Comments of Jordan Smirl

Jordan Smirl
19 hrs ·

I don’t care how high a person has climbed on the corporate ladder to earn the 7+ figure salary that they’ve got now. Not a single millionaire or billionaire works as hard as those of us who are stuck in the lower and middle classes, busting our asses for 40+ hours a week, sometimes working multiple jobs, just to earn a negligible fraction of what they earn. Nobody deserves that much money. Nobody. Hardly anybody can even spend that much money in a lifetime, let alone multiple billions of dollars. We have these human dragons like Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, sitting on massive hoards of gold while there are people right here in the United States dying because they can’t afford food or medicine or a simple roof over their heads. You have to be an absolutely abhorrent human being to absorb so much wealth and not feel like you owe anyone else a dime, when that wealth is being produced for you by the mininum wage employees miles below. You have to be incorrigibly immoral to watch your countrymen struggle just to stay alive and say, “well that’s just too bad, isn’t it?” when you absolutely have the means to end that suffering. I don’t think a single one of the lower or middle class people I know would be so stingy with their money if someone they knew was so desperately in need. Yet our government right now is being run by people who are owned by multi-billion dollar companies, who are only interested in what makes them richer and satisfies us enough to keep us quiet–not what actually solves the problems of our everyday lives, or the greater issues of our species’ fate and our planet’s longevity. Our system in this country is completely broken. We are living in a nation that is no longer for the people, but for the rich, thanks to the rest of us. There are enormous and dramatic changes that need to happen if we have any hope of surviving this century, let alone sustaining humanity for the forseeable future.

Responsibility Shirked – Disaster Delivered

Responsibility Shirked – Disaster Delivered

Ted Folkert – February 4, 2019

“Don’t blame me – I didn’t vote for him, or her, or it” – blah, blah, blah, blah! How often do we hear all this from disgruntled citizens with 20-20 hindsight?

Not many of us participate in the electoral process as much as we could or as much as we should feel compelled to if we wish to fulfill our responsibility to attract, support and elect responsible and qualified candidates for public office who exude integrity and competence. If there is ever a time when we need to get involved in the electoral process in a big way, this is it. Although we probably cannot undo much of the damage done in the last couple of years, we can at least end it with a favorable election of competent leaders in upcoming elections.

It isn’t necessary to reiterate all the missteps we have encountered by the current administration, such as: dishonesty, ignorance of the law, misunderstanding of governmental processes, incompetence, impracticality, inappropriate appointments, dismal leadership, abusive interactions with national leaders, abusive interactions with world leaders, bungling of programs, narcissism, sex discrimination, racial discrimination and last but not least personal dealing with foreign governments for financial gain. This administration gives the term “emoluments clause” a whole new meaning.

We all have excuses which we believe relieves us of our responsibility to get involved in the electoral process and can reel them off in a flash: I was too busy at work, I had to take care of my family, I didn’t have transportation, my vote would just have been cancelled by someone else, I was out of town, I thought all the candidates were just as bad, I didn’t have a candidate that I wished to support, I had to work that day and couldn’t make it to the polls, I forgot to register, I moved and didn’t receive the notice to vote. If we did research for the reasons incompetent governments get control, one would think that all these reasons would be repeated throughout the dialogue explaining why we ended up with corrupt leaders in office. It wasn’t my fault. It was someone else’s fault.
Did this work out well? Does having an excuse make the damage done any less painful? Does it change anything? Do we get a do over? Can we cancel the election outcome and take a revote? The answers are no, no, no, no, and no. We are stuck with it. We can just sit by in disgust and take it right in the chops. We just blame those who voted for the corrupt and incompetent leader, not admitting the fact that we didn’t vote, or didn’t express an adverse opinion, or didn’t get involved in the selection process.

This must be a wake up call if there ever was one. We have no other sane choice now. We must educate ourselves more thoroughly about government process, government programs, observe government hearings, review the positions of our leaders and the fallacies of our leaders. We must get active in selection and support for qualified candidates who have the interests of all the American people in mind, candidates who understand the ramifications of there actions, candidates who have backgrounds and credentials to support their qualification for holding elective office.

The result of our decisions or perhaps indecisions of the past should be evidence enough that lack of involvement is not acceptable if we wish a representative government elected from responsible leaders with integrity, intelligence, and who exhibit dedication to the common good of all the people.

Selecting and electing competent leaders isn’t the end-all responsibility, it is just for starters. We must show interest. We must let our voices be heard. We must make our leaders aware of how we feel about their decisions. Government should involve everyone, not just those we elect. If we don’t let them know how we feel, how can they represent us? After all, they are not supposed to represent themselves, they are supposed to represent us – we the people. That’s what a representative government is supposed to be – leaders who represent the people, not according to what the elected leader wants, but what the people that she or he represents want.
So, like some of those who offer their sage advice are telling us, “fasten your seat belts, this ride isn’t over yet.”

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to recover from the damage done and being done to our economy, our respect among world leaders, the welfare of the workers in this country, the equality of opportunity which all the would-be leaders talk about, the educational system, the healthcare system, and last but possibly worst, the protection of our environment in the face of climate change and the planet’s ability to support human life for future generations.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?

Abraham, Martin and John

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham,
Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young

But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend John,

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young

But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin,

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He freed a lotta people, but it seems the good die young

But I just looked around and he’s gone.

Didn’t you love the things they stood for?

Didn’t they try to find some good for you and me?

And we’ll be free,

Someday soon it’s gonna be one day.

Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby,

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

I thought I saw him walkin’ up over the hill

With Abraham, Martin and John.

Leonard Cohen’s Trumpisms

Leonard Cohen’s Trumpisms

Ted Folkert – December 5, 2018

Listening to some of the famous hits of the inimitable, late, great, Leonard Cohen, is a habit that is hard to break for some of us true fans of his soulful lyrics and musical poetry, as he offers them to us with his “golden voice.” Listening to them now really rings some bells as they tend to remind us of tyrannical tendencies of our mindless leader, Donald John Trump.

And, for some of us who are increasingly annoyed by our president, who was elected by the Electoral College but lost the popular vote despite the helping hand he enjoyed from one of our most troubling adversaries, Russia, we can relate lingering messages in some of Cohen’s poetry. Cohen probably wasn’t talking about Trump in his songs, but he sure could have been.

Trump started out, and of course still is, focused on Cohen’s words: “Give me control of every living soul.” This is obvious in nearly all his actions and specifically in his comment after the snake from North Korea, Kim Jong Un, made a pitiful fool out of him by convincing him that he was going to cooperate in banning nuclear weapons. And, when he visited dictator Un, he was enthralled by the reverence displayed by the North Korean people for this murderous dictator and remarked that when Un spoke everyone sat up and listened, stating that is what he wanted from the American people. In other words, he wants to be a dictator and thinks he is a dictator.

Trump sidles up and admires murderous dictators, such as Kim Jong Un of North Kores, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Mohamad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Not necessarily because he wants to be a murderous dictator, but because, in the case of bin Salmon and Putin, he either has or desires financial involvement in the form of massive loans for his business enterprises. That’s it, pure and simple. The evidence is hidden everywhere in plain sight.

To this thirst for power Cohen sings: ”Democracy Is coming to the USA.” However, democracy is experiencing a drastic setback at the present time.

And now after the miserable failure of his ridiculous ploy about the massive invasion coming at our southern border and his wasteful expenditure of many millions of dollars by sending thousands of troops there, a ploy attempting to put all the voters in a defense-of-our-country mindset, throwing red meat to his pit bull base, he is reported to be sullen and despondent. What a shame. I guess he has never listened to Cohen’s lyrics: “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Light is something crooks always like to avoid, before, during, and after their crimes.

And now that the Democrats have solid control in the House of Representatives, wherein lies the finance and Intelligence committees, he may become extremely dismayed when his tax returns and other secrets we wonder about show some “cracks” and let some “light get in.”

Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Russian invasion onto our electoral process is spreading its tentacles like an octopus and has Trump squirming like a fish on the line. He poo-poos the investigation as a “witch hunt” as his staff and former staff fall like dominos almost daily. The list of charges, convictions, pleas and confessions seems unprecedented and is rapidly painting Trump’s administration into a picture of widespread corruption which may culminate in dozens of criminal charges before it is all said and done. It is hard to remember a time when so many witches were caught in such a short time.

Too bad Leonard Cohen laid down his pen, may he rest in peace. He would have enjoyed great material for many new songs as the Trump presidency evolves – like a song writer’s dream come true, a gift that just keeps on giving.

And for the viewing audience, it is getting better all the time. We just can’t wait for “Closing Time,” of this criminal enterprise, another great Cohen song which he could likely rewrite with this avalanche of new material being provided by our Idiot-in-chief.

Letter to the President

To the Esteemed and Revered, Donald J. Trump – President of the United States and Leader of the Free World – Brilliant Business Man and Extremely Intelligent Person – Best Dealmaker in the History of Mankind

Dear Mr. President:

Aware as I am of the enormous burden of ruling the country and keeping all the other countries in the world in line with our best interest, I feel compelled to write you regarding some very important matters of which I feel you should be aware.

Some of our citizens are ungrateful for the sacrifices you make each day in ignoring your enormous empire of business enterprises while so graciously dedicating your entire attention and diligence to assuring that we 300 million people are receiving the best life experience that one can desire or ever even imagine.

They even accuse you of violating the emoluments clause in the constitution, just because you direct so many millions of dollars of business to hotels and resorts bearing your name. Pure jealousy on the part of these misinformed accusers. They fail to acknowledge that these paying guests are anxious to be a part of your entourage and are grateful that you deny other would-be guests the privilege of lodging within these luscious establishments.

In displaying their ingratitude for your sacrifices, they choose to make salacious remarks about your character, declaring that you are narcissistic, ignorant, idiotic, imbecilic, moronic, hedonistic, egotistical, self-centered, dishonest, unintelligent, dictatorial, rude, demeaning, fraudulent, untruthful, braggadocious, pretentious, pompous, and other characteristics not suitable for publication.

It has even been suggested that some of your cabinet members have been responsible for some of these remarks, which are even more outrageously demeaning of your benevolent and personable nature and damaging to your valued and highly-regarded personal esteem.

We are all aware of your overwhelming success as the world’s greatest businessman, totally self-made except for a few hundred million dollars of inheritance. Along with running your vast business enterprise and your busy schedule of campaigning, tweeting and golfing, as well as the troubling annoyance of that ridiculous Mueller investigation, I doubt that you have time to search for the meaning of all these big words which so unkindly refer to your character. So, to sort of simplify the process so that you get the essence of the attitude of these ungrateful people, we should discuss a more common term, “sausage.” You know, not the stuff made by our elected officials, but the stuff made by the hog farmers.

I imagine, considering your “healthy” appearance, that you may know about sausage, however, it could be assumed that, considering your privileged upbringing, you would be more familiar with parts “higher on the hog,” such as pork chops, pork ribs or pork shoulder, rather than parts like pigs feet, sow belly, bacon and such.

You know, hog processors take all the parts of the hog that look bad, smell bad and taste bad and grind them up with stuff that make them look good, smell good and taste good, and then sell it to us for healthy and nutritious food. They call it “sausage.” So, if someone accuses you of making sausage out of our legislation, law enforcement and social programs, as well as our relationship with all the other nations in the world, now you have an idea of what they mean and the serious nature of these accusations which they phrase with such salacious-sounding words.

And, I might mention, like all your other enterprises, you would have been a great hog farmer and meat processor,  not only in your ability for making sausage, but in your ability of attracting attention to yourself and your sausage and convincing us that your sausage is the best that money can buy, just like we feel that you are the best president that money can buy. Besides, your pal, Putin, could make head roads for your products in Russia. He knows about making sausage himself. This could be an international enterprise funded by Russia, such as other enterprises you have been accused of funding there.

But don’t be deterred – like the old-timers used to say, “a little sausage never hurt anybody.”





What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes!

Ted Folkert – November 12, 2018

Yesterday was Veterans Day. Today is the day we honor it with bank, school, and government office closures. Most of us probably didn’t reflect much on the meaning of all the sacrifices of minds, lives and limbs damaged or lost by those who became our veterans.

Remember the song: “What a difference a day makes” and the line: “Only twenty-four little hours?” Our veterans probably understand that more than most of us. I suppose if we had spent 24 little hours on the battlefields of WWI, or WWII, or the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, or the Iraqi Invasion, or Afghanistan Invasion, we might really have an understanding of “what a difference a day makes” and a true appreciation for the bravery, diligence, and sacrifices demonstrated by those who either willingly or unwillingly represented our country and our freedom and survival.

We can read the history books and get many varied opinions about the causes of these conflicts and the propriety or rationality of decisions to involve our women and men in those battles. Which authors were right doesn’t matter now, especially to those who participated in the battles and their loved ones who remain.

Perhaps we can honor these fallen heroes by thinking more astutely and more unselfishly about who our chosen leaders should be in the future. We are somewhat stuck with what we have now, but many of wish we could have a do-over. Unfortunately, we usually choose not to take such action as would be required for a do-over. It gets ugly and divisive, two conditions we don’t want or need.

To show the utmost respect and appreciation for our veterans, maybe in future elections we could just ask ourselves questions like: which candidate will do the right thing, which candidate will make rational decisions, which candidate shows concern for all citizens, which candidate displays compassion for those who are less fortunate, which candidate understands the world we live in and the political ramifications of actions taken and importance of alliances with world powers, which candidate has an astute understanding of the concerns of others and the maturity to negotiate in a mutually cooperative manner, and which candidate reacts in such a manner as to reduce the likelihood of having additional war veterans in the future while maintaining our beliefs and standards for equality and fairness.

It is becoming more obvious day by day that we have been remiss in our electoral decision-making, which many of us still deny, and that like Ronald Reagan said about trading arms for hostages back in the 1980s when he made some rash decisions: “we didn’t do it and we’re not going to do it again.”

Can Human Progress be a Bad Thing?

Can Human Progress be Bad Thing?

Ted Folkert,
November 10, 2018

As we wallow in our pride and sense of superiority of our country as opposed to all of the other countries on the planet, we should consider some facts which we generally choose to avoid, ignore or perhaps of which we are unaware. Such facts about the future of the world population and the world economy can be not only revealing, but ego-deflating and reality-engaging, as we acquire a broader understanding of our place and our responsibility for the future of Planet Earth.

The International Monetary Fund has forecasted the position and current impact of the countries of the planet in terms of gross domestic product in the immediate future. They discuss what they call the New Economy, as opposed to the Old Economy, in which we have been a known world leader.

They discuss 155 countries which are home to 85% of the world’s population and 59% of global output. (The U.S. currently represents less than 3% of world population and, as of 2016, represents 20% or so of world output.)

These countries the IMF include, without listing all of them individually: Mexico, Central America, all of South America, all of Africa, all of Russia, China, India, the Middle East countries and adjacent countries in the Western Europe and Asian hemisphere, as well as Indonesia. The United States, Canada, Europe, Northern Europe and Japan are not included, in what they refer to as the New Economy.

The Chinese government is backing a city called Xiongan with a projected population of 3 to 5 million, a $300 billion project over 15 years, the Egyptian government backing of New Cairo with a projected population of 5 million, a project proposed to create 2 million jobs, the Nigerian government backing of Eko Atlantic with a projected population of 250 thousand, the Ecuadorian backing of Yachay, Ecuador with a population of 125 thousand, the Malaysian backed Forest City with a projected population of 700 thousand, the Qatari backing of Rawabi, West Bank with a projected population of 250 thousand – to name a few. It appears that many countries throughout the planet are expanding habitable territory to house and employ projected population increases over the immediate future.

As we discussed previously, world population is approaching 8 billion, up from 1 billion a couple of hundred years ago. It is projected to reach 10 billion, supposedly before tapering off a few hundred years from now. Nothing for you and me to worry about, but in reality we have a responsibility to future generations, who have not yet been born and cannot express an opinion or defend their rights, and who deserve being born into a world in which they can survive.

I seems imperative upon all of the developed countries to project and curtail consumption of precious resources, which can only be curtailed by population control. And it seems imperative to instill, declare, and enforce implementation of curtailment of environmental impacts which may, and the majority of our scientific community insists, will, render our wonderful planet to be unable to support human life or perhaps life of any kind.

The evidence is hiding in plain sight. All we have to do to confirm these findings is to digest the scientific research and studies of the oceans and the atmosphere by our brilliant scientists and engineers, and compare such findings in previous years, decades and centuries.

All we have to do to begin to curtail it is to elect leaders who understand these realities and have the intelligence and courage to ignore their personal careers, their personal wealth, their personal legacy, and join forces to convince 8 billion people that we must take steps to stanch the outflow of vital atmospheric conditions which sustain human life on Planet Earth.

Is it likely to happen? Probably so.
Is it likely to happen in time to make a difference? Probably not.

Think about it!

“How to Make America America Again”

Excerpts from Thomas L. Friedman’s article in the New York Times today, October 24, 2018:

“How to Make America America Again”

“What is there left to say about the terrible murder of moderate Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its aftermath? Only one thing, and I have said it before, but I feel it even more strongly now: In the midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone else to a voting station to vote for a Democrat.

I don’t say that because I’m particularly liberal and want to shift the whole country to the liberal agenda. I say that because I’m particularly American and I want to put the best of American values back at the center of our diplomacy and politics. President Trump has spent two years attacking our best values — truth and trust — and I believe that Democrats getting a lever of power is necessary, but not sufficient, to reverse that.

Democrats could blow it if they get back a lever of power and use it just to bully Trump and Republicans the same way he has them. But I’ll take that chance. Because there is a basic respect for truth, science and decency in the Democratic caucus and because I know that two more years of the G.O.P. holding every lever of power and blindly following Trump’s basic disrespect for truth, science and decency will make it impossible to elevate America’s best values.”

In sum, words today are not enough, investigative journalism is not enough, television special reports are not enough, documentaries are not enough, endless columns and editorials calling out Trump are not enough — even an audiotape of Khashoggi being killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul may not be enough — because the truth is just not enough today — not as long as we have a president who has no shame, who is backed by party that has no spine, that controls the House, the Senate, the White House, the Supreme Court and, indirectly, a major television network that has no integrity.

One day I hope the truth will be enough again. One day I hope great journalism will be enough again. But today only a lever of power — the House or the Senate — will make it so. Facts, science and truth — without power — are just leaves floating through the air in the age of Trump, scattering aimlessly without impact.

So, this year: No third party, no Green Party, no throwing up our hands and saying, “They’re all bad.” All of that’s for another day. For today, in these midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone else to a voting station to vote for a Democrat. It’s the only hope to make America America again.

Nothing else matters. Pass it on.

Please read the entire article:

Abuse of Power

Abuse of Power

Ted Folkert

October 18, 2018

How many impeachable offenses must a president commit before our fearless leaders decide to remove him from office in favor of limiting additional damage to the country and the world?

What is an impeachable offense?

  • How about refusing to disclose his financial holdings and debts which may influence his decision-making regarding laws, rules, regulations, and disputes?
  • How about failure to perform the duties of office in an honest, fair, responsible, and professional manner?
  • How about failure to take executive actions based on the interest of the American people instead of personal interest?
  • How about innumerable violations of the emoluments clause in the constitution regarding personal gain derived from holding public office?
  • How about limiting the effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Agency by putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house?
  • How about endangering our educational system by putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house?
  • How about handing millionaires and billionaires a nice big tax cut and passing it off as handing a nice bonus to all the wage-earners in the country?
  • How about handing the fossil fuel industry the right to pollute waterways and exacerbate the danger of global warming?
  • How about calling global warming a hoax while ignoring the declaration of almost 100% of the world’s scientists that it will destroy the ability of the planet to support human life?
  • How about sidling up with Vladimir Putin, not in the best interest of the country but in the best interest of the president’s personal wealth, of which the Russians seem to have considerable leverage?
  • How about the obvious inclination to overlook the heinous murder of a news writer by a Saudi ruler of whom the president’s personal income and wealth may be considerably intertwined?
  • How about criticizing foreign leaders, American leaders, and many members of the news media with whom he disagrees with childish and vulgar verbal abuse?
  • How about tarnishing our image as a world leader by taking a “we are number one” stance while endangering the viability of various international organizations which rely on cooperation and the merging of common interests in maintaining a vibrant world economy and maintaining world peace?
  • How many outright irrefutable lies must a president shout to the American people before he should be removed from office?

The above are actions of a dictator, not the elected president of a democratic republic with two houses of congress to enact and oversee enforcement of laws which provide the basis for a government “of, by, and for the people.”

I rest my case!

News from Planet Earth

News from Planet Earth

Ted Folkert

October 12, 2018

A little dose of mind-boggling always reminds us of how insignificant day-to-day occurrences really are in the big order of things.

About 40 years ago our brilliant Planet Earth scientists and engineers designed and built two spacecrafts which today continue to achieve enormous strides in our exploration of the universe.

Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, shortly after the launch of Voyager 2, and is said to be flying away from Earth at a speed of more than 13,000 miles per hour and is now more than 13 billion miles away from Earth.

Flying at 13,000 miles per hour means that it could fly across the U.S. in about 15 minutes and circle the globe in about 2 hours, a trip which would now take a commercial airliner about 2 days. It could reach the moon (240,000 miles away) in less than one day and the sun (93 million miles away) in less than one year. The journey to the sun would obviously be incomplete because Voyager would be melted before it even got close.

It took 35 years for Voyager 1 to exit our solar system and reach interstellar space. Its power supply is said to be failing but we expect to continue to receive data from it until 2025. We can all look forward to this date with disappointment, only 7 years away, but we can’t look forward to the date of the next expected encounter with Voyager 2.

Flying for 35 years at 13,000 miles per hour to exit our solar system gives us a mindboggling idea of how large our solar system is, consisting of the Sun, the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as many other smaller objects such as comets and asteroids.

And if you want to take exploring our universe a step further, some scientists tell us that the universe is 10 to the 30th power times the size of our observable universe. That is 10 with 30 zeros after it times the distance that a spacecraft can travel at 13,000 miles per hour for 35 years. If you calculate that please give me the answer, however, the number will surely take several pages to write down.

No need to put this next encounter with Voyager 2 on your calendar. It is anticipated to occur in about 40,000 years. Our scientists will have plenty of time to devise ways of communicating with Voyage 1 and 2 by then, but it obviously won’t matter for anyone now inhabiting Planet Earth. And, of course, unless we take steps “sooner than you think” to deal with global warming, there won’t be any humanoids around to witness this upcoming event anyway, so the whole project could be an exercise in futility.

I suppose we are dependent upon the scientists either way. But the scientists can only prescribe the medication. They can’t make us swallow it! And it seems that we won’t take the medicine simply because the challenge of convincing all the worlds inhabitants to relinquish any pleasures that they “can’t live without” is just that, an exercise in futility, particularly considering the obstacles presented by the global warming deniers.

How is this for mind-boggling?