Image for post
Image for post
Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Sometimes
the greatest talent
is just putting one foot
in front of the other.
How do you tell
a child
her father
gave up
eating a bullet.
Or his mother
a bottle of pills
closed her eyes?

I swam laps
in oceans of vodka
backflips into cheap wine
I despaired in my world
where everything crumbled
nothing made sense and
I almost became the Monster.
Almost.

I stepped into the Abyss
but crawled back.
Others reading
will assume stereotypes
and that’s all right
I hope you know
in time
what that meant.
You already know
what
but not why.

I didn’t find God
He didn’t find me
I found myself
naked
stripped
of everything I was
everything I hoped to be
flayed
except
for one thing. …


Image for post
Image for post
By The White House — Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to find an original take on Trump’s second impeachment. I do find it remarkable and ludicrous that for some, the thought of impeachment being MORE divisive than a murderous mob storming the U.S. Capitol to hunt politicians. But maybe that’s just me.

The above paragraph is bothering me; something about it doesn’t feel quite right. And I’m just not sure how to fix it. But here’s the way I’m going to try: the concept of “center of mass.”

There are multiple stories of people “regretting” their involvement in storming the Capitol; they got caught up in the moment, and that their frame of reference WITHIN the crowd made it hard for them to understand — at the moment — what they did was wrong. Of course, it was wrong. …


Image for post
Image for post
Donald Trump = Wikimedia Commons

Nope.

The 1st Amendment, as is often pointed out, solely applies to government actions to restrict speech in public spaces. There is a line-of-thought that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter act as public squares where speech should not be restricted. There are a couple of big, HUGE, problems with that idea.

If Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act were to be repealed, and social media platforms were to be treated as publishers, they would STEP UP and not back down from censorship. Repealing Section 230 is just a stupid, terrible idea. Small websites would immediately stop the ability of anyone to comment on anything due to legal threats. …


Image for post
Image for post
Donald Trump — Wikimedia Commons

If they can confirm a Supreme Court Justice eight days before an election, they can impeach an insurrection-encouraging President 11 days before his term is up. There cannot be any chance he’s allowed to run again.

At the Capitol, multiple insurrectionists said that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor. There were at least two men who made it to the Senate chambers with zip ties. A police officer was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. A woman was shot while trying to break through a door even after being warned not to do so. And explosive devices were left in at least three locations. So while maybe most of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol had little more intent than to be gawking tourists taking selfies, there clearly were significant numbers who actually meant genuine harm. And Trump cheered it on, not understanding why others around him weren’t more pleased with the chaotic scene of his supporters storming the Capitol in his name. The calls he made during the time the Capitol was occupied weren’t to check on people's safety but to lobby Senators to object to as many States as possible. …


Image for post
Image for post
Donald Trump — traitor (Wikimedia Commons)

Impeach.

We knew before today that Trump had authoritarian tendencies. Still, in his incitement of a mob to storm the Capitol where the joint session of Congress was meeting to confirm the Electoral votes, he revealed his utter contempt for the rule of law if his interests are not being served.

I agree with Bret Stephens that it is too dangerous to allow Trump to stay in office for his term's remainder. He has the nuclear codes and has revealed himself to be completely unhinged.

If this is not a situation for the #25thAmendment, what is?


Image for post
Image for post
Ted Cruz — leader of the Sedition Caucus (Wikimedia Commons)

With David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, aka the inside traders, both losing their Georgia Senate races to Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, respectively, the establishment GOP has no more incentive to humor Donald Trump’s temper tantrum. The Sedition Caucus, led by Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, will still be trying to play to the MAGA crowd’s cheap seats when they baselessly object to Joe Biden’s Electoral College win later today. Still, it will be interesting to see how many of their fellow GOP Senators and Representatives will now calculate it as their self-interest to sign onto the attempt. …


Image for post
Image for post
My commissioning ceremony — 1994

“King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It tells the tale of a king who bequeaths his power and land to two of his three daughters after they declare their love for him in a fawning and obsequious manner.” — Wikipedia.

I can’t say I had a stellar military career, but I did my duty in combat, and the oath I took to defend the Constitution has no expiration date. It truly says something about the Age of Trump that his attempts to subvert American democracy is only his second-worst crime. …


Image for post
Image for post
Shakespeare & Hathaway — britbox.com

As an American, I’ve become ridiculously addicted to British (and Australian/New Zealand) television shows during our time of the pandemic. I used to write screenplays semi-seriously, and I admire the shows' technical craft, but mostly these days, I want to be entertained. I posted this list on FB, and a good conversation was struck up, so I thought I’d try it here to see what thoughts people might have.

1) The willingness to have (charismatic) leads who are less than traditionally beautiful/handsome. (Of course, there are still plenty of those: e.g., Michelle Keegan in OUR GIRL.) In general, however, you don’t find the “brilliant Ph.D. …


Image for post
Image for post
VIKINGS season 6 part 2

VIKINGS season 6 part 2, the final 10 episodes now available on Amazon Prime, is a fitting send-off for the series. It’s a little padded, the pacing uneven, and the big reveal was predictable. But these are minor quibbles. What is did successfully was to stick the landing of wrapping up the series in an emotionally satisfying manner, and it gave most of its main characters appropriate conclusions to their story arcs.

SPOILERS BELOW

Some of the episodes felt pretty heavily padded, and in all honesty they could have fitted a much better-paced story more efficiently in eight episodes or so. We knew Floki was going to make a reappearance at some point, so the odds of him and Ubbe ending up in the exact same spot being ridiculous didn’t bother me. …


Image for post
Image for post
Senator Josh Hawley. Source: Wikimedia Commons

When smart people do dumb things, the question is why. The best that I can figure, Republicans in Congress genuinely believe (incorrectly) there is little downside in the political theater they are engaging in to pretend there was mass voting fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. (But, of course, not in their OWN elections. Go figure.)

Josh Hawley, the Senator from Missouri (even though he lives in northern Virginia), has announced his intention to join Mo Brooks and other House Republicans to raise objections to the Electors of multiple States on January 6th, during the normally ceremonial joint session to count electoral votes. This will force both houses to “debate” the objections (for two hours) and to vote as a whole on their merits. As I’ve previously noted, it’d take both the Senate and the House of Representatives to vote to toss any State’s slate of electors, and given that the Democrats control the House, there is no chance of that happening. …

About

Matthew Spira

Just a middle-aged dude doing middle-aged things. Poetry repository: matthewspira.org. 1st collection, The End of the Rainbow, on sale: http://amzn.to/32Kkt3d

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store