A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (June 8, 2018)

Alright. Anthony Bourdain killed himself. Kate Spade killed herself. Robin Williams killed himself, Kurt Cobain killed himself. Yes, it is tragic that talented people chose to take their own lives, but what about the rest of the people who choose to die at their own hands? Like the ones who are bullied in school? The transgendered who are shamed and ridiculed? The ones who are terminally ill and choose not to be a burden on their loved ones? Where is your sympathy for them? Why aren’t you there for them?

Excuse me for being a total asshole about this, but there are so many suicides here in the United States alone, and nobody gives a shit about them, but a celebrity offs themselves, and the news services are creaming themselves over it. The little people who suicide…well the only publicity they get is through social media. I would rather mourn the little people who thought that there was no one for them to help them through their problems.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(800) 273-8255

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© 2018, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

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A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (December 22, 2017)

After 11 years working at the same position at the company that I work for, I reached the limit of my patience.  I needed to make a change, and the opportunity made itself apparent in a position that I was trained for over 12 years ago.

So I told the plant manager and the HR director that I was willing to go back to the Youngshin YT17000SII flatbed die cutter (which was purchased by the company in 2003, two years before I started there,) on a full time basis. I was operating it on an interim basis based on need, but the company needed a experienced full time operator on days, and since I was originally trained for it 12 years ago, they agreed to let me take the position.

To be honest, I was getting sick of doing the same job day in and day out, and I wanted to have a challenge in my professional career. I know the machine that I am working with, and all it’s little quirks.  Not to mention that I am making more to operate this machine.  The company managers know that I have more than enough experience to do the job, and they will listen to me when there are problems.  I am doing this for my own survival also.  I have responsibilities outside my job that I have to take care of, and if I don’t have a job, I lose a lot.   Fortunately, the company had someone in place to take my old position.   Once that happened, I didn’t look back.  Change happens, and sometimes it is for the better.  I am more relaxed at work now, given that I only have one machine to worry about, as opposed to dealing with everything coming down from different machines.

 

So what happens from this time, I don’t know. All I know is that I have a decent job, and I will try to do my best at it.

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(c) 2017, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (October 13, 2017)

curmudgeon2It has been 266 days since Donald J. Trump has been sworn in as President of the United States.  Now, for most of the liberal right, they keep preaching the end of days.  But what I have seen for the most part is, life is going on as usual.  I look at most of the bullshit that circulates on Facebook and Twitter with a pragmatic eye.  There are blatant indications that he isn’t suited to be the leader of the free world.  His constant use of Twitter is an indication of his mental stability (or lack thereof.) I have stated time and time again, you CANNOT set government policy 140 characters at a time.  His constant “shooting from the hip” is one of the signs of someone who has poor impulse control.  And since he is using a pretty much unsecured Android phone for his communications, there is distinct possibility that someone could hack his device.  (FYI, my husband and I both use Android phones and Windows 10 personal computers, and I keep them as secure as I can.)

Now, there has been talk about replacing the President under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution due to his mental instability.  But that would involve a mental health assessment by a qualified professional, in this case a psychiatrist.   This part of the 25th Amendment would come into play:

“Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.”
The only way that they could get the President to submit to a mental health examination is petitioning the Supreme Court, and they would have to present overwhelming evidence that he is mentally unfit to be President. Without a report from someone who is qualified to judge the mental state of an individual, this would be an exercise in futility.  Catch-22, folks.
Also, there is an informal rule that is followed by the American Psychiatric Association called  “The Goldwater Rule,” which states it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures they have not examined in person.  But many psychiatrists have broken ranks and have publicly spoken out against Donald Trump, and described him as having “an assortment of personality problems, including grandiosity, a lack of empathy, and ‘malignant narcissism'”, and that he has a “dangerous mental illness.”

(Full disclosure:  I have been in psychiatric therapy in the past (as recent as three years ago) for anger management issues and personal issues, and it has helped me immensely.  Some people need it, and I was one of them.)

With so many psychiatrists openly stating that the President has major mental issues, why doesn’t someone in Congress or the Senate grow a pair of balls and force the issue?

Now, President Trump is trying to prove that he is the “big kid on the block” by getting into a pissing match with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea to prove who has the bigger dick militarily-wise.  Kim is saying that he has the capability to strike the continental United States with a nuke, and Trump is basically telling him to go for it.  But it all boils down to posturing.  A political pecker-check.

Yes, North Korea is a threat, but what does Trump do?  Tweet about football players in the NFL bending down on one knee to protest the killing of African-Americans by police.  Or tweet about how much the disaster in Puerto Rico is costing us (never mind that Texas got hit just as hard, but he never talked about how much disaster relief cost there.)  EXCUSE ME, POTUS!  Puerto Ricans are American citizens also!

For a man who has bragged how he has a “great mind,” he sure is showing that he is someone who is driven by emotions alone.  Should this man have his finger on the nuclear trigger?  Absolutely not.  Should he be impeached?  There has to be overwhelming evidence that he has committed crimes against the United States.  Robert Mueller is trying to build a case against him, but because he is going against the Chief Executive, he is going to encounter numerous roadblocks in his search for the truth.

The only way that he can take down Donald Trump is by co-opting the people that Trump has discarded in the 266 days that he has been President.  Reince Priebus. Steve Bannon.  Scott Spicer. Anthony Scaramucci. James Comey. Preet Bharara.  All of these people can take him down.  But that is wishful thinking on my part.  The reality is, there will be numerous back-room deals that will be made, and Donald Trump will escape this, just like he did with the bankruptcies that he went through.

Yes, it is a cynical conclusion, but also a pragmatic one.  And I am a pragmatist.

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(c) 2017, Dean A. Basler Jr., all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (November 13, 2015)

 

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Yes, the world is truly getting more fucked by the minute.  The terrorist attacks in Paris have put the entire planet on edge.  Of course, the right-wingnuts here in the US are going to use it as an excuse to campaign for closing the borders of our country even more.  Blowhards like Trump and Carson are going to become more strident in their anti-immigration efforts.  The Second Amendment-quoting ammosexuals are going to hammer Congress and the Senate over gun-control laws so they can have an excuse to mass weapons that are made for one purpose, to kill people.  We have workplaces enacting more security measures because of the uptick of workplace violence. And the American public is going to be forced into a paranoid stance that has them seeing ISIS-backed terrorists at every turn.  More and more people are becoming distrustful of the police because of all the shootings that have happened in the past year.  And the worst part of it all?  All the information, conjectures, conspiracies, and disinformation is coming to use in one big flood over the Internet.  It’s difficult for your average American to fathom it all, and even I find myself overwhelmed by all the shit that comes in at the speed of fiber optics.  Is all of this a bellweather of a mass extinction event by our own hands?  Who the fuck knows.  All I know is that I am gonna go to bed, and when I wake up in the morning, the world will still be fucked, and I have to go to work.

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©2015, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

I Never Would Want to Change My Life. (October 30, 2015)

 

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I am watching Heroes Reborn, and listening to the dialog between Noah and Hiro, I realized that even if I had the ability to go back in time and change things, I wouldn’t.  They talk about the Butterfly Effect, and I believe in it.  I would never want to change anything, because it would destroy what my life is now.  I don’t want to not come out of the closet in 1999, never meet my husband, never get my job at Empire State Container​, never marry my husband, never buy my own home, never suffer the pain of losing people and pets that I loved.  Fate is real and never ending. What has happened in my life has shaped who I am now.  And I would never want to change that.

 

© 2015, Dean Basler

all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (August 7, 2015)

deanbear842015

Now, I am about to piss off a few people.  Do I care?  NO.

I AM AN ATHIEST!

I do not believe in a higher power.

Someone in “heaven” who watches over us.

Who makes judgments on what we do.

Who defines us on who we love.

Organized religion is a con game.  It takes people’s fears and forces them to do irrational things based on writings that were written eons ago, which really have no relevance in the 21st century.  For the first 15 years of my life, I bought into this bullshit (through the Catholic Church.)  But like any rational thinking being, I began to question things.    Why do we have to do this?  What is heaven? Is there really a “God?”

Okay, one of the reasons that I realized that I was an atheist (in addition to accepting my sexuality) is because of the Internet (and the World Wide Web.) Once I became connected (in 1998,) there was a influx of information.  I had to learn how to discard the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.  I was finally able to make my own rational decisions about the existence of “God.”

One of the things that became apparent was that religion has always played a major role in war.  The Crusades.  The Spanish Inquisition.  The American Revolution.  And now we have ISIS, and their push to control the Middle East based on Sharia law.  Religion has become a cancer on the human race.  That is one of the reasons that the separation of church and state  was written into the Constitution of The United States.  Secular beliefs have no place in modern society.  But ISIS (in the Middle East) and the Conservative Right (in the United States) are trying to shove their agendas down our throats like the facehuggers in the movie “Alien.”

Now, I am not going to deride the people who do believe.  On the contrary, you’re more than welcome to worship a higher power.  When I see your posts on Facebook about “God,” I scroll past them and resist the urge to comment.  If you share it to my timeline, I will delete it.  BUT, if you start to push to me with it, I will NOT react very well.  Remember, I AM AN ATHIEST!

(A disclaimer:  For those who have seen my wedding video on YouTube, yes my husband and I were married by a Moravian minister.  He is a long time friend and was very honored to officiate at our wedding.)

Yes, I am sounding like an asshole, but I have become a little set in my ways about organized religion, based on my personal experiences, and all the information that I have read.  I am trying to understand what is going on, but I know one thing for certain:

I AM AN ATHIEST!

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© 2015, Dean A. Basler Jr., all rights reserved.

http://www.deanbear.com
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The Landscape is Changing. (June 26, 2015)

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I could be a be a total curmudgeon today about the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, but I am going to restrain myself.  All I have to say is, we as a species, continue to evolve.   Evolution in our views on what defines marriage is inevitable.  Ever since I met my husband in the May of 2000 (online of all places, on Gay.com) I have found that it is an uphill battle to become recognized as a couple.  When same sex marriage became legal in New York state in 2011, Dan and I knew that it was going to be inevitable that we would tie the knot.  I did so willingly, because he and I , even though we are exact opposites in a lot of ways, we are in sync about our relationship.  Yes, he and I did wait for a little over a year after it was signed into law.  But we were glad that we did so.

All I have to say to the same-sex couples that are contemplating marriage, don’t rush into it.  Plan it out.  Make sure that it is what you want.  Being married takes a LARGE commitment on both your parts.  (Besides, it gives you time to plan a FABULOUS wedding!)

The whole thing about being married is, you have someone who will be at your back when the shit hits the fan. Trust me, I needed Dan’s support when I had some health problems, and when I had issues at my job.  And I am there for him when he needs me.

So, with the SCOTUS ruling today, it gives everyone hope that there will be true equality for everyone in The United States of America.

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© 2015, Dean A. Basler Jr., all rights reserved.