LAST WEEK I ASKED

“Are you ready for 2018?”

The week before I declared, “I am now, for no particular reason or event, determined to be unrelentingly optimistic.”

It ain’t easy when you put your intentions out there for many to read, remember, look up and throw back at you, and then Agent Orange makes it so hard to make good on them.

Come on, that’s only 63 words in, I’m not losing you already because you’re so sick of hearing about Herr Hair, am I? Always remember, that’s a crucial part of his strategy. When are you/me/the media going to stop getting sucked in, distracted, worn down by P.T.rump, playing his game?

This Saturday morning might be a really good time to stand up and be counted. (Hint: Women’s March II.)

(BTW, calling him names is not petty, but a strategy. Some won’t even hook the title of President to his ample wagon, but I do, because it is the ugly reality we are dealing with. But giving him the respect he deserves, which is less than zero because of his actions and words, states that we are not accepting this as the New Normal. We are Americans and we shall not be brought so low, by this carnival barker and his greed-crazed conspirators, the Republicans.)

HANG ON

I promise I’ll get back to Santa Monica and the depressing things swirling around here. About which I’m optimistic.

We get played so easily, by this “unpresidented” demagogue of low intelligence but brilliant manipulative skills. It is so much easier to be brilliantly manipulative when you have no morals, no empathy, no rules, no obligations, no loyalties, no relationships, no agenda other than your own profit and self aggrandizing. Talk about simplifying your life.

In fact, it makes the completely daunting, near-impossible job of being President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief of the mightiest military in history, leader of the Free World, easy as pie. No presidency ever has been this easy, by far, trust me. That’s why you see him on the golf course so much. He can do anything and say anything and not worry about consequences as long as he feeds his base. Why, he could probably stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and… you know. Break the law. And suffer no consequences. So far.

For the same reasons you don’t want to read about him, I don’t want to write about him. I have backed off considerably, you must admit. But I’ve gotta write, and you’ve gotta read, because we all need to renew our resolve. Sometimes minute by minute.

TOUGH WEEKEND

For those of us with conscience, heart, soul, awareness, knowledge of history, of geography, pride in country.

He chooses the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial weekend, no less, for some of his most egregiously racist remarks. Then gleefully calls around to see how much of a ruckus he’s raised. Then officially, half-heartedly, half-assedly denies he ever spoke them. But the timing reminds us that this despicable man who lost the popular vote by millions and wiggled into the White House because of the obsolete Electoral College we are burdened with, is the ugly antithesis of the Nazarene, that Rev. King could not even have imagined rising to power half a century after the progress sparked by his assassination.

Sorry what we’ve done with your dream, Dr. King. Really, really sorry.

SHAME ON US?

Well, yeah. We are guilty for our silence. History will judge us. We must speak up, resist, force our representatives to end their silence and inaction. (A cheer for Rep. Ted Lieu here, on all counts.) This is intolerable. We are, because of The Donald and his GOP vampire army, now living in a much more dangerous world (Hawaii), with the rest of world alternating laughing at us and cringing in disbelief and helpless fear.

Politicians love power, they live for it (even if their motives are pure) and collectively we have the votes, to tell them unequivocally if you do not right the ship of state, you will be stripped of your power, thrown out, this year, onto the trash heap of history.

A very good time to deliver that message, with our millions of bodies and voices, is this Saturday at the nationwide (worldwide) Women’s March. Or think of it as the Humans March. The March for Sanity and Dignity. The One Year Anniversary/No More.

9 a.m., Pershing Square here in LA. It’s as easy as hopping on a train. But there’s so much at stake. I can’t take another MLK Day like this one (although the Santa Monica Symphony performance was uplifting and excellent).

QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: Are you okay with spending more than $100M making our City Hall annex a resume booster for ambitious local politicians and bureaucrats? Okay with pols and bureaucrats who violate the Brown Act, the Oaks Initiative and election funding rules with no consequence? Same for our new lobbyist regulations? Do you think Santa Monica College (SMC), for all its terrific education of a handful of our students, has become a cancer to our small city, sucking up properties and a billion in our bond money while providing no on-campus housing, throwing their 35,000 students into our shrinking apartment inventory, and insisting on a glorified kindergarten on the grounds of our Civic Center, to mainly serve RAND, City Hall and their employees, many of whom don’t live in Santa Monica? Are you okay with a massive hotel development in the center of our Downtown, that benefits a developer, Local Union 11, and the politicians who benefit from their favors, or would you like to see a park-like open space for all our citizens to benefit from? How about skyscrapers lining Ocean Avenue? Should we keep hiring more and more City staff, when many agree we are already the most overpaid overstaffed CA city around and those benefits and pensions are going to kill us in the very near future. Has serious crime become a serious problem here? Will Forward replace a weakened SMRR in the quest to overdevelop Santa Monica? What about the water?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “No tyrant, however evil, has yet lacked ready hands to execute his most abominable will. To read how eagerly men have rushed to serve the despot is the bitterest, the saddest matter of history; it is the saddest sight in our own day.” — Richard Jefferies

 

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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