taxes

Sending in my last estimated tax checks for the year. Never fun but particularly painful the past two years. I’m helping to pay for that insane person in the white house and all the terrible things this government has done in the past two years. At least with the budget impasse many of them aren’t working and can’t do any more harm. Unfortunately many good people are also not working.

I think we should all just say no more tax payments until the tramp is gone.

I always thought that as I got older Life would make more sense, but just the opposite happened

The horizon is nearer and the options and possibilities are fewer.

Signs of sinners

It was reported today that a massive mass transit project in our neighborhood is over one year behind schedule and 10% over budget. And this is less than 9 months after the project started.

The consortium of construction companies that are involved are the same ones that nearly bankrupt the transit system a few years ago with massive overruns in cost and time on another project. Yet they were hired again. Why?

Politics and greed. Pure and simple.

The companies make big political contributions. They take the politicians and the bureaucrats on lavish trips. They dramatically underbid the project to get the award. And you know they have a timetable for when they will announce the predetermined overruns that will eventually get them to where the bid should have been in the first place (but they never would have gotten the job with an honest bid).

This happens everywhere and we just roll our eyes and let it slide.

Wake up people!

things never change

I was just looking through some old idea books/journals and got depressed that so much that’s wrong with the world hasn’t changed in the past 10, 20, 30 – 50 years.

Greed, racism, intolerance, child and spousal abuse, environmental neglect, crime … all as bad today as in the late 1960s when I graduated from college as part of a generation that was sure it would make a difference. We made some superficial changes but we certainly haven’t changed anything fundamentally. And in fact with the current mad man president we’re seriously regressing.

Entry from August 3, 1991: “We have grown so cynical with politicians, and the examples of corruption and self-interest are so extensive/pervasive that they seem to have lost all impact. Would have to be truly heinous to have any impact and maybe not even then.”

Next step

Now that the democrats have some control of the house, it’s time for new leadership.  Pelosi has been more than ineffective, she’s been a disaster.   Is there no one in that party who can be a leader, strong enough to stand up for what’s right rather than cower in the bunker and pray that we will survive the next two years?  Van Holen from Maryland is a prime example of a scared politician who is more concerned about keeping his job than standing for principles like decency, fair play, the truth…

Anticipation…

What will today bring?

Will we see some sanity return to the life of the American public or will the haters continue to win because they know no bounds of decency.?

I hope every misguided person who screwed up by not voting for Hillary (the lesser evil) and who therefore allowed the greater evil to win will get off their butt and vote for people who can begin to stop the madness that has taken over our government and is sending our country into a death spiral.   And no that is not hyperbole – just look around.

 

A new low for Maryland

It’s easy to blame the University of Maryland for the death of Jordan McNair, and it was the UMD president who almost immediately admitted the university’s culpability.

Then it got messy and political.  The Board of Regents took over and they are controlled by the republican governor – Hogan.   Hogan is a typical lying politician who will do and say anything to get and keep his job.   The Board of Regents ignored all evidence that the football program under the head coach was unhealthy for the players (and not successful on the field).   It is unbelievable that they retained the coach and athletic director who were directly responsible for the players death and forced the school president to resign because he had taken the moral high ground and admitted that the university had failed to protect the student.

The powerful alumni donors who keep the football program alive are the same people who support the governor and other lying republican politicians.  They have shown us how callously uncaring the republican establishment is toward everyone else.

Another sad day for America

The weakness of a complacent democracy is clearly evident in the confirmation of lover boy Kavanaugh.

The right wing idiots are a minority but a powerful and organized one, led by a man who has no morals or sense of right and wrong.  He’s a bully and many love that.  Sad.

But the saddest thing is that this is much more damaging to our country that a temporary head of the EPA or even Justice.  This is for the life of this person who does not represent anyone other than the conservative rich.

The only way out of this problem is to amend the constitution to require a 2/3 vote of the senate to confirm a supreme court justice.  That would prohibit any party from this kind of terrible bludgeoning of democracy.

Anita Hill revisited…

Will the outcome be any different?

Bets are that #metoo and others will not succeed when there is so much power at stake.  The establishment will sacrifice many but not the ones who  will hold true power and who are proven ideologues, beholden to the financial and political elite.

Our Dope-in-Chief is now a Dupe-in-Chief

Tramp is used to “reading” patsies and those who he can take advantage of, primarily by lying to them or threatening them.  But he’s the dope who’s being duped by two experienced dictators – Putin and Kim.   And we’re the ones who will pay the price for his arrogance and stupidity.

Tax Day

Nothing hits you quite like a big shock to the wallet.  No big tax benefit for yours truly.  Just on the fringe of the upper percentages, the biggest impact was thousands of dollars into the AMT pothole.

Where the hell is the outrage about the tax benefits for the very wealth and the fact that Tramp has never released  his tax statements?  What other politician would get away with that?  And only because he doesn’t give a shit what normal people think about him.

I’ve had this idea for years as a form or protest – first to Regan, then Bush Sr, and definitely to Bush the lesser.  What if we all filed our returns on time, meeting the legal requirement, BUT DON’T PAY ANYTHING.  Let them come after millions of us.  And in the meantime see how they can spin that as anything other that a popular uprising against what a mess the government has come to be.

And I blame the do-nothing-but-bend-over Democrats as much as anyone.  Politics as usual is getting us into an awful situation with the economy, the environment, peace, and just pure decency.

I just wish I had the guts to do it.

fair weather golfer

The sun is shining.  80+ degrees with slight wind from the south.  No humidity.  A perfect day after a long, cold, winter and a spring that sputtered but never really started.   Nice enough that yesterday I picked up my golf sticks for the first time in many years.  Other than a couple of rounds at various clubs, it has been over 50 years since I was a player in college with a 9 handicap.

Aside- I’m not going to my 50th reunion after all.   I think that’s my final decision, but I won’t swear to it.

But I’m really excited about golf because we just joined a country club where I can play.  I resisted this for 50 years for various reasons, many forgotten and many silly in hindsight.   I grew up in a country club environment/family, and I finally decided that it would be good for my youngest daughter to have that experience.  I don’t know how my older daughters will feel about that, but apologies in advance if necessary.

I went to the driving range at the club with full expectation that I would embarrass myself.  Late morning, there would only be other old duffers like myself.  That was true, but much to my surprise I wasn’t half bad.  Maybe it was the stiff back and the gimpy knees that kept my swing from doing the stupid things it used to do.  I had watched hours of the Masters last weekend and noticed that the old guys – Nicklaus and Watson and Player – all had modified their swings with age and still managed to hit a ball straight and pretty far.   I’ll be damned if I didn’t do the same for most of a bucket of practice balls.

Now the real test will be to tee it up on the first tee and swing away.

Is the tide turning?

Just finishing a trip to Palm Beach, getting out ahead of the arrival of Tramp aka not-my-president

After days at the high society clubs and fancy restaurants (all courtesy of my mother who lives here) I realize that there is a change, subtle as it may be, to the tone of the conversation regarding the idiot-in-chief.  This heretofore very loyal crowd is murmuring discontent and actually beginning to question the blinders-on faith they had in him just because he’s a republican.   If it can happen to this group, the only group in America that benefits from the recent tax cut, then it could happen anywhere.  I hope.

What’s with the high heels?

Yesterday I went to the Patriot League championship game for women’s basketball with my wife and daughter.  And I’m happy to say that my AU Eagles won over Navy.  So they’re dancing in the NCAA Tournament.  The team’s best player and MVP of the tournament is a sophomore, so the future is bright.

What amazed me, however, was the fact that all the AU coaches, all of them female, all wore these 6 inch stiletto high heel shoes.  It was so incredibly incongruous with the energetic athletic nature of the players – all wearing sensible basketball shoes.

I wonder what kind of message  this sends to these young women – that their coaches would dress in such unsuitable, unreasonable, footwear?  To me it seems like it could easily send the wrong message about dress, shoes, and how you have to look as a female.

But then I’m a dumb guy and what do I know.

Bullies, part 2

The thing about bullies is that the only way to handle them is to smash them in the mouth.  You can try to run, but you can’t hide.  If you try to negotiate, or peacefully coexist, they just push harder because they sense weakness, and weakness is an aphrodisiac for bullies.

Bullies are cowards, fearful little creatures, and they will never punch back.  But if they have control of nuclear weapons and no one above them to say “no” to  them, then we’re all f–ked.

Our Bully is Badder Than Your Bully

Note to  the people of North Korea:  our bully (fake-president Tramp) is tougher than your bully (Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un).

It should come as no surprise that our bully-in-chief is the baddest on the block because he is crazy.  No one knows what weird, stupid shit he will do, just so he can win whatever contest he thinks he’s in.  That unpredictability, instability, is what makes him so dangerous to all of us.

The “deal” to be reached between these “leaders” will be a Tramp hotel for a bunch of nuclear missiles that the NRA will manage.   I know that I’ll feel a lot safer.

Shameless Self-Promotion

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s,  and  I have some perspectives on coming of age during that time.  It was very different from what my 15-year-old daughter experiences today.  It was simpler in so many ways, particularly without the means of 24-hour instant communication.  I plan to address many of those issues in this blog.  But I have also used that era as the backdrop for a series of young-adult, new adult, novels.

The Education of Clark Westfield is a trilogy that begins with Lovely Rita, continues with Curse of the Nice Guy, and ends with Clark’s Choice.   The first two novels are available on Amazon in print or e-book; they are also available as e-books on other internet book retailers including Barnes&Nobel and Smashwords.  The third novel is scheduled to release this summer – June 30.

If you decide to check them out, I’d appreciate it if you would post a review online at the purchase site.  And if you want to comment on it here, that would also be great.

BTW, the first book, Lovely Rita, is only $2.99.  AND UNTIL MARCH 10, 2018,  BOTH OF THEM ARE FREE AT SMASHWORDS.COM

50th College Reunion

Most of us who were born in 1946 went to college in 1964 and graduated in 1968.  That makes this the year of the 50th college reunions.  Hard to believe.

At my college it was the custom for the class that was having its 50th reunion to schedule it the same weekend as the graduation and for the 50-year-men to march at the head of the graduation procession.  It’s a nice tradition and still done.  So that means if I go to my 50th reunion I would be marching with all the other old geezers.

I remember a brief thought at my graduation as I watched, through my blood-shot eyes and hangover, those old geezers from the class of 1918.  That thought was – my god how can they still walk at that age.  They looked SO OLD.  I most definitely do not feel as old as those guys looked.

Had I not been so self-absorbed, I would possibly have thought about the incredible changes they had experienced and witnessed in those 50 years.  The roaring twenties in their twenties; prohibition; the great depression; WW II; the Korean war; the cold war and the beginning of the Vietnam war.  And that led me to think about the changes in my 50 years as a college graduate.

Nixon to Bush to Tramp – a terrible progression; can it get any worse?

Rotary dial phones to smart phones – there is such a thing as too much communication.

Electric typewriters to word processors – more information but less knowledge and wisdom.

No computers to laptops and AI – scary stuff.

Three television networks to hundreds – and still nothing to watch.

The cold war we “won” to the cyber war that we may be losing.

 

I like to make these posts interactive, so please send in your changes, especially you who are facing your 50th reunion this summer.

curmudgeon

Webster’s Dictionary: “crusty, ill-tempered and usually old man”

Alternative definition: “an old baby boomer”

Do we all fit the definition?  Probably not.  Do most of us?  Probably.

But what’s wrong with that I ask.  A corollary trait for a curmudgeon includes “no tolerance for fools”, and we need a lot more people with that trait today.  No longer can we idly sit on our hands while these fools ruin the world for everyone.  We need to have zero tolerance for a long list of fools:

  • the Fake-President
  • red light runners
  • NRA members and supporters
  • anyone on Fox News
  • anyone who believes everything they hear on television
  • Republicans in the congress
  • grocery store executives who approved self-checkout kiosks
  • people who deny global warming

Continue reading “curmudgeon”

A year for Presidents

Clinton, Bush, Tramp – all Presidents of the United States.  All born in 1946, the first year of the baby boom.   Its never happened before.  There have been three sets of two Presidents born in the same year.:  John Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson – 1767;  Ulysses Grant and Rutherford Hayes – 1822; and Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford – 1913.

We should have stopped at one; learned our lesson with two.; and never done the third.

The Fake President is the oldest ever to take office, just slightly older than Reagan who was also mentally impaired when he started.

We have a minimum age limit.  Maybe there should be a maximum limit – say 60.  AND a mental health test!

socialism after all

My mother lives in a nice condo in an exclusive community.  She and my dad bought it over forty years ago for less than $100,000 and its now worth over $2 million.  I visit her frequently and on every visit I’m overwhelmed by the incredible wealth on display in the enormous mansions, which are hidden behind gates and large walls.  But it’s not just that one community and its mansions.  The evidence of excessive wealth is everywhere.  Unfortunately, so is the evidence of hopeless poverty and suffering.

Continue reading “socialism after all”

Blood on their hands

The NRA and anyone who supports them has the blood of thousands of innocent lives on their hands.  This is not debatable.  And no amendment of the constitution will ever be able to wipe those hands clean.  A special place in hell awaits all of them.

Man is hardwired for violence.  That’s what kept us alive for centuries.  But weapons determine the level of the violence.  A knife fight is one on one violence.  Up close and personal, difficult.   An automatic rifle shooting is a one on many violence.  Impersonal, distant, and too easy. – a coward’s way.   We are never going to weed all of the mentally deranged killers from our society, but we can make them engage in  knife fight rather than an automatic rifle slaughter.

The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming.

To the surprise of almost no one, not even the fake president, it is now clear that the Russians were a large factor in the outcome of the last election.

That’s terrible…right?  Of course, but the worse thing is that we can’t do anything about it.  Will we be able to void the election?  No.  We will be able to get a real president?  No.   Will we be lucky enough that there is a “smoking gun” that implicates the fake president in a cover-up?  Probably not and even if there was, that idiot and his lackys would be able to divert our attention by yelling about HIllary’s emails.

So let’s not spend any time on this and instead focus on driving as many Republicans from the House as we can come November.

my first post – Old Baby Boomers Blues

This blog will be for those of us who were born during the early years of the baby boom – 1946 to 1950 (maybe 1951 or 1952 but after that thing changed enough that many of our experiences were different).

Some of this may come out as a rant.  But so what, it’s my blog.  Some will agree.  Some will disagree.  Many will not care… and consequently, I don’t care about them.  That may not actually be true, but I’m not writing this for them.

I was born in 1946, the first year of the baby boom, and I’m now 71 and feeling very despondent when I look at the condition of our society, our country, our world.  Sure, I like my smart phone and all it can do.  I love being able to find out about something instantly.  But we just had another school shooting and that exemplifies all that is wrong with us.  That we’re so violent and so closed minded and so angry.  And we feel so helpless in the face of the way things are rigged for the rich and the powerful.  The bullies are running the world, and most of us are cowering in the corner, hoping that they won’t notice us.