These days, you’d have to be a mantra intoxicated monk on a mountaintop NOT to think about politics. This country is about 240 years old, depending on when you start counting. It only takes a skimming of it’s history to know that politics in this country has never been a textbook clean process. That being the case, what you see going on today is beyond the pale.

When I went to high school I had to take a class in civics. It left me with nice rosy warm feeling inside that this political process that I just learned about would insure peace and tranquility in my lifetime. Uh, well Рnot really. It left me feeling rather numb. Phrases like checks and balances, representative government, free elections and ideas like a true participatory democracy floated around from which I took a confidence that my government had my best interests at heart. Well, naivet̩ has always been easy for me.

Now we find ourselves in a situation that no one ever dreamed would happen – not in this country. A major contender for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is proudly advocating mob rule that presents itself as above law, decency and respect. Mr. Trump openly encourages his followers to beat up protesters while his response is a pouty mouthed adolescent posture more appropriate to a delinquent teenager or a street gang capo, than a front runner for the Republican Party.

Everybody knows, or should know, that the rule of law and mutual respect are the only forces that keep these thugs, wannabe criminals and proudly ignorant people in check. These are the looters of our democratic form of government by consent. They are willing to trash the constitution for selfishly uninformed reasons. When it becomes dangerous to oppose hate mongers and advocates of violence in the political process the very fabric of democracy is torn.

When you look closely at the Trump Platform you don’t find one. Making American great again and building a wall between Mexico and the US do not constitute viable programs to benefit the American people. They make no sense. They are mob epithets and crowd pleasers if, that is, your crowd came only for a fist fight.

More is needed than the “summer soldier and sunshine patriot”. We must reject mob rule. We must demand character in our leaders. We must demand reason, respect and the rule of law. And above all – we must vote. If we loose this battle, we will have lost America.

Speak up. Don’t be shouted down. America is worth it. You’re worth it.

Magazine publishers are getting desperate. I’m sure they have fallen on hard times. No one wants them anymore. Take “National Geographic”, for instance. I have never subscribed to it. There’s no need to. Any doctor’s office has them which you can steal if you need to have one. You have many friends who would gladly load you up with all you can carry, just for the asking.

So, I get this official looking envelope in the mail yesterday with one of those notices in it telling me that I MUST reply within the next few minutes or the FBI will knock on my door at 3am tomorrow. For only $175 I can have this slick highbrow magazine for the next couple of years delivered to my mail box. Now, understand this: I never communicated in any form with these people. This is a scam and should be illegal. Some poor slob is writing out a check now terrified that the Federal Storm Troupers are going to haul him off to some Gulag in the wee hours tomorrow. OK, so I’m exaggerating a bit. So what? You get the point.

The other scam is when you actually have a subscription to a magazine of your choice, and have two years before it expires, you start getting notices on a monthly basis telling you that you can renew for some really cheap price if you do it today. This is a simple scam to give them operating money in an interest free loan. You don’t owe them a dime for the next two years! If you just want to send them money, have your lawyer send them a bill for the interest you will charge them for using your money years before it is actually owed them. What are these jerks thinking? Oh, sorry, I forgot: they think we are stupid. Often enough, of course, they are right.

My solution is to dump them all and if you do want to get a magazine, do it on your iPad or Amazon reader or Nook, and avoid the clutter while feeling green at the same time.

Under the “It Ought To Be The Law” category we should be able to stamp all unsolicited mail with RETURN TO SENDER and the post office would have to take it back to them. That would be he day!

For some reason lately I have been thinking about the possibility of being a member of a book club, or reading group. I recently read a blog by Katherine Bouton about belonging to a book club wth significant hearing loss. Like a moth drawn to the flame, I began to wonder if that would be a fun thing to do. It now occurs to me that this would be an excellent problem to take to a therapist.

What is immediately apparent is that I have never belonged to any kind of reading group. Why then now? The best answer I can come up with so far is some kind of chemical imbalance in my brain.

The first thing I did was to go find a list – there is always a list – of reading groups/meet-ups throughout the world and there are thousands. Literally thousands! There is a book club, meet-up, reading group to fit any interest, sexual orientation or personality disorder.

There are groups for women, men, LGBT, black lesbians and so on. There are a lot of meet-ups and groups that posed no restrictions regarding make-up. Should I choose to align with one of these groups I’d prefer more of a diverse rather than a mono-cultural experience. But, I already know what I am going to do. More exactly, I know what I am not going to do.

It was a good idea, but one fraught with built-in difficulties considering my problem with hearing in groups. I know what that’s all about: a longing for the normal experience. I can not help thinking that anyone experiencing any degree of any disability knows this feeling. You keep thinking you can do everything and at the same time knowing you must choose wisely or be constantly disappointed. It’s called being in charge. Not a bad place to be.