of many whites. They took it on a visceral level as an assault on their position in society. This led to the entire Birther movement that Trump spearheaded and rode to the presidency. Many had the feeling that a black man with a 'Muslim" name could not be the legitimate president.
That leads to my other point. We've had four presidents in a row that were viewed as illegitimate by much of the opposition. That is terrible for democracy. If the president is illegitimate, then supporting him is un-American. There is no reason to give him respect or trust. Let's run down this president by president.
The right viewed Bill Clinton as illegitimate because he was a criminal. It started with Whitewater, but the charges spread to things as ridiculous as the murder of Vincent Foster. Then game Monica Lewinsky which was real but not something that should have affected his right to govern. Most Americans agreed, and his popularity rose during the impeachment. But to the Republican core he should have been jailed for perjury and impeached for cheating on his wife.
George W. Bush was considered illegitimate because he lost the popular vote and only won the electoral college due to Supreme Court meddling. Al Gore recognized the danger of disputing the election and conceded but many Democrats, including me, thought that it lessened Bush mandate. I still do. Then came his re-election where it was the Democrats turn to be unreasonably partisan. Bush won the popular vote this time, but many denied it. Even though American exit polls are not designed to predict who won an election many ceased on the fact that Kerry was ahead in the exit polls in Ohio and then lost the vote count as evidence of something nefarious, a stolen election. The people who did the polling explained that this was not evidence, but people "knew" that Kerry won. I remember hearing of statistical studies proving that the vote count was altered and that they would be published in a peer-reviewed journal. They weren't as any proper review would show how exit polls are not reliable. They are designed to find out why people voted like they did, not who they voted for. The people polled are far from a random sample.
Then came Obama and the birthers. In his re-election many in the GOP "knew" that Romney won the popular vote. Sure, everyone they knew voted for him, but the polls always had Obama winning by just about the margin in the vote count.
Finally, there's Trump who like Bush lost the popular vote. Unlike Bush and every other president, he didn't act presidential, he is vulgar, he is a braggart, thinking he'd lose he attacked the electoral process. I agree that Trump shouldn't be president, the electoral college is a terrible idea that has outlived its original justification. He has abused his position for personal gain and to attack his enemies. He might very well have helped a foreign power interfere with our election. None of that negates the fact that he is the president until such time as he resigns, is impeached, dies, or his term expires. As much as I want him to be impeached that's not going to happen soon; The Republican House will never impeach him. If the Democrats take over both houses of congress they still won't have enough votes for him to be convicted in the Senate without many Republicans turning. It takes a two-thirds majority. That is not going to happen without a smoking gun. Mueller might very well have one, but we have not seen it yet.
If the Democrats retake the presidency in 2020, which the odds favor, will Republicans accept it? I hope so but I'm afraid that Trump has so corrupted the base they'll say that it was because of the witch hunt committed by the Deep State. My greatest fear is that among the tens of millions that believe in the Deep State conspiracy one will try and "save" the country through assassination. I'm not saying it will happen, but the possibility cannot be overlooked.
This short entry on the Met game expanded. Now I'll have nothing to write about tomorrow. You can help. When I write my purpose is to stimulate thinking in My Gentle Readers. I would love if people discussed their thoughts on Facebook comments.
Today's soundtrack; this entry was written to Future Pilot and Paperdust Stardust by We're About 9 and Count Me Wicked by Mama's Broke.
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please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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