The Crash and Burn of Donald Trump

2023 is going to be an interesting year for American politics. The January 6th Committee has referred serious charges against a former president. Most members and former members of the Justice Department believe these charges will come to fruition. Few believe we will see Trump in an orange jumpsuit, but it’s no longer out of the realm.

Meanwhile, other than his bewildering cosplay as various alpha male role models in the NFT world, Trump has remained both still and silent. With Ron DeSantis becoming the Republican to beat in the next election, and Trump’s star diminishing after the beating his candidates took in the midterms, the true choices for Trump are narrowing.

His first choice is to drop out of the race to defend himself in court. This takes him well out of the spotlight, and makes Trump irrelevant, something that he is loathe to do for any reason. At his age, 76, Trump has to know the odds of another election are nearly zero. This is his last chance to be on the stage again.

The cards have fallen harshly against him. Assailed by both the state of New York and Georgia, Trump’s legal woes worsen every day. Republicans who once flocked to kiss the hem of his garment, are now backing away, and some are publicly saying Trump should not endorse candidates, and certainly not run again. Trump’s run seems doomed.

His options if he quits seem dire. He’s ravaged DeSantis as a pretender, yet in this, Trump could find salvation. An adept liar, Trump could simply deny ever saying anything derogatory about DeSantis and throw his support behind someone who could issue Trump a full pardon for all his sins since the beginning of time. Trump has grifted millions in his time, and likely broke more laws than we’ve discovered. DeSantis could win over the Deplorables, take the middle of the road Republicans easily, and the next election would be his to lose.

The downside to this is Trump, even if he can deliver votes, may be so incredibly toxic that he drags DeSantis down with him, and might even do just that, just to spite the Republicans for dumping him. Unstable and unmanageable, Trump is a scary force to be reckoned with for friend and foe alike.

Which leads to yet another scenario, in which Trump manages to escape himself. Trump could use back channels to contact Biden, who is no stranger to political maneuvering. After all, you don’t think Biden was really everyone’s favorite, do you?

Trump makes a deal with Biden for the pardon. Then Trump goes full blown Trump on the Republican party, wrecking down ballot races and sabotaging DeSantis. Biden, after the election, has Trump arrested and no one believes Sleepy Joe would have ever cut a deal with him.

American politics has dropped to the level it is now a beauty contest for whichever baby is screaming the loudest. Bereft of true policy, the ability to govern, or so much as acknowledging they should, politicians now play a game to see who can be the best of the lesser evils. There are no goals, no great programs to enrich the lives of citizens, just endless fund raisers, kowtowing to donors, stump speeches aimed at rousing the rabble, with more and more money being poured into this mess each and every year.

Trump, sadly, is only a manifestation of the problem, not the problem itself.

Whatever happens, we will get more of the same.

Take Care,




High above the cold morning are cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds, scattered yet together, and the light coming through isn’t direct, nor is it shaded. It’s the same density of light we get in the summer, when the air is so thick with moisture even on a cloudless day the light is diffused and weakened. Not the heat, mind you, from May to September the heat is never weakened, not even by the deadest part of the night.

But today it is cold. The light has been diminished, not enough to really tell, unless you like photography, and you notice the light. Photography, no matter the level or purpose, is a study of light. If one wishes to do well with a lens, there must be an understanding of light, shadows, density, strength, and direction.

I step out of the truck, for the second time today, to take a photo of the sky. Dawn doesn’t demand any sort of greeting, but it’s rude not to stop and say hello, and thanks for the display.

Close to midmorning, there’s more of a mixing of the paint, a stirring of sorts, planning for some mono-colored work, perhaps, something undefined and indefinable, abstract if you will.

When you begin looking for light, looking at the light, in a different light, not for sight, but illumination in a manner of speaking, you can understand why the writers reads. It’s a study of the pattern of letters, for what purpose and method has nothing to do with words, or sentences, but again, of illumination.

Take Care,



Centuries ago, your spaceship lifted off from a dying planet to find a new home. One million people inhabit this ship, which recycles the water, uses fusion energy, and has enough food stores to last for the length of the trip. The ship is one vast metal city, with all the amenities of a ultra modern ecosystem where greed, want, poverty, crime, addiction, tribalism, and war is known only in history classes.

As Captain, your chief advisor, who is the ship’s computer has some disturbing news one morning. In one hundred years, you will reach the planet which has been the destination of the ship for the last thousand years, but probes sent have recently shown an asteroid has destroyed all life on the planet, and it will not be suitable for at least another five to six thousand years, at best.

The ship you are traveling in does not have an infinite lifespan. Built to withstand a lengthy voyage, it was also designed to shed its outer shell, which at some point would be weakened by radiation and impact with objects in space. If not shed, the shell will certainly collapse and its natural demise would be catastrophic.

The computer has a plan to dismantle the outer shell, which will revitalize the ship, and extend its life until the secondary planet can be reached.

The only issue is of the one million people onboard, one quarter of the population will have to be reduced, at least. One third would be optimum.

What is your criteria for this?


The airship hovered above the coffee shop, arriving silently, and everyone went to the windows to look. It was a zeppelin, long, gray, and beautiful. An elevator extended downward, a square shaft that reached to the ground, and two men stepped out in a few minutes.

I knew the woman, she was sitting behind me, we were close, friends, had been for a while. She had short gray hair, and was writing something on her laptop.

The elevator had a ladder for climbing, and inside the elevator shaft, multicolored sheets of fabric were loosely hung, so if someone slipped and fell they could reach out and grab one of the sheets, which were hung by their corners, creating pockets.

The two men took the woman a rose into the air, and I was to follow by climbing, five hundred feet at least.

I woke up too soon, before I reached the first rung.

The Blindness of Sight.

The rain began in the deepest part of the morning, somewhere after midnight, and the metal of the roof announced the storm’s arrival. The wind might knock the power out, but it’s cool enough to keep things in the freezer and refrigerator from going bad for many hours, yet warm enough for the heat not to be on. At any rate, the blankets protect me from all things that are not nightmares, and the dogs snore softly.

There’s little lightning, a rumble of thunder in the distance that holds no threat, and I listen to the rain, wind swept rhythm, and hope the compost pile gets a good soaking. It’s another week yet until Solstice, and the heat of the sun will not return until March. Two cold and dark months left before I can start thinking about planting again.

            Drifting between sleep and rain, dreams almost appear, nearly form, but do not. Some of the dream is of drowning, but detached, not terrifying, and in this is the realization not being afraid of drowning creates a bypass for survival instinct, but these thoughts are misty and they, too, drift.

            Wrex Wyatt dreams. His legs jerk, and there are yips from deep within, so I reach out and place a hand on him, say his name, and the sleep returns to us both, unbothered by visions or memories. The rain pounds the roof and sleep comes and goes as if blown by the storm. It’s one or two, maybe three in the morning, no, not yet two, for time doesn’t exist in true darkness.

Primal and wet, the lack of light is the bottom of the ocean, where nothing is ever seen, but felt, and smelled and the sensation of the world around the skin is everything that light is two miles above the trench. What if your skin, the entirety of it as an organ, naked, and floating, was your sight, and could clearly discern a world that existed above, below, and all around you, all the time? Changes in temperature, pressure, heat, cold, the feel of chemicals released by others of your kind, the pheromones of those you were interested in, and who were interested in you, the smell of prey or predators, the feel of electricity in all things, the sensation of the life leaving an old one, their life finished, their body drifting to the very bottom to decay or be eaten, or to be buried by the currents, all of this, every moment, a full body experience.

            Sight is so limited.

            Yet even now, when the realization of this comes, I see a patch of sky that is less dark than before. The rain continues, lighter now, and the wind has stopped. The world is returning to light, slowly, easing into it as if she is loath to begin a day so limited by so little sight.

Take Care,


The Griner Deal, or Smoke and Mirrors?

At this point, we have to assume the Griner Trade went deeper than just a prisoner swap. A basketball player busted with a tiny amount of cannabis oil for one of the most legendary arms dealers of all time? Doesn’t seem to add up, does it?

Biden could have sat on this deal as long as he wanted, allowing Putin looking worse and worse for the arrest of someone who came to play ball on his court, but instead, things got weird.

The most pressing issue for both sides at this moment has nothing to do with basketball, but Putin needs weapons, and the Unites States would like Russia to leave Ukraine.

Putin has lost the war in Ukraine, and he knows it, or if he doesn’t know it, he will soon enough. An outright retreat under any circumstances and Putin is going to lose his job. However, if he lets Biden head the peace talks, and everyone sits down and agrees Russia got everything they wanted, but no new territory.  The Russians leave with their glorious victory, then suddenly the deal makes much more sense.

Putin gets a win, Ukraine gets rid of Russia, Biden looks like a hero, and the war, for now at least, ends.

If we see a cease fire right around Christmas, we’ll know this is right.

Biden’s critics, and some days I am one of them, are going to say giving in to Putin is a terrible idea. However, the devil you know is much better than the devil you never met. If the war continues to drag on, and the Russian army continues to lose and lose big, and Russia see their military might beginning to drop to a level where a Boy Scout troop with sling shots can invade, Putin might get desperate enough to use nukes. Biden talking Putin down from that ledge with the promise that NATO won’t try to push the borders back might be enough for Russia to leave Ukraine, in and of itself.

In any case that causes a cessation of war, we can call this a win.

Now, Viktor Bout, a world renown arms dealer, spent ten years in an American prison for serious crimes, and you have to wonder if he can get back in the same business with everyone on earth watching him. You also have to wonder who Bout is working for now. A totally amoral character, Bout would sell any weapon to anyone for any amount he could get, and never bat an eye at what happened next. Clearly, the Russian’s stock is tanking, so perhaps Bout will be working to help them? Or not? I can’t really draw a bead on this one yet, but Bout didn’t go free for Brittney, and he isn’t rehabilitated, either.

But the big picture in this is Russia, and Putin, seem to be on the verge of collapse. Griner was a sideshow issue, and Bout could have rotted in prison for all anyone cared. Yet here we are, and I’m interested in how this is going to play out. This is not at all what it seems to be.

Take Care,


Serial Killers

I’m in the middle of Ann Rule’s book, “Green River, Running Red” the topic of which is the “Green River Killer” who murdered young women in the 1980’s, in and around Seattle Washington. This is the third book I’ve read on the subject, and there is a lot to be learned about human behavior here.

The first is serial killers cannot be understood by average people. It can be explained how they murdered, where they murdered, and who they murdered, but the why of all this is a complicated and terrible issue not easily understood by even the most highly trained law enforcement people alive.

The next is serial killer do know what they are do is, at a minimum, something they can be jailed for if they get caught, which means they understand the rest of us believe what they are doing is wrong.

However, in killing prostitutes, Gary Ridgeway also understood these were people not valued as highly as other human beings were. He could, and he did, kill with near impunity, until multiple bodies surfaced, and the families of the dead women began to generate noise. Even then, even when there were multiple dead young women, bodies in various locations, even then, when money was being spent to find the killer, and no resolution was found, the task force was scaled back. Even at the cost of young women being murdered.

Ann Rule goes into much more detail of the lives of the murdered women. Most came from lower income families, further reducing their worth in American society, and invariably, most of the quotes from parents shade towards “I couldn’t stop her from doing what she wanted to do” type utterances. Jobs that were available for very young women paid very little, and some of the women preferred the life of prostitution over a minimum wage job that required long hours for little pay. In 1982, minimum wage was $3.35. A young woman working as a cashier could hope to make less than thirty dollars in an eight hour shift, but almost that much in a few minutes as a prostitute. On a good night, a week’s worth of pay could be had, and on a bad night, a woman could end up dead.

Another observation is in the books I’ve read, it’s rare to find a man who had been arrested for paying a woman for sex, and universally, all women who have been paid for sex have been arrested. A suspect early in the case was caught in bed with a sixteen year old prostitute, and he was not arrested. Another suspect admitted to having sex with underage prostitutes and was not arrested. Prostitution is a crime committed by women, not by men, in the eyes of the law, and of society.

One victim was thirteen when she began walking the streets. Another ran away from home at age fourteen, was murdered at age seventeen, but her body wasn’t identified for years because her family never reported her missing.

Finally, early in the book, “The Search for the Green River Killer” by Carlton Smith, the author notes one of the detectives, who had worked homicide for years was “shocked at the level of violence directed at women” once he started taking reports of battered prostitutes, girlfriends, wives, and just random women attacked by strangers. The hope of catching the killer by linking him to violence against women was thwarted by the sheer volume of suspects that would have been compiled.

Take Care,