Friday, September 22, 2017

Mystic Repast (Cakes and Ale)

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Welcome to the Mabon Tarot Blog Hop. Regular readers will remember that the the Tarot Blog Hop is an online blogging event where members of the TBH come together, all writing about the same subject, and linking to each other's blogs in a big circle. Regular readers will also remember that I quite often don't exactly blog about the topic in the manner that one would expect.

We were given two possible choices this blog hop: Tarot characters and sacred cooking (feasts), or Tarot characters and beauty products.

Given that I often walk around for hours in the morning before glancing at a mirror (useful for greeting Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and other door-to-door sales types), it is obvious that I am going to give beauty products a pass, and focus on sacred cooking instead.

The task for those of us who chose the food option was to imagine what some Tarot characters would cook, and how they would cook, what ingredients they would use for a sacred meal.

I decided to tell a story about the Fool and the High Priestess (or is it the Empress), and how the High Priestess would whack the Fool with her wooden spoon that doubled as a wand because the Fool's idea of a Sacred Meal was a roasted chicken from the local deli and a bag of Doritos, and...

...that is as far as I got.

Then I thought about the time I accidentally made bluish-purple pancakes (it is what happens when you use frozen blueberries)...which would be the Eight of Pentacles, and obviously the Star Trek engineer would do something...

...and that is as far as I got on that one.

Then my mind turned to the Mystic Repast as done in Golden Dawn, and its Wiccan counterpart, Cakes and Ale. And I got stuck there...

For those who are unfamiliar with Golden Dawn, the Mystic Repast is a sacred meal that is part of the end ritual of the Neophyte Grade (0=0) which is the first level of membership and study in the tradition. It is administered by the Hierophant of a lodge (think gaggle of students led by someone making up answers to the student's questions as they go along...or maybe that was just my experience).

It consists of a Rose (East), a Red Lamp (South), a loaf of bread and a bit of salt (North), and a chalice of wine (West); all placed on the black double-cube altar along with the Mystic Triangle and Red Cross.

The officers of the lodge partake first (except for the Kerux--announcing officer--who goes last); then by the students of the lodge based first on their Grade in the system, and secondly by their date of entry.

The Hierophant says, "I invite you to smell with me the perfume of this Rose, sacred symbol of the element of Air. I invite you to feel the heat of this Lamp, emblem of sacred Fire. I invite you to eat with me this bread and salt, symbols of Earth. And finally drink with me this wine [or juice pretending to be wine] as emblem of the element of Water."

In one of the instructional documents of the tradition, the Mystic Repast is referred to as The Formula of the Justified One. "For Osiris-On-Nophris, who is found perfect before the Gods, hath said: These are the Elements of my Body, Perfected through suffering, Glorified through Trial. For the scent of the Dying Rose is as the repressed sigh of my suffering: And the flame-red Fire as the energy of mine Undaunted Will: And the Cup of Wine is the pouring out of the Blood of my Heart, Sacrificed unto Regeneration, unto the Newer Life: And the Bread and Salt are as the Foundations of my Body, which I destroy in order that they be renewed. For I am Osiris Triumphant, even Osiris-On-Nophris, the Justified One: I am He who is clothed in the Body of Flesh, Yet in whom is the Spirit of the Great Gods: I am the Lord of life, triumphant over Death. He who partaketh with me shall arise with me. I am the Manifestor in Matter of Those Whose Abode is the Invisible: I am purified: I stand upon the Universe: I am its Reconciler with the Eternal Gods: I am the Perfector of Matter: And without me, the Universe is not."

There is more to the Mystic Repast than just this, but this should be enough information for the reader to follow the rest of this post.

The symbols of the Four Elements given as the Mystic Repast.
And when I say I got stuck there--I mean that I kept thinking about different layers of this part of the Neophyte ritual. 

For instance, the obvious Tarot card that is serving the Mystic Repast is the Hierophant; after all, the officer that is administering the Repast is the Hierophant. Except that only the outer appearance of the Hierophant is associated with the Tarot card of that name. When the Floor Officers (those officers who do not remain sitting on the Dais during the Neophyte ritual) are associated with Tarot cards on the planetary layer, the Hierophant cannot be the Hierophant card, for the simple reason that the Hierophant card is a zodiac card, and not a planet card. 

If your eyes glazed over at any point during the preceding paragraph, feel free to skip this section and resume reading below the next picture in this post. 

For those brave souls who stuck around, and still have no clue what I am going on about, just bear in mind that I was initiated into the Neophyte Grade of a Golden Dawn group twenty-five years ago, and into its Inner Order a couple of years later, and have been active more or less constantly practicing its style of magic since then; and therefore, have spent more time tinkering with the system than a most sane people have spent trying to figure out how the latest phone works. 

Again, I suggest that you run for the hills and skip to below the next picture. 

So looking at this from the viewpoint of the planetary cards, I know that the Hierophant represents the Sun, and therefore is more proper to be the Sun card itself. But viewing the ritual as the basis of magic, the Hierophant could also be the Magician (Mercury). There are also the view that the High Priestess is involved here (Moon), and there is the influence of the Universe card (Saturn). And...

...at some point, I came to the conclusion that from a viewpoint of magical operations that each of the planetary associated cards could be administering the Mystic Repast during an operation dealing with their respective planets. This also could be true of the Neophyte ritual itself which is considered to be a summary and overview of the entire Golden Dawn tradition; and therefore, shows the influence of the planets working on the newly minted member of the system (this is especially true if one was forced to serve in each of the six other Floor Officer positions before being allowed to serve as Hierophant--the Hierophant would be informed and shaped by those offices, their duties, and their associated energies--they have partaken of all the planets.)

Plus if one extends the symbolism of the Mystic Repast to include its mythical story lines, one ends up with other Tarot cards also being represented in part by the Mystic Repast: Osiris was torn asunder by Set (Devil card), put back together by Anubis and Isis (Moon card), the Elements themselves (the Four Aces), etc. 

Eventually if one thinks and mediates hard enough on the Mystic Repast, one sees echoes of the entire universe, and the kabbalah that describes it, in the Elements being served. 

At this point, I must admit that I might have gone a little mad.  But that is ok, for everyone in Golden Dawn is a little mad.

The seven planetary Major Arcana according to the Golden Dawn Tradition.
Ok, we are all back together now--those who attempted to understand what I was going on about, and those who just smiled and wondered if the madman would go away if one offered him a cookie. 

One of the reasons that so much time is spent thinking about the aspects of the Neophyte ritual is that the ritual is the basis of much of the magical operations that a Golden Dawn magician performs. It also colors much of the magic that one does outside of the system, as well as adding a layer to whatever religion (if any) that the member observes. For instance, it colors my experience of Cakes and Ale, the Wiccan version of the sacred meal. 

Now, we were to ask what a Tarot character would serve at a sacred feast, and how they would cook it, etc. For me, this is actually a real life game. 

I do a lot of ritual, including an annual open Wiccanish ritual. Near the end of designing of every ritual, the question comes up--"What are we going to use for Cakes and Ale?" The obvious answer--Cakes and Ale--often needs to be adjusted. For instance, I know several people who have a non-gluten requirement...what bloody Tarot card would one associate with non-gluten food...the Devil...yeah, the Devil...I think. As for Ale, it along with Wine, are not suitable for public rituals, so it is grape juice, or apple juice, or water (as one of the other members of Denver Open Full Moon community uses).  

In private rituals, I often include a pomegranate in my Cakes and Ale (Universe and High Priestess cards). Other things I have used: chocolate and honey (Empress), gold foil chocolate coins (Wheel of Fortune), fortune cookies (Magician), handwritten poetic fortunes (Magician--trickster), beef jerky and Twinkies (Death and Last Judgement...one of my honored dead I associate with those foods).   

And so it goes. 

In closing, I would like to tell a joke:

Strength says to their furkids, "Yes, I see that you are not happy with tonight's meal. This is what I am offering. Eat or starve. You have four types of dry food in your bowls. I am not going to the grocery store, just to get you something else to turn your nose up at."

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Zombie Election that will not go away (Hillary is still questioning 2016 election results)

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, I made a joke that if Donald Trump lost the election that he would take it to court, and keep suing until the challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Like most of my satirical jokes, I was basing it on the behavior of the people I was watching and picking the most interesting thing that could not possibly happen in real life--this is the same technique that my friends keep yelling at me to quit using...because I have a bad tendency to get things right.

In case of this joke, I seem to have been right...but not in the way that I told the joke.

Clippy is here to help you!
So what did I get wrong?

Well, the most obvious is that Donald "Jesus" Trump won. But in my defense, I been predicting that he would win the rest of the time (something I said would happen for several years previous to the 2016 campaign)--this joke was a "what-if he doesn't actually win" one-off joke--you know the type of joke you make to illustrate that perhaps no one should be voting for the man in the first place.

Outside of the obvious, I was right.

How so?

Well, we have watched Trump deny that the Russians helped him, deny that his campaign (including family members) had any contact with the Russians, deny that he ever had business dealings with the Russians, and generally deny that the Russians had a significant influence on the results of the election. To this day, he walks around with a color coded maps, giving them out to people that he wants to impress, and brags about having the biggest election landslide in history...outside of the four million dead illegally voting zombies that were all Democrats, thank you very much!

Trump had even tried to crush investigations that would prove that the Russians "might have had something to do" with the election results by firing, and threatening to fire people, issuing denials; and even writing statements for his family claiming that his family cannot locate Russia on a map, not alone actually find a Russian to talk to during the campaign. 

All in all, Trump is still trying to prove that he legitimately won the election.

But wait, it gets better...

....in that Zombie Apocalypse type of way that just fills your heart with boyish glee about how f***ed up our world really is--you know the type of stuff that makes you look forward to the Zombie Apocalypse because people keep insisting on making reality stranger than any of the satire one has ever read or hopes to write.

I am starting to look forward to the Zombie Apocalypse.
Turns out that I was right that the loser would spend a lot of time challenging the results of the election.

And I do mean a lot of time challenging the results of the election.

Where to f***ing begin?

How about with the bit that ticked me off the most...

...Bernie Sanders should not have campaigned for the office of President as a Democrat because he wasn't interested in making sure that a Democrat won--no, all he wanted to do was shake things up--Bad Bernie!!!

For the record, I was a Bernie Sanders supporter because....I thought that he was a better choice than the other choices. Or because I am an evil Communist loving witch--either story works.

No, I was not a Hillary Clinton supporter beyond the simple fact that I hoped that I was wrong about people in dusty empty countries flocking to vote for Trump, and that she would get enough votes to win...mainly because I assumed that Trump would continue to act like a reality TV star who was more concerned about his ratings than actually doing a decent job as President. Every morning when I read his Trump-Tweet-Rant, I am reminded that I was totally correct in my assumption of his Presidential ability. I figured that the same-old-same-old was better than "Oh my god, we are all going to die because Trump decided to use nukes on a sanctuary city, just to prove that illegal immigration and pot smoking must be ended at all costs!"

Yes, I wanted to see Trump defeated. But I was a Bernie supporter at heart to the very end and beyond.

Mainly because despite the same-old-same-old being better than midnight Rage Tweeting and atomic bomb launching, I am not particularly happy with everything that the Democratic Party does. Yes, that is right; I believe that the Democratic Party needs a good shakeup to bring it up to date.

I think Hillary Clinton just said that Bernie Sanders had no business running as a Democrat.
But that is not going to happen anytime soon.

As evidenced by the amount of praise that Hillary Clinton has for the Democratic party.

[For the record, I have only read bits and pieces of Hillary's book. You know the bits and pieces that made their way onto Facebook. If someone has a copy that they want to send me, feel free to mail it to: Mad Uncle Morgan, 2727 N. Cook St., Denver, CO 80205. After all, I might be wrong in believing that it should have been entitled: "Why I Really Won the Election, and Twitter Fingers is a Fake President.]

Based on what I read on Facebook, it seems that the only person not responsible for her loss was Hillary Clinton.

This is despite fumbles like telling coal workers that their jobs were not coming back, instead of saying, "Green Energy is going to require millions, if not billions, of batteries, and you will get jobs building batteries for Green Energy." 

[As I said, I have not read the book. If you think that I am really wrong here, send me a copy. And I will blog about the book after I read it...because that is what I do--blog about stuff that makes me upset. If you think that I am right, and want to see my head explode, again, send me a copy...because that is what I do--blog about stuff that makes me upset.]

But I was comforted by this not being a court case...beyond the whole Russian interference investigation that looks like a express ride to whatever circle of Hell Richard Nixon is trapped in.

Or I was until a little while ago.

For those of you who not heard her interview on NPR, or have not read the transcript, you may want to: Here is a link to the transcript...

...because I would hate for you not to know why I am losing my mind here.

Here is the section of the interview that annoying me.
So first, the Electoral College, while little understood, actually serves a function. And both parties have benefited from Electoral College wins. The Founding Fathers thought that if large urban populations were allowed to control the vote, no one would ever pay attention to the concerns (and votes) of farmers, small towns, and rural populations. Yes, it is an oddity of the American system, but it actually serves a purpose.

(Yes, I actually support the idea of the Electoral College--because I understand its true purpose.) 

Second, can you honestly tell me that she would be all gun-ho about investigating Russian interference if she suspected that the Russians had favored her? Maybe, it is just me--but I think that claim might be bovine end-product.

(Or maybe it is because I find Hillary Clinton's personality to be like course sandpaper. Quite frankly, I would rather have a Coca-Cola with Donald Trump than with Hillary Clinton. After all, I would actually have something that I could talk to him about while gushing sugary drinks--how to be a successful attention whore--I would so ask him for professional tips. Her...I can't think of anything off the type of my head that I would want to discuss with her that would be even remotely entertaining.)

Third, uh, you do know that there is a way to challenge the results of the election if there was sufficient levels of Russian interference? It won't overturn the election, but it will punish the guilty if they were part of Trump's campaign...and it is called Investigations.

I can understand why Hillary Clinton doesn't think there is a way...because there is no way that it results in her becoming President.

But the Founding Fathers provided us with a solution.

Now, I am not just talking about impeachment.Trump and company has more than just impeachment to worry about. For one, Donald Trump wants a second term...

(I do wonder how Hillary Clinton will explain Trump winning re-election. Yes, I still think that he is going to win a second term--I have yet to see anything crash and burn enough to keep him from winning a second term.)

...which means that he really needs there to be no evidence that links him directly to the Russians. Public opinion could hurt him--after all, Russia is one of our traditional enemies.

There is also the matter of the 2018 election. If public opinion washes out the Republicans, he will have less protection to stop an impeachment. And he might actually have to adopt a more moderate position, if the Republicans don't control the whole nine yards.

(By the way, the reason that I support the Global Binding Ritual and other forms of protest is that public opinion could swing against the Republicans, and force him to be the moderate I want as President...well, barring a socialist shake-up of the system--while I would like a socialist in the office, I am willing to accept a middle-of-the-road moderate.)

There is also his place in history, Trump wants a place in history--he wants to be a great President. If enough evidence comes out, even if nothing else happens, his place in history will be...well, Richard Nixon might not be the worst President in US history.

And the cherry on top...there is nothing preventing law enforcement from charging him for crimes committed before he became President after he leaves office. The Founding Fathers did not close that loophole, outside of Presidential pardon power.

So despite what she says, there are ways that the results of the election still could be judged against Trump being the real victor. Trump could still pay a heavy price for his "Russia, if you are listening, please find her emails" plea.

The reason that Hillary can't see them is that none of them results in her being President. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Burn all liberal science fiction writers (Conservatives only want conservative science fiction)

Yes, I write satire, and this post title is satire...

...but not nearly as much as you would think.

One of the things to come out of the modern polarized world of politics and righteous voters is the idea that only members of your chosen political belief system should be allowed to write and influence society.

That includes journalists, politicians, entertainers, writers, musicians, etc. ad nauseum.

Everyone else (outside of your selected political viewpoint) who influences society should be rounded up, tried and convicted as traitors, and then hang by the neck until dead to protect society from their evil heretic ideas.

Or at least, that is the impression I get from some righteous conservative voters.

For instance, some people think that the new Star Trek series is too political....because what was going on in the real life political world influenced their story lines.

Basically, if you don't agree with their politics, you are not allowed to write anything about politics--fiction or otherwise--scream conservatives. Or anything else for that matter because you might influence people away from good wholesome conservative values (which includes harvesting the organs of dead poor people to buy for tax breaks for the rich who are the true heroes of society).

No, Star Trek is not a liberal Chinese Communist conspiracy to drive the bestest President ever--Donald "Jesus" Trump--from office.

The Star Trek writers employed the device of science fiction, asked "Wouldn't it be wild if a society was like this?"--then wrote some science fiction.

It is not their fault if their story lines ended up looking like something that mirrors the descent of our own society. No, that would be the fault of our society...which by the way also includes you.

Science fiction writers write stuff that they think will be interesting, and will result in them getting more paychecks. It is all about the ratings.

If you want conservative science fiction, you need to encourage conservative science fiction writers (buy their stuff!!! share links to their stuff!!! encourage others to buy their stuff!!!)--it is that simple. If there is boatloads of money to be made writing conservative science fiction, conservatives will write science fiction. You don't need to organize boycotts, or petition Congress to outlaw liberal science fiction, you just need to f***ing support conservative science fiction writers. The free market system, which you as good conservative should believe in totally (especially if you are a Trump supporter), will take care of the rest.

You end up with liberal science fiction because it gets better ratings (and makes more money)  than conservative science fiction.

And for the record, Star Trek has always been political. A lot of science fiction is.

Examples of political science fiction include: The original tale of Atlantis, The Time Machine (H.G. Wells), Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein), 1984 ( George Orwell), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), Disc World (Terry Pratchett), The New Testament (fan-fiction written by the fans of the greatest science fiction writer ever, that dude called Jesus)...etc. 

By conservative standards all these writers should be burned at the stake because they did not openly support a society ran by a reality TV star who cares more about his ratings than actually doing the job that Presidents are supposed to do (hint, the word sounds like "Unity), and where poor dead person organ harvesting helps the government give big tax breaks to those who really need them--aka those who are making over a hundred million a year. Of course, you will have to employ a time machine to kill them; but hey I keep getting told that conservative science is the bomb, and far more advanced than liberal science (which believes in false ideas like human caused global warming), so you should have no problem.

(If you know some interesting conservative science fiction writers, outside of the Great Gherkin himself, feel free to mention them in the comment section. I would mention some...but I can't think of a single one outside of the Great Gherkin [who himself is a work of fiction] and the current Republican administration.)

But never mind that---burn all Star Trek writers as liberal Chinese Communist traitors!!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Greatest action figure ever (what the Great Gherkin wants for Xmas)

"....with four million resurrected zombies voting for her evil Queenship, I will control the fate of the United States of America. Bwahahaha!"

"And now a word from our sponsor, Mega-Fun Toys, the bestest toys in 'Murica..."

Hey kids, what do you want for Christmas?

We want President Earl Midas action figures!!!

Earl Midas comes with special trademarked Executive Power Bill Signing Grip and Super Immigrant Kicking Power!

And don't forget his Golden Chirper Throne (sold separately) and his trademarked Golden Power Suit.

Anything else kids?

Hell, yeah, we want some action figures of his enemies, so that he can kick their ass!

"The most evil enemies of any action hero..."

There is Marijuana Smoking Black Radical Muslim Mexican Ax Murderer Terrorist with real ax hacking power--oh Lucy! I am home!

And don't forget Morgana Hare, who is quick to sabotage righteous legislation--she believes that poor people deserve healthcare, even if they can't afford health insurance--she is a total evil bitch!

Now, Sissy, watch your language.

Sorry Dad--she is a total evil Commie Socialist beholden to Wall Street Bankers! 

And there is Heidi McNews, fake Media News Traitor--real blood comes out of her eyes!

Don't forget Angry Lesbian Welfare Queen with Real Social Justice Warrior Action...

...she comes with a six pack of kids!

And don't forget Captain Charlie Transgender Gold Bricker Soldier Layabout with his-her-its...whatever their preferred gender possessive is...devastating medical bills that can cost the military whole aircraft carriers, stockpiles of nuclear weapons, and deprive the United States of America...

"The Bestest Damn Country in the World, and the only one that matters..."

...of its protective wall.

"Which we really need to stop the greatest evil ever--Immigrant Families!"

What about you Timmy, do you want Bunny Silver-Unicorn, the Evil Wiccan Witch with her totally evil Presidential Binding Power? Or perhaps Aaron Lettuce the Evil Necromancer Conspirator with his Zombie Voter Resurrection Power?

No, Dad, I want some of the good guys and True Loyal Friends of President Earl Midas.

"...the most loyal allies of any action hero."

There is Johnny Bricklayer, a real American Hero who builds the very bestest bigly beautiful walls to protect 'Murica!

Don't forget Trusted Merlin Tortoise, slow and steady, a true winner, always ready to look out for the citizens of 'Murica by enacting tax cuts for the rich.

And Arthur Trustworthy, Presidential Official Real News Network Journalistic Hero, always ready to tell things as they really are...

...he comes with his own little bottle of blue pills. 

Oh dear, this sounds so expensive. Wouldn't you rather have a pony instead?

Oh no, Mom--everyone can afford the complete set for an easy set of thirteen payments of six hundred and sixty-six dollars.

You are right kids, let's go to Toys Are You right now!

"And now back to everyone's favorite Saturday morning cartoon, President Midas and the Super Legion of True American Voters!"

Oh my god--the heresy of making a Donald Trump action figure.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

My current writing schedule (why only Great Gherkin at the moment) and delay in projects

I been asked about my current writing schedule by more than one person, so I will publicly post my answer.

At the moment, I have no regular writing schedule. Occasionally, I can steal a few minutes to type something up, or to quiet the voice of the Muse; but outside of that, no writing is getting done at the moment.

This means that scheduled projects are being delayed, and certain pre-releases outright cancelled (I de-listed the Mostly True Astrology project yesterday simply because I don't know when I will get back to working on it). And it also means that no matter how tight my budget gets, I can't actually commit to additional projects (I thank people for the job offers, but I can't promise that I will be able to finish even a mere hundred words a week at this point.)

For instance, the overdue (really late) issue of the Denver Witch Quarterly has been re-scheduled yet again, simply because the two outstanding articles that I am supposed to write for it have not been completed. (And the issue can't go out without those articles because they are the signature articles for the issue [Remembering Alia Denny and Esoteric Leadership].) That was what I was working on when my mother-in-law died, taking her own life, and a month and a half later I still have not got around to completing them. (There is actually a chance that the October issue will be released before the July issue, if it hits the word-count target before the July issue is done.)

I simply have to put my wife's emotional needs, mine, and cleaning and prepping my mother-in-law's house for sale, in the top priority slots, followed by housework. (The only reason I have time to write this blog post is that I can't step out of the house before the load in the washing machine is finished.)

So this means that all anyone is going to see from me for awhile is the monthly column for the Hearthstone Community Church's newsletter, and the occasional Great Gherkin related chapter (a lot of the chapters are self-contained, and can stand alone by themselves)--both of which are me getting stuff out of my head, so that I can sleep in peace. And maybe a October blog-vacation project (basically a series of really small nonsensical posts) just to keep the writing flow going until I can get back to my regular writing schedule.

I write to let the voices in my head (aka the Angry Muse) out.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Odd video (Morgan discovers Wormholes on Flat Earth)

If you are ever curious why I became a satire sci-fi/fantasy writer, just remember that strange thoughts come to me, and then stick around. Like this idea that came about while reading a Facebook post about an airflight that did not take the direct route over the North Pole that the Flat Earther assumed that the plane should take (because it was the shortest path...let's ignore safety concerns there), and which did not take as long as the Flat Earther was told...all proof that the Earth is really flat and not a round sphere. After the strange idea showed up, and made my mind just go around and around, I decided to make a short video to get it out of my head (under two minutes!)--which worked so well that I now have several pages of notes for a story called Flat Earth Science! And my notes are still growing...which may just be another aspect of Wormholes interacting with a Flat Earth.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fundraiser follow-up (Kitties thank you for the support)

A couple of weeks ago, as many of my readers and friends know, I had to set up a fundraiser to get my cats over a rough patch in our finances. Basically, due to the death of my mother-in-law, my wife's job hunt was interrupted and we found ourselves having to wait on a check to come to get us though until she takes care of her mother's affairs and finds a full time teaching job.

(Technically, we are still waiting, but paperwork has been received and sent, and verified, and made into fire-lighters, so we should be ok...I think.)

And naturally, I worried about my cats not having enough food and cat litter...because I have my issues regarding money, and I like my cats better than I like most human beings. 

I  would like to thank S.O.D., A.S., N.H.B., A.W., L.H.T. (J.B.) and T.F. for their donations. (If you want me to spell out your name in full, message me).

I would also like to thank David Griffin for donating.

Yes, I said David Griffin.

I am as shocked as you are. Honestly, this is one of those times when he has surprised me. After all, there is no one on the planet that would ever think that we are friends--or capable of being friends--or even being nice to one another, for that matter. (After all, I am a satiric political and esoteric blogger, and he has done a few things that made him a....well, let's just say that many of my readers know that he is one of the stock characters in my commentaries.)

Honestly, I am still looking for the hidden insult to the donation. But that as my readers know, may just be because I had such a wonderful childhood, and have serious trust issues. It could be that simply that he was being nice...in which case, I have no idea what to think because it is not the David Griffin I know.

So anyways, thanks to everyone who donated to the cause of keeping my cats happy. I would offer to let you pet them, but you know how cats are--they decide who gets to pet them, and if you are not on their list, too bad. 

(The black cat in this picture is Anubis, one half of last year's addition to the pride; and other cat is Ripley, my mother-in-law's cat, who is now letting me pet him.)

I am so proud of Anubis and Ripley getting along with one another.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Trump and immigration (why I cannot agree to kick everyone out)

On Tuesday, the greatest American patriot ever, President Donald "He is Jesus--and he is going to save us from the wrath of God!" Trump is probably going to do his best to turn the United States of America back into the all-white 1950s version of America that his supporters voted for.

Yes, he is going to look at the Dreamers, those immigrants who were brought to this country as kids by their illegal immigrant parents, and say, "Yes, I realize that you have been raised in this country, and that you consider yourselves Americans, but my voters want a completely white America, so you are going to be deported. But don't worry, my supporters are also going to demand that blacks be sent back to Africa, and Asians sent back to China, and I bigly support the idea that they should be because none of them voted for me, and I must make America more white if I want to ensure that I am President-for-Life."

Or something like that.

(By the way, there are actually Trump supporters who want to deport all black people back to Africa, even though some of their families [black families, that is] have been living here since before the American Revolution....because you can't be a real American if you are not one hundred percent white. Exactly where in Africa, Trump supporters want to deport blacks to, is a little fuzzy.)

The idea held by Trump supporters, or at least this particular sub-set, is that illegal immigrants (and legal ones for that matter) are taking good paying jobs from honest white Americans.

Having worked alongside those in the Dreamer category, I have a bit of bad news for these white Americans---you didn't want the jobs when we offered them to you.

Yes, I said that white Americans will not accept the jobs that immigrants are doing. Or at least, not the type of jobs that I was trying to fill.

For the one person who does not know, I used to manage a restaurant of the fast food variety ("not fast food--good food fast" as one of the owners used to say).

I started out working in food service after failing high school (because my mom insisted that babysitting my siblings was more important than my homework), after being discharged from the military (because my father died in a truck accident, and I was supposed to go back home and take care of my siblings), and having no other option.

It was a horrible job. The hours were bad. You reeked of grease and smoke (and possibly onions). The pay was low as minimum wage law allowed. Your schedule could change at a moment's notice. ("Punch out--labor is too high, but don't leave--you will need to punch back in once the dinner rush starts.") And no white person with decent chances at better employment would ever take the job.

I worked alongside of people whose parents were illegal: some of which who were born in this country, others not. Many of them couldn't speak a word of Spanish. And they consider themselves Americans, not Mexicans.

Often I was the "token white guy," the only white guy working in a crew of forty or so. The other occasional white person often fell into a category that your typical stereotype Trump supporter would like to outlaw: poor college students, art school graduates, gays and lesbians--you know the type. 

And when I became a manager, quite honestly, I filled the jobs with who I could. Given the restrictions on pay and benefits, and the delightful working conditions, it was seldom that a white person would apply for a position that I was trying to fill.

(And I was trying to find employers for fast food--don't get me started about lettuce and fruit picking jobs that no white person is ever going to be willing to do.)

Plus, a good percentage of my customers were immigrants or children of immigrants--the non-white type.

(One of the reasons that I do not hold 9/11 against all Muslims is that I was managing a Greek restaurant at the time--and my Middle Eastern customers were more horrified by the terrorism than my white customers.)

So that is reason one about why I am automatically against kicking all the nasty immigrants out.

(By the way, one of the reasons that people insist that we must get rid of all the immigrants is that their neighborhoods are crime filled cesspools. I somehow missed all the crime--the worst danger I faced was that a girlfriend might insist that I become a Catholic. Oh wait, some "real" Americans consider being Catholic a crime, much like being a Muslim or a Jew, or for that matter, being a witch and pagan.)

Second reason is that I grew up in mixed race neighborhoods. Outside of visits to my parent's hometown in Nebraska, a brief stay in a trailer park (before I was seven), and five years in a northeast Colorado town (the whitest place I have ever been), I have always lived in mixed neighborhoods.

(The northeast Colorado town is why I was confident in my prediction that Trump would win the election--I lived with those people who embraced Trump--it was only a matter of time before they tried to stone me to death for my odd beliefs in diversity and religious choice.)  

For instance, when my father brought a place in the Five Points, there was two Hispanic families, two black families, a Polish family, a Chinese family, and us (German-Jew)--all within an one block radius. It is hard to embrace a pure white America when one spent most of one's afternoons at the black neighbors house (who I knew better than my own biological grandparents) watching reruns of Star Trek.

(Yes, Star Trek...one can assume that did not help any when it came to my adult views on immigration.)

And that level of racial diversity was also seen when my father took me to construction job sites.

Essentially, my life experience says that neighborhoods are supposed to be mixed race and culture. Yes, I know that I am committing a great sin not viewing all non-whites are the enemy, but what the heck, it is not like me being a German-Jew is a mark in my favor on the real white American scorecard.

Third and the most important reason that I am against kicking out all the immigrants (legal, illegal, Dreamers) and closing the borders to further immigration is: My wife is an ESL teacher. 

(ESL: English as a Second Language)

My household's bread and butter comes from the existence of immigrants in our society. My wife is working a second Master degree in this field. And she makes far more money than I ever will (because I chose to be a writer in a time where writing is no longer a viable career choice--if it ever was).

You kick out all the immigrants, and close the borders, to save American jobs--and my wife, a white American, loses her job. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of the effect that removing immigrants from the economy will have. (I could go into horrific detail....but if you are a Trump supporter who believes that your job went away because of an immigrant, nothing I can say will change your mind.)

And that reason alone, all by itself, is reason enough for me to be opposed to Trump's vision of a pure white America without immigrants in it. After all, all politics are local--and my own local household economy depends upon the existence of immigrants.

But my wife losing her livelihood is probably ok if you are a Trump supporter who hates and fears immigrants....because I imagine that if you desire an all-white immigrant-free America, then I also imagine that you want to burn me at the stake for not being the all-white church going Christian that all Americans should be--something about me being a pagan witch and the grandson of German-Jew immigrants that needs to be arrested and deported back to Germany, despite the fact that I have never lived in Germany--all because America is about white America, and not about the dreams of non-white immigrants seeking a better life. 

This is what America is supposed to look like according to Trump.

Friday, September 1, 2017

For my birthday (how about no nasty surprises)

Yes, it is my birthday--I turned fifty-two about two hours ago.

For many years, I noticed that around the time of my birthday that I would be gifted by the universe with a problem or issue that would take a year to cope with.

Given the fun events and issues that I am currently dealing with, I would like to tell the Universe that my problem and issue bag is all full up at the moment, so please Universe no more nasty surprises for awhile. Thanks.

(On a more humorous note, I am so old that I used a computer program to figure out my solar return positions, instead of pen and paper. I may or may not blog later about the nasty story it tells.)

One can almost never go wrong sharing a cat meme.