Balloons.

Photo from WDEF.com

Trump is visiting the United Kingdom for a State visit. There really isn’t any policy discussion going on while he is in the U.K.; he’s over there to do niceties with the monarchy and maintain the special diplomatic connection the U.S. has with the U.K. Protestors have welcomed him with the “Baby Trump Balloon”.

Trump has already called Megan Markle “nasty” and called the mayor of London a “stone cold loser”.

That’s great language for a diplomatic visit. As I read on my Twitter feed this morning, the man has “throne envy”.

My apologies to the United Kingdom.

Unsilenced.

I’ve been trying really hard to not run my mouth about the state of the States these days. I’ve been purposely avoiding news feeds. I’ve created a new Twitter account to try to escape the gluttony of idiocy spewing all over creation on my timeline. I avoid eavesdropping on seemingly rich, white people conversations while we are out to dinner. I refuse to take photos for tourists standing in front of the Trump building here in Chicago.

It’s mostly because if I were to really say what I feel, well, let’s just leave it at that.

My dreams are nightmares filled with the cries of a planet being destroyed by humans. My mouth is agape when I read things like the Alabama Abortion Ban bill signed by their governor today. Fun fact, the woman impregnated by a rapist will go more time for getting an abortion than the man that raped her. Let that sink in for a moment: uncle rapes 17 year old, baby has complications due to genetics, uncle goes to jail for 10 years for rape but the 17 year old girl goes to jail for 99 years for getting an abortion.

If given the choice between “The Hunger Games” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”, I’ll take my chances with a flaming dress.

My biggest fear is the Democrats are doing everything they can to make this a close, if not lost, presidential election. Common sense would dictate that Trump would lose in a landslide in 2020. But common sense is no longer common here in the States (how can we really call ourselves ‘The United States of America’ these days?), it’ll be a close if not lost presidential election and then Flaming Cheeto will feel empowered to really get his agenda going. That’s if we’re not nuked to death from a war with a nuclear power or the planet holds it together, despite the abuse, to get us to 2020 to begin with.

Remember when people were enraged about a blow job in the Oval Office? Good times.

My pilot insurance policy renewed this week and it came with an addendum that exempts coverage if I’m injured in an airplane during a nuclear attack. I have no idea why this is even being discussed but I guess we have to plan for reality.

Here’s a winner: Elizabeth Warren is suggesting we beef up the military to combat climate change. I hate to be the Debbie Downer in the room, but isn’t the military one of the biggest contributors to Climate Change related pollution to begin with?

I really don’t know what that shriveled old ball of Ivey down in Alabama thinks she’s trying to accomplish with this abortion ban law that is going to be overturned anyway. Thank god I don’t have to go to that state.

So, I guess I’m not going to be silent anymore. There’s just too much crap going on to keep wearing it as it’s flung about.

It’s time to speak up.

Inspired.

Pete Buttigieg announced his candidacy for President of the United States today. He is currently the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He speaks seven languages, is a Rhodes Scholar, served in Afghanistan, is a devout Christian and married his husband Chasten in 2017, after coming out as gay in 2015. He was reelected as Mayor of South Bend after coming out of the closet.

I’m a fan and I find him inspiring. He is the “young blood” this country needs in Washington. If elected President, he will be the youngest person to serve in that office.

Critics worry about his experience, even though Trump had no political experience whatsoever (and still to this day doesn’t really). Mayor Pete has more military experience than the last half dozen Presidents. He is well spoken and articulate.

He is just what our country needs.

Rage.

I try to be pleasant. I try to remember that my life is very good and in many respects I am a very lucky man. But then I turn on the news and see the results of the complete idiocy of the general American public (the results being the idiot in the presidency at the moment) and I try breathe easy and remember the “good days” of George W. Bush.

I want to read the news. I want to know what’s going on in the world, but within 30 seconds of hearing that stupid Orange Dipped Idiot “in chief” speak or reading his latest brain child of idiocy I want to throw the nearest lamp against the wall. Folks don’t even think twice of supporting a president that basically weaponizes human beings trying to find a better life in the United States. They support an administration that hold children hostage from their parents. If a non-white person gets beat up on the streets of this country, they cheer. They have the audacity to claim this administration was sent to this country by “God”.

If this is God’s work I want nothing to do with this “God”.

I would not be surprised in the least if Trump somehow decided that he needs to cancel the elections or if they happen and he lost, he’d invalidate the results and stay in the office. I honestly think he’s going to start a war or manufacture some sort of crisis to skip the 2020 elections all together, and the band of idiots in the Senate, stoked on by the stupid people that still support this idiocy will cheer, reinvent their “moral compass” to accommodate and bam, we’ll find ourselves in a police state.

I have purposely avoided blogging about politics or the news or anything of that nature because I have absolutely nothing nice to say. I have ZERO tolerance for idiocy. My thoughts on the state of this country are the darkest thoughts I have ever had in my 50+ years on this planet.

So I focus on my family. I focus on work. I focus on flying. I drink. I do everything I can to build a bubble around myself, to shield myself away from the complete and utter stupidity that has gripped this nation, “The Greatest Nation on Earth”.

You have got to be kidding me.

If you feel so inclined, use the link at the top of any blog page entitled “Tell me something good”. I could use the pick me up.

Vaccines Work.

“Madam Secretary” has a very interesting episode last night about the dangerous of not immunizing your children. If you haven’t seen the episode, please watch it for an understanding of what happens when you choose not to vaccinate.

I had a flu vaccine at the beginning of this last winter and I swore it was my last one, as I felt kind of “off” for a while after the flu shot. But the truth of the matter is, it probably saved me from catching a round of the full-blown flu while living here in the nation’s third largest city. I’ll definitely be getting a flu shot every year, and I encourage everyone reading this to do the same.

While I fully believe we don’t know everything about everything, I equally believe that science is the answer to what ails us, not supposition or superstition. Science is here to help, not to harm.

Vaccines work. Learn more at this UNICEF website.

It Has Begun.

Kamala Harris at the CNN Town Hall, Monday, January 28, 2019.

Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris kicked off “town hall” season last night in Des Moines, Iowa last night. The event was broadcast on CNN. Last night’s showing drew record ratings, earning the largest numbers for a single candidate town hall in the history of the network news channel.

It was refreshing to hear someone speaking in a presidential manner on a cable news channel. This type of discussion, where she touched on policy points around immigration, health care, border security, and many other subjects, has not happened in the last two years. It was great to take a step away from the constant chaos from the idiot currently in the White House.

She made me feel hopeful. Remember what ‘hopeful’ feels like?

I like what I know about Kamala Harris. I love her confidence, I’m comfortable with the way she presents herself, and I found her ways of expressing herself to be compatible with the way I think. I’m still reading up on her ideology and where she stands on key policy points, but I was 95% with her on what she discussed during last night’s broadcast.

I’m looking forward to learning about the other candidates putting their hats in the ring. It’s important to read data from reputable sources and to learn as much as we can about our leaders. I want to feel good about them, yes, but I also want to know where they stand and how they plan to achieve the goals they have for leading the country.

The 2020 election cycle has begun. Are you ready for the ride?

John Chancellor: Peril and Promise.

I ran across this interview on YouTube today and ended up watching the entire 10 or so minutes in its entirety. I’m guessing this interview as from around 1990, as George H.W. Bush was president at the time.

John Chancellor, former anchorman for NBC Nightly News, talks about what was plaguing the U.S. at the time. I couldn’t help but think how prophetic some of his insights were, especially when it comes to campaign financing, PACs and SuperPACs, and the state of American education.

I miss hearing the optimism he has in his voice in today’s “journalists” on the cable news channels.

Lighting.

The City of Chicago recently left some information hanging off the knob on the door into the lobby of our building. The city was excited to let us know that our streetlights were replaced by energy-efficient, self-maintaining LED “smart lights”. Because of this conversion, we would be in a 21st century, cost-efficient environment at night. We’d also be safer because of better illumination.

This is a portion of a street featuring the new “smart lights”. The new LED bulbs are fitted into existing fixtures and are definitely brighter. I’m sure they’re cost efficient and I’m thinking they have some wifi gadgetry built in so they’ll notify a central hub as to when they think they’re having some sort of problem.

The thing is, they’re so harshly bright.

On most mornings I go for a walk through the neighborhood. Since I start out at 6:00 a.m., at this time of year that means walking in the dark. Because I’m a mammal and it’s winter, my eyes take a few moments to adjust to the outside light.

The new LED lights are very startling.

I’m finding myself trying to walk in the shadows along the blocks that have the new lights installed and modifying my traditional route so I can stay on streets that have the older, sodium vapor lights.

I’m old enough to remember when municipalities switched from the old mercury vapor lights that gave off a greenish tint. It was a weird color and the contents of the bulb probably would have killed me, but the lighting wasn’t harsh, it was just weird.

In the decades of the sodium vapor lights, with their pink or orangeish hue, my eyes never really had trouble adjusting and the lights were actually helpful in snowstorms.

I’m all for energy efficiency and doing everything we can to make the planet last as long as possible while increasing safety in our neighborhoods, but with the technology to make LED lamps give off just about any color possible, shouldn’t we be looking to make these new smart lamps give off light resembling something like daylight?

This bluish, harsh, bright lighting has to be intrusive for the people for the neighborhoods it’s sharing space with.

Here’s an interesting story about the effects of this new LED lighting: American Medical Association Warns Of Health And Safety Problems From “White” LED Streetlights