Saturday, October 17, 2020

Texas Notes: Trumpkin

 
   Austin bureau chief Caren Jeskey this week unholsters her political side and provides some welcome covering fire in our all-out melee. 

     I did something bad tonight. 
      I'm glad I did, and would do it again. 
     As I took an evening stroll I noticed a piece of paper stapled to a wooden post under a bright streetlight. It rudely accosted my eyes with its bold black letters and critique of the best hope we have today. It read “Quid Pro Quo Joe wants to lock us down, raise our taxes and take us back to perpetual war.” 
     It took me a moment to process what I was looking at and my mind screamed “no, no, no!” I live in a decidedly Bye Don neighborhood and this cannot be tolerated. I screeched to a halt in my Birkenstock tracks. My first impulse was to tear it down, but I stopped myself. That would not be right. We all have a right to express our opinions.
     The next thing I knew I’d ripped it right off and crumpled it up in one fell swoop, a hawk ending its prey. I looked around to be sure no one saw and just then a man in a motorized wheel chair came racing by having a non-sensical yelling match with an invisible person in his head. First I thought he was reacting to my act of violence against the signage but he just kept going. Of course being the social worker that I am I wondered about this guy’s diagnosis and if he needs medical care. I opted for not intervening and just hope he made it home okay. Back to the message that need not be entertained.
     Lock us down? You mean stop us from becoming a super spreader nation of unnecessary death? I’m sure I heard Kamala and Joe say multiple times that taxes will be raised only for those making $400K or more a year. I’ve been hearing in the news that billionaires are doing better than ever since COVID. According to an article last week about the super rich (www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/07/covid-19-crisis-boosts-the-fortunes-of-worlds-billionaires) “a report by Swiss bank UBS found that billionaires increased their wealth by more than a quarter (27.5%) at the height of the crisis from April to July, just as millions of people around the world lost their jobs or were struggling to get by on government schemes.” How much longer can we tolerate this grossly unethical and unsustainable financial structure?
     Perpetual war? Kind of like what we are now at risk for since the Orangesicle has imposed sanctions that are harming innocent Iranians and putting us at a greater risk of nuclear war?
     Malarky, I say and we won’t stand for it in our neighborhood; however, I still regret taking the sign down and maybe I’ll staple it back up today. The fact that it’s crumpled may send enough of a message. It must be hard for the very small smattering of red ones with MAGA and other surreal signage to exist among the sea of “Black Lives Matter “ and “Trumpkin: Orange on the Outside Hollow on the Inside” yard signs. Hard for them to watch the world stand up against the old-guard while they are still immersed. Clinging to a U S of A that hasn’t been and will never be. A place where intolerance gets a foothold and doesn’t slip.
     The silver lining in all of this is that just as schools were integrated and the Jim Crow South was called to task during our last historical period of nationwide ongoing protests—at least publicly if not behind closed doors—the good people of our nation are standing up again.      
     Desperate clinging to the good ol’ days is a bad idea. Just as we cant fight father time, we cannot stop the winds of change that are rapidly propelling us into a world where choice trumps all. We can marry who we want, self-proclaim our gender pronouns, love who we want to love, mix and mingle with whomever we chose, stand up to bullies and harassers, stop abuses of power and feel free to be who we are rather than who a washed up puritanical society tells us we can or cannot be. Where we uphold our promise to keep the church and the state separate. Oh wait, I forgot about the Coney Barrett hearings. Shit.
     For now it’s progress, not perfection, and I am ok with tearing down the walls of heartache every chance I get.

15 comments:

  1. Caren, that lying message was on a public utility. You have as much right to remove it as the ignorant fool who posted it.

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    1. True! I did not put it back up and I will not.

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  2. Hard to follow Voltaire's ".....butI will defend to the death your right to..." when the propaganda is so obviously a load of orange horseshit.

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    1. Yes, and in support of a man who should be locked up for multiple crimes.

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  3. It can be annoying to see that kind of free speech being exercised by weird people. Last year, ante-COVID-19, noticed a rambling progressive screed about the unfairness of the world, capitalism in particular. It ended with "Where are the CEOs?" I scribbled underneath "Where is John Galt?"

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    1. Ah, yes. I am not a Rand fan but I like the idea of the power of the human mind, especially as we have so much more scientific knowledge about neuroplasticity.

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  4. Technically, it's illegal in many places to post notices on utility poles, including political campaign signs, but the law is usually ignored or winked at. Hence the countless nails and staples in every pole, thanks to years of campaign signs (which are supposed to be removed right after the election, but often aren't) and lost pet notices.

    Aditionally, in those "shithole" cities (including Cleveland), there are those ubiquitous "WE BUY HOUSES" signs in certain neighborhoods. Mostly at traffic lights and at stop signs, where motorists can easily notice them (Do they happen in Chicago? In all my years there, I never saw one).

    Some are handmade, while others are professionaly printed. Sleazy house flippers and blockbusters, capitalizing on fears of crime and racial unrest, try to buy properties for a song, usually for cash money. Then they make minimal repairs and sell them or rent them to almost anyone, regardless of their background or financial status. When they pop up in my neighborhood, like mushrooms after a summer rain, I am furious. Far more pissed than if it were a Trump sign (I haven't seen any political signs on poles this fall). So I remove them.

    But these persistent bastards are now putting them up higher and higher, and fastening them more securely. They are supposedly against the law, but that never stopped anybody. I know I'm not the only one taking action against them. Before the Plague hit, a local business was giving out ice cream cones in exchange for the signs.

    Don't feel any pangs of regret, Caren. You did the right thing. Just because there was no swastika on that amateurish flyer doesn't mean it should have been left alone.

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    1. We have those We Buy Houses signs in public lawns along the roadways and on posts too. Here there is a several hundred dollar fine for posting any signs on public property, but of course no one is out fining these folks. I'm glad I took it down.

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    2. They not only post 'We Buy Houses' signs in Chicago, they buy ad benches for that.

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    3. We don't have too many of those, but we do have some advertising billboards. However, those are more reputable outfits.

      The signs on the poles are put up by fly-by-night flippers and unscrupulous rehabbers who traffic in fear, pay cash, do shoddy work or none at all, and then sell the properties to the unqualified and the undesirable. Or they just rent them out, to almost anyone interested, without vetting them first.

      I apolgize in advance if anything in that last statement offends, but I can't think of any other way to say it. Panic peddlers and blockbusters are not going to run me out of my adopted town. I'm not going anywhere.

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  5. In a bathroom at the Atlanta airport last night, doing my business was made considerably harder by a soundtrack of Trump doing his at some rally. Made me grit my teeth. As I left, I glanced over at the source of the irritation -- and was astonished to see a heavyset middle-aged Black man, a janitor or something, avidly listening to the radio.

    "How can you stand that guy?" I asked.

    "He's better than that commie Joe Biden!" he shot back.

    I had a plane to catch and I'm not into busting the chops of strangers, so I just went on my way. But as I did, I thought, Yeah, fella, Biden's a commie because he wants people like you--like us--paid and treated fairly.

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    1. Goodness. I have been hearing more groups for Trump because of this. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/trump-biden-contest-inflames-bitter-divide-among-vietnamese-americans-immersed-in-historical-wounds/

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  6. You did right, Ms. Caren. It's amazing the lies that the right spreads in many different ways.

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  7. Of course you did the right thing. As much as I despise the subhuman in the White House I have a bigger problem with how many poorly informed (or greedy or bigoted) people put him in there in the first place.
    Sure the Electoral College makes no sense but still Hilary had only three million more votes. Certainly a lot but not where it counted. His following should only have small cult status, not may be called a country within a country.

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  8. "I still regret taking the sign down and maybe I’ll staple it back up today."
    nah, screw 'em, light a match to it.

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