Those cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

-George Santayana

  • Plugging away with the comics.  I feel I’ve made a lot of progress and I can really do some stuff with it now.  Looking into some Print on Demand/Self-publishing options for when I’ve gotten to that point.  Doing a lot of sketch cards and tiles for later use.
  • Hear very good things about the Wonder Woman movie.  Planning to go see it on Thursday or Friday.  If I really cared much for the DC vs. Marvel debate, I would say that DC has taken a bit of a lead if only because I feel they’ve done more with their female characters over four movies than Marvel has over twelve.
  • So I never really thought Kathy Griffin was all that funny or relevant to much of anything.  The picture of her the other day with the bloody Trump head was kind of weird.  I mean, I get that it bothered Barron Trump to see that type of thing.  However, did anyone think about Obama’s two daughters the myriad of times that he was lynched in effigy?  It was kind of glorified by various individuals and dismissed.  Now that its Trump, we’re supposed to be outraged?  No.  If Griffin is going to go through all this, drag Ted Nugent and all those tea party jackasses into it too.  They got a free pass and Trump signed up for this.
  • Shockingly enough, Bill Maher said something outrageous.  That’s never happened before.  Although this time he did go to an extreme with the “N” word.  A lot of people calling for HBO to fire him.  I’ve liked his show and thought he made a variety of good points.  The thing is, I feel that a lot of what he does is done by the Daily Show and the various off-shoots of that.  And they tend to do it better if only because they keep their egos more under control.
  • So apparently Jeff Sessions has offered to resign recently.  Or at least that’s what an article I saw indicated.  I don’t know how true that is.  It does raise I have pondered lately.  How stable are Trump’s appointees?  Especially if he continues to display his lack of stability?  People are all worried about Mike Pence becoming President, but we won’t know how many dominos will fall until the first one does or how many will.
  • It is important to remember that experiences can still teach long after they have occurred.  I feel I can say with certainty I won’t fuck up the same way twice.  The next job, the next relationship, the adventure… will all be better than ever.

I like just posting a few links to avoid overloading people with these things.

  • Toxic habits in a relationship that most people don’t realize are toxic.  I will admit that this does describe some situations I’ve been in.  Hints and passive aggression?  Done and had it done to me.  Holding the relationship hostage?  Yeah and she effectively killed it.  Loving jealousy?  Oh yeah.  Buying solutions?  Definitely and I’ve observed others doing it.  To be blunt, this article basically describes a past relationship and it was exhausting.  This is really a big part of why I’ve chosen to remain single or avoid a standard relationship.  There are a lot of bad habits we are conditioned into believing are healthy and positive.  One thing I’ve tried to do is identify bad habits in myself and in past partners to better understand their impact and address them when I can.  Part of the problem is we’re conditioned into believing these are acceptable behaviors and that makes it difficult for relationships to work.  Also a reason I recommend Stranger In A Strange Land to people.
  • The GOP and Trump can’t seem to wrap their heads around healthcare.  Describing their repeal efforts as zombie is an apt comparison.  It will eat them alive.  Personally, I always considered the ACA a good starting point.  Not a finished product.  It does a lot of good and could do more if the glaring flaws are addressed.  Get costs down.  Stop letting the providers hold it hostage.
  • Dairy-free diets might not that good for you.  I’ve heard about how milk being not that good for you as it contributes to clogged arteries, but dairy in other forms has its benefits.  I stick to cheese, whey protein or Greek Yogurt for the bulk of my dairy.  Seems to work for me.  I am usually skeptical of Vegetarian and Vegan diets, if only because I’ve been of the opinion that our diets evolved the way they have for a reason.

Right now the song “Battle of Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton has been stuck in my head for the last couple of days.

  • Getting political again.  I’m making plans to get more involved in some political stuff.  Looking into some local groups, going to try to help out.  Advocacy groups and the like.  Voices need to be heard.  Thinking of starting a new blog with more focus on politics.  Might help to organize and focus my thoughts.
  • I was watching Bill Maher’s season premiere the other night and he said something I found interesting.  Talking about the Clintons, he expressed the thought of, “Thank you for service, now I never want to see you again.”  When Bernie Sanders really began to pick up momentum in the primaries, I read that as a sign that the political world was changing.  The era of the Bush and Clinton dynasties was coming to an end.  For a number of reasons, I look at it less as Trump winning and everybody else losing.  Trump’s election was less the will of the people and more… backlash from the attempt to resist the natural direction our political landscape was trying to go.  Trump is very much an establishment figure.  Power is going back to the people, but Trump is not the champion of that.
  • Enough political talk.  Let’s talk about sex.  Was working on a comic script and there was a sex scene.  In writing it, I was going through a bunch of sex positions I had bookmarked at various times.  One stuck out to me.  This has intrigued me for some time.  I think there was a variation where the man and woman are reversed, but it makes me wonder how likely a back injury would be with this.  Admitted I’m in pretty good shape right now, but I’m not sure whether or not I have enough body fat to pad myself or enough flexibility.  It would be a hell of a reason to call out from work though.
  • After being sick for most the last two weeks, I did end up losing a bit of weight.  I had been hovering around 180 pounds.  Now I’m sitting at 175.  I was going to do a bit of a cut, not to serious of one because I like where my weight is.  Basically I’m going to use up what I have left for Serious Mass and maintain for the foreseeable future.  175 was right about where I wanted to be anyway.
  • Reading about how lack of sleep affects your stomach bacteria.  Hint: it isn’t good.  I have noticed I am more prone to upset stomaches and related issues lately, despite improving my diet.  One more reason it was a big mistake to make the jump to working nights.
  • Thinking a little further on the post I did on Monday, I’m going to make a bit of a declaration.  I’m going to think of myself in one word: Human.  Stop with seeing myself as a male, absurdist, romanticidal, feminist, nerd, athlete, artist, writer, loser, etc…  Just see myself as “Human.”  We’ll see how that goes.
  • I realized the other day I actually do have fifty-something followers on this blog.  I find that mind-boggling sometimes.  I mostly do this more for myself, so I’m never really sure how to feel about people actually reading it.  I hope I’m putting some good ideas out there.

Some hardcore wondering going on today…

  • The Brexit case is in the Supreme Court over in the UK right now.  Basically deciding whether or not Parliament has a say in the conditions of their leaving the EU or leaving at all, which could complicate the issues at hand.  I will be keeping an eye on this if only because there is so much potential for problems on all sides.  Plus the EU has basically set a deadline for the Amendment 50 negotiations to be done.  When all is said and done, I have to wonder if Britain will be any better off.  I don’t think their trade deals will be anywhere near as good as they hope and the big wildcard in this is what what will happen with Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales–More so the first two, I don’t believe that Wales has discussed breaking away from Britain as much.
  • I saw something about how members of the Electoral College are considering voting against Trump to keep him from becoming President.  Sounds kinda weird, but he did not in fact win the popular vote.  And in an odd twist of history, the Electoral College was originally implemented to keep someone like Trump–an unqualified demagogue–from taking power.  Somebody said to me, “Hell would break loose” if the Electoral College did not vote for Trump.  Hasn’t Hell broken loose already?  Has everybody missed the twitter rants, massive spike in civil unrest and shady double deals?  It is far too late to worry about Hell breaking loose.
  • Taking a moment to ponder the legacy of Barack Obama.  I think he too often had to make the best of a bad deal and compromised too much early on.  First Black President, I think there was a sizable portion of the population that wanted to see him fail.  Maybe because he got the Nobel Prize so soon, maybe he was too ambitious…  It might not have been racism or ego, it could have been a lot of things.  I look back and I say, “You could have done worse.”  Really, that’s all you can say in the end.  He could have done worse with the hands he was dealt.
  • Enough politics.  My birthday was Sunday.  Other people tend to get more excited about it than I do.  Got the usual rounds of “happy birthday” posts on Facebook, a set of storage containers, cash.  Nothing too exciting.  Bought myself some workout stuff of Flex Comics.  Bought this shirt.  And Final Fantasy XV.  Those were my birthday presents to myself.  I really spent most of my birthday and the day after playing FFXV.
  • Enjoying my vacation so far.  Lot of FFXV.  Going to see Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them at some point this week.  Saw there was a bit of controversy about Johnny Depp playing a part.  Apparently playing Grindelwald?  He’s a fine actor, weird guy in general from what I’ve seen, but I’m kinda tired of seeing him in movies.  Heard that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might be coming to Broadway at some point.  That could be worth seeing.
  • Not really related to anything, but I’ve noticed over the last few months I cannot stand to be wearing much more than a pair of boxers when I go to bed.  I used to wear flannel pants and a shirt, but lately I can’t stand it anymore.  Might be a side effect of putting on weight/muscle in that my body temperature is higher than it used to be?  Just an odd thing I noticed.

I am on vacation next week.  Nothing really exciting planned or going on there, but it is happening.

  • If there is any kind of mercy to be had, the Trump Presidency will be brief.  Seems to me that all we are getting is conflicts of interest and people who shouldn’t be anywhere near the positions they are in.  Hard to drain the swamp when everybody working for you is dependent on it.  Then there’s the recount.  Given that Trump spent most of his candidacy questioning the legitimacy of the process, it is only right to do it.  When he undermines the process, he should not complain when somebody else wants to make sure it was done right.  Also, Clinton did not ask for the recount.  Jill Stein did.  And in three states.  But why stop there?  I say do all fifty states.  Just to be fair and sure.
  • I do wonder what’s going to happen when Trump supporters realize how many of his promises he’s going to break.  Or when all the infighting of his administration prevents anything from getting done.  My big question is how many people go down when it does fall to pieces?
  • Personally, I hope there is considerably more focus being given to the runoff Senate election in Louisiana next month than recounts.  While I do believe Trump is already going to have a difficult time pushing his agenda through Congress, another Democrat in the Senate would be a bonus.
  • Saw Doctor Strange last Friday.  Good movie.  Not great, I thought they could have done more with the story.  Other than that, it went the directions I thought it would have.  Really played up a lot of the Steve Ditko elements from the early days of the character.  The bulk of my Black Friday adventure there.  Going to try to work in Fantastic Beasts this weekend.
  • Been thinking about how to fix a few mistakes.  Set a few wrongs to right.  Always the hard part, isn’t it?  Easier to give up sometimes.  Maybe I’ll have a stroke of genius.

Reflecting on what we’ve learned…

  • Working on some short comics.  Think I’ll get rolling on those in the coming days, probably after I finish a few smaller projects.  Continuing to work on some sketch cards and more sellable stuff for the potential table at VTCC.  Skewing towards more Skyrim art right now.  Got some coloring work to finish up on a couple of things that might happen on my days off.
  • Been playing a lot of Skyrim.  Derailed my NaNoWriMo stuff.  Had a good concept worked out for it too.  Hazard of buying a Playstation 4 just at the end of October, I guess.
  • I’ve been thinking about the Election as more Hillary Clinton’s loss, than Donald Trump’s win.  I believe the Clinton campaign has pointed blame at a variety of things–FBI, Media, Bernie, etc.–but those weren’t the deciding factors.  Well, various members of the media have owned up to being less than their best, but that was not the whole problem.  I think Clinton took too much for granted and expected things to be handed to her.  She didn’t earn support like Trump or Sanders did.  True she actually did win the popular vote and lost some key electoral college votes by less than one percent, but it was the failure to truly earn those votes that hurt her.  I mean, the difference really was Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, who I’m not convinced made a public appearance without some level of marijuana in their systems.
  • Speaking of third parties, I’m fairly impressed with them right now.  The easy copout would be to blame them for Trump being elected, but as I said, it was really more Clinton’s failure than anything.  But regardless, I’m glad they had a strong showing even if it did skew the results.  I was a bit dismayed to see them nominate the people they did though.  I had an open mind about Johnson and Stein, but they kind of let me down.  I think the Green Party and the Libertarians can get stronger candidates on the ballot next time around and Make a much more serious impact.

Calmer Post Election Analysis

November 14, 2016

So I’ve been reading way too many political articles on Politico, CNN, the Guardian, etc… and I’m starting to form a picture of what I might expect out of Donald Trump’s Presidency.  Now these are just guesses and I’m going to try to avoid specifics on anything in particular.  Also trying to avoid getting into the civil unrest and focus more on general policy, as I will likely derail myself and completely fail to make a point.

One of the the big things I noticed after his meeting with Obama was how Trump did appear to be legitimately humbled.  On some level, I think he is just barely comprehending what he has gotten into.  He’s already begun to walk back numerous promises–Obamacare, Immigration, Investigating Clinton–in the wake of winning the election and I wonder if this trend will continue.  He’s also gone with a bit more extreme voices in his staff, but we will see about that.  With that in mind, I wonder how much leeway he has with his supporters and the Republican Party in general.

Few people realize that Trump really barely won.  Clinton in fact won the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes.  If not for the Electoral College and very slim victories in a handful of key states–a percentage point or less in a few cases, with him receiving less than 50% of the vote in those states–he would not have likely won.  I could also speculate on how the Green Party and the Libertarians had an impact, but I’m just going to state the obvious that his victory over Clinton was deceptively narrow.  Basically, more than half the country voted for somebody else, and he won as a result of the rigging he’s decried so consistently in the past.  My point here would be, he does not necessarily carry the mandate of the people and won more on technicality than anything.

That’s another way I compare it to the Brexit.  My understanding is that a lot of the British people who voted to leave the EU are currently feeling regret over their vote and that they were lied to by the Leave Campaign.  I believe there are interviews where Nigel Farange and Boris Johnson admit a lot of the promises made by the Leave Campaign were empty ones.  Also, the economy over there has taken a heavy hit and the pound is valued lower than ever.  Coupled with the referendum being held up by a Supreme Court decision on whether Parliament should be voting on it, it is not necessarily having a favorable outlook.  And the UK has yet to exercise Article 50 and begin the two years of negotiations to leave.

My point is, the UK is still a long way from figuring out if it really is worth it to leave the EU and right now they are not necessarily feeling that confident about it.  Much like this election.  In the past week I’ve noticed a few things that I find questionable.  There are his walk backs.  After wanting to “drain the swamp” of Corruption and lobbyists, he hires a bunch of lobbyists for his team.  His “blind trust” will be run by his children, despite the obvious conflicts of interest.

I’ve got a few predictions.

  1. Trump’s Presidency will be rampant with distractions.  Between his staff’s conflicting personalities, his twitter account, and the lingering affects of such a heated campaign, there will be high potential for this Presidency to get distracted.  A lot of things can come up that could derail his agenda.
  2. As I said about the campaign, some of his more inflammatory rhetoric will come back to haunt him.  With Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio in the Senate, you have two people that he ran against that were very resistant to him.   There’s also John McCain, who he rankled a bit.  They’re getting along now, but how much patience will Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have for him?  Remember that Obama had a majority in the House and the Senate to work with and still had a hell of a time getting the Affordable Care Act written and passed, and that was without the aftershocks of a vicious campaign cycle.  Basically I think it will be a short honeymoon.
  3. Trump will be out of office by some point in 2018.  Throughout the campaigns, I always felt that Trump and Clinton were one term Presidents.  One way or the other, I thought there would one term for them.  Trump more so.  I thought initially it would be impeachment or resignation after losing interest, but after the grueling campaign schedule I am wondering if his health might also be an issue.  The couple of times I’ve seen him on television he does look more tired and weary.  I just cannot foresee him lasting a full term.  Mike Pence presents his own issues, however it comes about would definitely curtail his ability to do the job.
  4. The Democrats will retake the House and/or the Senate in 2018.  I think the Republicans will have a lot more fighting amongst themselves than expected.  Some of these personalities are destined to clash.  The only question is how much it will impact the midterm elections.  I think the Democrats are in better shape than most people think with the likes of Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard forming a new progressive block.  The trouble I see is resistance from the Old School Democrats, but it helps that Bernie Sanders is probably the most popular–powerful?–Senator in America right now.
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