KingMidget's Ramblings

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Things I Want To Know (9)

When did mutually assured suicide become a form of governance?

Back in college in the mid-80s I took a class called “The Question of Nuclear War.” It was there that I learned about Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD. The theory that as long as the Soviet Union and United States had so many nuclear weapons aimed at each other that they could destroy the other many times over, neither would actually strike the other — for to do so would be … you got it … Mutual Assured Destruction.

I think of that now as I witness what the loudest voices in the Republican and Democratic parties are doing in America. On the right-wing blog I read, there was a post today about the history, dating back to FDR, of Democrats referring to Republicans as fascists. I responded by pointing out that there is a history of Republicans making similar charges against Democrats — calling them communists and describing them as haters of America and that I really didn’t understand the point.

All commenters responded with what you would expect. In other words, but yes, Democrats are actually communists. To one of these commenters, I congratulated him on demonstrating that he was no better than the liberals/progressives he criticized and that mutually assured suicide was no way to govern a country.

Because this is what the extremists who are seeking control of both parties are doing. They are destroying the Republican Party. They are destroying the Democratic Party. They are destroying any hope that either party is capable of governing the United States of America and are instead engaged in a suicidal pact that will render both parties dead and with those deaths, also the death of America.

I have absolutely no idea how we will ever get out of this mess we are in. Well, I do … it requires that the most noise is made by the reasonable and the rational. But I don’t know that that’s ever going to happen.



There’s Always A Story

One of our stops while I was on vacation at the end of June was Gold Beach, Oregon. Our condo looked out over the Rogue River as it empties into the Pacific Ocean. Where that occurs, there is a jetty on the north side of the river that juts out into the ocean. And just on the other side of the jetty is a beach.

Assuming the cloud cover is of the right composition, one can get great sunset pictures there.

So, one night after dinner, the clouds were incredible. I decided I wanted to get some pictures from that beach.

Back track here.

A couple of months ago, I ditched my electric car and got a pick-up truck. While I don’t like paying for gas again, it has certain functional advantages.

The roads to get to the beach there are dirt and sand. I thought they were firmly packed. Until they weren’t. Before we got as close to the beach as I wanted, the truck got stuck in sand. While we waited for a tow, I took this picture.

IMG_0481 (2)

This is with my digital SLR. The picture I included in my last post that looks like this was with my IPhone. Sometimes pictures from the phone turn out better than pictures from the SLR.

All I know is that sunsets are one of the main reasons I travel to the coast whenever I can. The other reasons — clean air, fresh air, crisp air, beauty, scenery, the chance to breathe.

I just would have preferred not having to pay $200 to have my non-four wheel drive truck get pulled out of the sand.

A Moment Or Two

From my trip to Oregon (Let’s see if it works this time)

Things I Want To Know (8)

Is cold turkey the way?

I started this month off with a grand plan to not engage on social media and to minimize my “reliance” on technology.

It lasted an entire day.

I was going to great things with all of the time that would be freed up by ignoring the many distractions technology has to offer. Exercise, meditate, yoga, write. More, more, and more of all that stuff.

It lasted an entire day.

July 1 didn’t count because I was driving home from Oregon that day.

I started July 2. I spent a few minutes on my phone, checking email and that was about it. I did some push-ups, sit-ups, and other exercises. I got ready for work early and got to work early. I did everything I could to ignore my phone during the course of the day and avoided the occasional visit to some of my go-to blogs/websites. All was good.

Then July 3 happened.

Hold on a sec … one of the things that was supposed to help is that my laptop lost the ability to connect to the internet. Without that handy dandy tool at the ready each morning and each evening, this was going to be easy. Right?

Wrong? There’s that stupid phone.

I got up the morning of July 3 with my usual hour to kill before getting ready for work … and … surfed the internet on my phone while an early round of Wimbledon played on the TV. No exercise, no meditation, no yoga.

And so it went for much of the rest of the week.

And then I unburied my old second generation Surface Pro tablet and discovered that it still worked … and connected to the internet.


And plus, to avoid the boredom of the daily routine I started looking at my phone throughout the day. Twitter, FB, WordPress, blogs … blah, blah, blah.

But I wasn’t going to comment or like or retweet or share. I was going to remain invisible.

Until I wasn’t.

And after less than a week, I gave up.

So, here I am back in the social media universe. While I was away, I barely wrote. I have started some meditation each morning with an app on my phone. Still need to figure out how to get yoga into my daily life.

But, I have yet to figure out how to minimize the technological distractions from my daily life.


The other thing I tried to do this month was eliminate beer. I managed to get through a whole week of that, but then there was that dinner out on July 8 and, well, what’s so wrong with a couple of beers after work?

So, there you go.

I tried.

I’m still trying.

Every day is a battle between the things that distract me from what I should be doing and the things that are just … easier.

As with so much of my writing efforts in recent years, I am definitely a work in progress.

Taking July Off

I’m following the lead of a social media acquaintance and taking July off from social media. The reasons:

1. I need to do something about controlling the distractions social media provides.

2. My laptop just lost the ability to connect to the internet so what better time for it. Yes, I can use my phone for these distractions as I am doing now, but I’ve always preferred a laptop over the phone for these types of things. And, what the heck, this maybe will teach me to keep my phone in my pocket.

3. I’m returning from a two week vacation that saw me unplug a bit. So I’ve already sort of started. Just need to go deeper.

4. While I was away, my office was painted and recarpeted, which required me to take everything off the walls, shelves and desk tops. I’ve thought of this as an opportunity to create a new dynamic in my workplace. Why not spread that new dynamic further.

So I won’t be posting or reading your blogs. I’ll miss you. I won’t be tweeting or reading your tweets. I’ll miss you.

See you in a month.

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