All posts by The Litmus Test

American citizen, business owner and someone who cares about the world and it's inhabitants.

Blind Faith

My guess, is that due to the title of this blog, you think I am going to talk about religion. You would be wrong. I am going to talk about how enough people in this country voted for and continue to believe that an inherently evil man can help them.  It says something vile about the state of this country that a TV celebrity can convince so many people so easily that he is somehow the one to follow in spite of his obvious shortcomings.  How they could blindly vote for a man who has never endured hardship, never wanted for anything, has been taught to hate and bully others, who files  bankruptcy as a means of getting out of paying the very people who voted for him, hates on minorities, women ( don’t you have sisters and daughters?) and anyone “different” and refuses to care about anything except himself and his immediate family.  This is our PRESIDENT people! Add to that his inability to change and an infantile, bully mentality and we “have a problem”.

We have become a nation obsessed with media and unfortunately much of that media is geared toward the uneducated. Why? Because, as Trump as said himself “I love the uneducated.”  The poorly educated are more susceptible to believing everything they read.  They can be more easily manipulated. They love to gossip. Rich and powerful people depend on this mind-set to stay rich.  Why do you think he continues to campaign telling lie after lie to his base?

At his last rally he continued to tell numerous blatant lies and his base soaked it up. They, in turn will continue those lies. They will continue the violence against anyone not white, male and straight. He knows this, he DEPENDS on this.  He knows he must keep his uneducated base on his side. Why do you think Trump has surrounded himself with billionaires in his cabinet?  Because they are people who understand and agree with him. They are arrogant, feel themselves superior and will do anything to stay that way. They exist on POWER, it’s their fuel.  They will lie knowing that their uneducated fan base will support anything they say, and then they will steal from that base without qualm because they frankly despise the very people who voted for them. In fact, the only people they are threatened by and fear are those who don’t fall for their lies. People like me and millions of other Americans who know better.  Be us.

BE US.  Be proactive, be smart, be informed, be on top of daily events. Be responsible for your future and the future of your children. Don’t cave, don’t ignore, don’t stop resisting this president and cabinet. Don’t believe what you read without verification. Don’t repeat headlines without actually reading the article.  Be us. Stop being led, lead. Be us.

The Hijacking of a Country

Last Fall, America was hijacked. We can argue endlessly about whether the election was fair or not but the fact remains that it was a very close election, the Electoral College notwithstanding. In an age of a wildly turbulent internet which has increasingly become the go-to source for information, masses of our citizens fell prey to an endless variety of misinformation. Misinformation we now know, at least in part, was put there and/or inflamed by a foreign enemy.  Dictators like Putin know how to manipulate the masses.  They understand that the sad truth is that the average person will not only fall prey to misinformation, but will lap it up like a thirsty dog if that information satisfies their personal biases and belief system. Dictators have contempt for the average person and love the uneducated.  Putin was betting on the ignorance, gullibility and mental laziness of the average American citizen.  He was right…and wrong.  He was right in that many, many Americans are mentally lazy and gullible, he was wrong in underestimating how many of us are not.  In spite of his efforts, without the Electoral College, Trump would have lost.  But Trump didn’t lose and this country was hijacked by fanatics.  I don’t use the word “fanatic” lightly.  Isis are fanatics, but at least Isis is not pretending to be something else.  Right now, our fanatical hijackers are pretending to care about our freedoms and Constitution while they systematically dismantle our government.  Make no mistake about that.  In every cabinet post, Trump has put foxes in charge of the hen house.  He wishes to dismantle secular education. He is taking away our environmental protections because he values money over people. He wants women’s rights gone; make no mistake about it. He pretends to be a Christian so he can create a new form of militant fanatical Christianity. He actively tries to cast doubt on legitimate news sources while supporting any source that favors him.  These are the moves of a budding dictator.  He deliberately incites hate in his “base” to keep them focused against the “evil” liberals. He lies to them over and over and they lap it up and pass it around as fact. Why do you think he still holds rallies in red states?  Hitler did that too.  Trump himself has said how much he admires people like Putin and North Korea’s Kim jong un.  He sees himself in the same light. Hopefully, his willful ignorance and hubris will be his downfall. He doesn’t have the brains or education to rise to the level of his perceived “heros”.   Add to that his penchant for lying and the blatant inconsistencies in his behavior and his days are numbered. In the meantime though, we have been hijacked and the majority of us know it. So where do we go from here?  What have we learned? How do we recover our nation?

To me, some of what we need to do will take more time than we have right now. Education for instance, we need a country of educated people, but that won’t help us right now.  We need to make higher education important in rural states not something to be dismissed or considered “elitist”. We need to pay more attention to the needs and mind-set of rural states. We need to bring jobs to rural states, not old jobs, new ones. That too, will take time.  We need to have better heroes, not sports stars and celebrities. We need to once again admire integrity over steroid-induced strength and truth over our false concepts of beauty. We need to stop demonizing groups of people and go after the one’s that deserve short thrift. Short term, we must remove Trump from office and quickly.  We must then systematically remove each and every one of his cabinet appointments.  If we can get rid of Pence and Ryan in the process, even better.  The country is leaning in that direction now, but getting rid of Trump isn’t enough; we also need to undo the damage he has imposed upon us.

We can’t bring back Hillary, doing so would cause outright civil war.  So how do we get our country back? Maybe we hold a short election with new candidates?  Maybe we impeach Trump and live with whoever ends up top?  I don’t know, but we need to do something soon. We need to get our country back.  It’s been hijacked.

Don’t Tell Me…

Don’t tell me you can’t handle what’s going on in this country right now. Don’t tell me it’s just too much or that you are emotionally spent, or that you don’t have time to pay attention, or that you are depressed. I don’t care. I don’t care that you are frightened or sad or overwhelmed. I don’t care about your fragile emotional state or that you would rather post about your favorite celebrity or sports team.  Suck it up and deal.  It’s your responsibility to pay attention. It’s your DUTY as an American and as a human being to pay attention to every single minute DETAIL of what’s going on. If you don’t, you are as much to blame for what happens to this Earth and its future as the monsters in the White House are.  In fact, you are more to blame because only in numbers can the masses overcome those in power.  Only in numbers of people who PAY ATTENTION can we ensure that those in power work for us and not themselves.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a liberal or a conservative, Democrat or Republican. Your race, gender, sexual orientation has no bearing on this.  Stand up, take your share of the OWNERSHIP for what is happening, read reliable news sources, don’t spread political or religious gossip, be in the know, empower yourself, stand up for what is right, be a good example for your children.  Everyday, I see people around me ignoring world events, remaining deliberately ignorant, telling me they are depressed. I don’t care, I don’t FREAKIN’ care how depressed you are. Suck it up. It’s your future, but more importantly, it’s the future of your children.  I don’t even have children but I care. What’s your excuse?


Being Moral and Legal is Often Not the Same Thing. Let’s Not lose Sight of the Difference.

As we grow up we are taught right from wrong. We are also taught that if something is legal we can do it and if it isn’t we shouldn’t. Most of us, as adults, understand that there is a grey area in this line of thinking. Unsurprisingly for most of us, we recognize that what’s legal is not always moral.  We recognize when our actions have repercussions and harm others and we act in a moral manner first. Just because you can legally do something doesn’t mean you should or that it’s a moral decision. I know that and most decent people know that. One of my pet peeves are people who declare that they have the “right” to take an action without any thought or care as to the morality of the action.  They think legal is the same as moral.  This occurs all the time in the business world; especially with the elite businessman or woman.  Trump is a perfect example of this.  He had a legal right to file multiple bankruptcies whenever he got himself into a monetary bind and so he did.  He sees nothing wrong with that no matter how many people were hurt by it. After all, it was “legal” therefore, to him,  it was his right to do it.  Every action he takes relates directly to his well-being and only that. He lies to everyone but feels no remorse because it’s legal to lie and if people are dumb enough to fall for it then it’s not his fault, right?  He told blatant lies throughout his campaign about other people, namely Hillary Clinton and he goaded people into revealing their racism without so much as a tingle of conscience because he had a “legal” right to do it.  To him, it doesn’t matter that he indirectly caused the deaths of multiple people by inciting or legitimizing violence and hate. It was also “legal” to frivolously send multiple young soldiers to their deaths right after he was elected, so he did.  I doubt he gave it much thought except as to how powerful it would make him look. He needs money for his wall so he gets rid of Meals-On-Wheels for the elderly, the NEA and school lunches for poor kids while his wife and daughter parade around in jackets and dresses that cost the equivalent of a year’s salary for one family. He puts haters and bigots by his side and billionaires in charge of departments he knows they will destroy.  It’s not illegal after all. He hates Democrats at the moment, so he destroys all the programs they think is important. He can’t STAND the thought of a non-white person outdoing him so he takes apart the ACA no matter how many people get hurt and replaces it with..well, nothing. But hey, it’s legal so it must be moral, yes?  His budget will tax the rich less and raise taxes on the poor, but it’s legal. We have to keep the wife happy in her $54,000.00 jacket while we cheat on her behind closed doors, but that’s legal too.  Sadly there are many people in this world who think like this, most of them are either wildly financially successful or in prison. There isn’t a whole lot of difference in their characters. Trump has gotten away with this sick behavior his whole life by “playing” the legal game through the benefit of being born to a family with money who can buy their way out of trouble.  When he is caught, he buys people off. One thing he can’t buy is integrity, honor or any semblance of humanity.  He, legal or not, belongs in prison where he can’t kill or hurt any more people. Let’s make that happen and soon; it’s the moral thing to do and you know it.

A Few Words of Wisdom

Let’s start today with some literary wisdom:

“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.” — Joseph Heller, Catch-22

The Problem with “Willful Ignorance”

In many parts of this country, ignorance isn’t stupidity, ignorance is a choice. Sometimes it’s a community “mindset”. Sometimes it’s an individual decision. Willful ignorance isn’t born of lack of resources, its a product of laziness, fear and a desire to fit in. While lack of education feeds ignorance, the decision to stay ignorant is a personal one. We all have choices no matter how limited our resources. Ultimately, we can choose to be intellectually curious or we can choose to be lazy. We can choose to rise above our current station in life or we can choose to stay there. We can choose to learn about the world or we can choose to sit back and let the world take care of us and complain about our situation in life. We can blame the government or we can stand up to our communities and make changes. No matter our economic and educational level, we can drift along and pretend that everything will be alright and make bad choices or we can take action and educate ourselves on the issues. We can willfully believe fake internet sites because they fit our comfort zones or we can learn to Google facts. Our ignorance today is tomorrow’s future and tomorrow’s future is the future of our children. Do you care? It seems to me that those who stay willfully ignorant are the real traitors to this great country. They are the one’s who got us into this mess. Let’s fix it. Call Congress and let them know that the masses still have plenty of Americans who reject willful ignorance and are not going to let them get away with suppression of us or our freedoms. This is not a partisan issue, this is a human issue, a rights issue, a cake baked of complacency, denial and fear with a huge dose of bigotry for icing that is the foundation for suppression of human freedoms for those in power. Believe me, those in power know it and they will use it. Let’s not let them.

California, the Land of Enlightenment

I live in California so I am labeled “an enemy” by Trump. I am also labeled a “lib-tard and many, many other names by people who have never lived or even been to California. Let me tell you a bit about California. Yes, there are hot-tubs here and wine and many here live the good life. We also have the lower class and people on the dole and some homeless but not nearly to the extent of the “red” states. California has the 6th largest economy in the WORLD. Much of the state is rural, beautiful farmlands. I’ll post some pics at the end of this article. I was born at the renowned Presidio Army base in San Francisco and my first home was one of the famed “Pilot Homes” over-looking the Golden Gate bridge. I was raised all over the world as an Army-brat and settled here many years ago when my father retired. We had previously been stationed in Hawaii so, at first, California was a let-down. Over the years though, I have come to appreciate it’s beauty, not only the geography but the diversity of its people and culture. We have come a long way and I was here for most of it. I was here when Gays were “perverts” and anyone who looked different was an outsider. I was here when abortion was illegal and watched people I knew die because of it. I was here when it was okay for men to grab my breasts or my “pussy” because it was just “boys being boys”. I was here when it was difficult for women to get any kind of job in science or any man-defined job. I was here when a divorced woman was an “exile” from polite society so married women often stayed in horribly abusive marriages just to avoid the stigma. I was also here when those things slowly changed. When foreigners were embraced for the beauty and diversity of their cultures. When Gays fought for equal rights and people began to realize that being gay was a normal part of being human. I was here when women demanded protection in the workforce and were allowed to shine in all jobs from astronauts to scientists to stay-at-home Moms. When divorce became an option without blame, when women were given rights over their own bodies and souls. California flourished and blossomed and grew and the people with it. I was here when Christianity became just one of many theologies, along with the right to say “I’m not religious” without being demonized.

Yes, I was here through that and I treasure every moment of that awaking. I try every day to embrace knowledge and fight against hate. Trump stands for hate and we are not going back to that. We just aren’t, sorry. Next time you start to bash a Californian, I invite you to come here and learn what you are missing. It’s a wonderful world to live in. Trumpsters, I’ve been where you are, I’ve lived in the heart of Texas and Ohio and several other states. I know what you are missing but you have no idea.  Stop being so afraid of change, you might learn something.