Rudderless Sunday

There is so much I want to write about. Not just want; almost have to . . . I can’t quite put it into words but it stems from looking around and wondering if others are seeing what I am seeing. 

I want to ask Republicans/Conservatives if they know what they are doing and if they have thought things through? I want to ask Democrats/Liberals what the hell is wrong with them and do they know they are losing the moral high ground?

I want to, but it’s all such a mess.



Plus, many people seem to just shrug their shoulders and go on as if nothing is happening. I mean, yes . . . one hundred years from now — one way or another — all this will be but a memory, perhaps no more than a footnote in the annals of history. 

I don’t think so, but even if that’s the case, we — the people living and breathing and talking and shitting in this time and place — are going through it, and it’s not “nothing.” It’s something and it’s potentially something big. Global, even.

Yes, there are strident voices on both sides shouting this or that warning . . . but that’s the problem. They are strident; they exaggerate, they distort, and their calls to action are not comforting me. Most of all, there are no measured, deliberate, reasoned voices addressing the concern of the centrists, the non-partisan moderates. 

I recently listened to a podcast where Sam Harris put the focus on what I intuitively knew but had not solidified in my thinking; he said the moderate can no longer find any room — a space to exist — between the far left and the far right. 




I’ve experienced this even with people who know me and know my views on things . . . despite them knowing how I feel about a given subject, I’ve been accused of being all sorts of things for just mentioning the possibility of a counterargument and more nuanced approaches to problems. 

Here’s how — in the current political and social environment — it works . . .

. . . if you are a Democrat/Liberal you cannot, under any circumstance, allow that “the other side” has any valid arguments. Everything your side says and does is right and justified. Everything the other side says and does is inherently “evil”.

. . . if you are a Republican/Conservative you cannot, under any circumstance, allow that “the other side” has any valid arguments. Everything your side says and does is right and justified. Everything the other side says and does is inherently “evil”.

Sometimes, when stuff really bothers me, I’ll engage a Republican and point something out. Their retort is “Yes, but Democrats did the same thing!”

Other times, when stuff really bothers me, I’ll engage a Democrat and point something out. Their retort is “Yes, but the Republicans did the same thing!”

Here’s the thing: 

“When the other side was doing what you are now doing, you yelled about it and said it was not right. Are you now saying it’s “OK”, and if so why is it OK now and not back then, when you were yelling that it was wrong?”

I don’t get answers. All I get is deflection. And accusations of “favoring the other side”

Folks, let me clarify something . . . I have no side. I blame each side for the mess we are in.




Some things are, of course, the same . . . only more extreme. 

You’re either for open borders or anti-immigrants. If you would allow any refugees here, you don’t care about security and you are to blame for any domestic terrorism. There is no middle ground. 

Here’s a new one . . . if you are not Christian, you are not a “true” American. At the very least, you cannot be trusted and should have no voice in government or anywhere. 

In some quarters it’s OK to be anti-Christian and even openly hate Jews, but if you are concerned about Muslims, you are a bigot and don’t understand how mutilating young girls is a “cultural” thing. 

Pick a topic, and all you hear are the extremes. And those extremes are fueled by our politicians, celebrities, and some of the worst scum society has to offer (religious leaders and pundits).  

Honest, I have no idea where to even begin.




I do have opinions on freedom of speech, immigration, fake news, the press, the environment, trade, the economy . . . you name it, and I have an opinion. I don’t parrot the vacuous, dishonest, and self-serving hypocrites spouting off on television; I can formulate my own opinions, thank you very much. 

But, before I indulge in yet more opinion pieces that no one will read, allows me, if you will, to speak as I have, in broad terms, about the greater problem. 

Is it, in fact, that the majority of the population are ignorant, non-thinking mouth-breathers whose sole capacity and purpose in life is to serve as echo chambers to pundits who are getting ultra-rich spouting hate-speech and egging on the spread of intolerance and close-mindedness? 

Is there really no room for moderates in a given discussion? 





It’s how it looks to me, and it’s depressing.  

Perhaps there are groups out there who engage in worthwhile discussions; reasoned, polite, based on facts and logic, and minimizing emotional responses.  

Boy, I would sure like to be a part of those.

Instead, almost anywhere I go, even in venues where I expect informed critical thinkers, I get elements of the echo-chambers, and those elements immediately shut down any conversation. 

I think . . . I think politics has become people’s religion. I mean, for the Republicans that is a literal truth, but the surprising thing is that Democrats are not that far from it. 

Flowers, C-130, Bugs,

Flowers, C-130, Bugs,

Flowers, C-130, Bugs,

Flowers, C-130, Bugs,

I can now revel in being non-religious in multiple meaning of the word; in relation to belief in scriptures and in relation to belief in a given ideology.

Thank goodness I can still go to a restaurant and get decent food . . . 





As usual, click on any of the photos for a larger version. Or, if you so desire, go to THIS SmugMug gallery for the originals. FYI, the food photos are only here and not in the gallery.

As for what I wrote above . . . well, we are royally screwed, aren’t we? 

. . . but that won’t stop me from writing my opinion pieces. Maybe soon, or maybe when the shit stops sprouting wings and flying around after hitting the rapidly rotating blades. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, encouragement, or advice to better my life, know my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor is blowing right by you.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Effects and Filters, Flowers, Opinions and Stuff, Photography Stuff, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Rudderless Sunday

  1. renxkyoko says:

    I’ve just started to shut it all off.


    • disperser says:

      It can be a valid response, but at some point, one needs to get back there and engage.

      Obviously, not what I would rather be doing but then I think of all the people who have no voice. I may not have a loud voice, but what I have I raise against what I see as an affront to humanity and the progress we painstakingly made through thousand of years of people speaking out.


  2. Eddy Winko says:

    Reading the little bits of news that I have then I could actually see some positive things coming out of the new Rep administration, just so long as you dismiss anything the clown at the top has to say. In fact I see that the press has toned down the coverage of the Orange One and started to focus more on what is going on with Pence, almost as if they are lining him up to take over? Admittedly this is from the perspective of a European press, but I think there could be something in it. After all the GOP has yet to speak or vote to make any of the rants real.
    I really liked the first artistic tweak on the cacti in pots.


    • disperser says:

      Certainly, nothing is ever completely bad or completely good . . . but, from my perspective here, the scales tip toward the bad. Pence might seem like a reasoned individual, but only because he’s viewed next to Trump.

      Remember that he would never have been elected President had he ran on his own.

      In some respects, he’s not that bad, but underlining it all is the fact that he is, in my view, a dangerous ideologue, as is anyone who puts god above country (Biblical laws above and superseding secular laws).

      Also, the GOP will likely scale back some if not all of the hard-won social stuff. They still don’t like gays, don’t like gay marriage, have no use for women’s rights, little use for science, education, and don’t agree that we are responsible for keeping the planet in good shape for future generations.

      We’ll see what comes out of all of this, but I am not optimistic.


      • Eddy Winko says:

        When you put it like that! I have to say this last month or so have been quite an education about the US political system, so much to pick up I haven’t really looked at the politicians…forgive me I nearly typed people then!


  3. Sandy Mabery says:

    Well said!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  4. oneowner says:

    Mmmmm! SPAM!!!
    But seriously, folks, I’ve never registered in a political party because I don’t think I can fit into their agendas. The only downside to not registering to a party is the inability to vote in primaries. Not a big deal for me. I may give further thought to this as we get closer to the next presidential election.
    It’s interesting that your first photos in this post are cactus plants. A prickly situation???


    • disperser says:

      The annoying thing with being an independent is that the parties removed the option for me to cast a vote on who gets to run. I wasn’t kidding when I said my vote does not count.

      And yes, the almighty Spam makes all great!


  5. You really didn’t eat that stuff did you, you’re just putting it there to make us want to puke!

    Anyway I blame you for the state of the Union, that is the one you supposedly live by and under.


  6. Your flower photos, so artistic and unique, make tonight a beautiful night! Thank you, Emilio!
    “I think politics has become people’s religion.” I’ve seen the same thing. Ugh.
    Man, that food looks yummy!
    HUGS!!! Happy Tuesday!!! :-)


  7. paigeaddams says:

    Agreed!! I don’t generally share my political views because I know many people who are so extreme (on both sides) that they have ended friendships with other people because they don’t share the same opinion. You’re exactly right when you say it seems like politics is the new religion.

    Lol, strangely enough right now I’m reading a book about how “religion” can completely ruin a relationship with God. It’s an interesting book, and I think it applies here too in the sense that it talks about putting God on some unreachable pedestal of perfection and that we have to be paragons of perfection in order to be “true” Christians. That we get too caught up thinking we have to pray exactly this way, and act precisely that way, and speak/dress/think only this way. And the kicker: forget all that bull about accepting other people and casting the first stone, a lot of Christians are subtly told to judge, judge, judge until you have managed to find fault in everyone around you because they just don’t measure up to what a Christian “should be.” The author says religion is poison, and I have to agree.

    I think politics is becoming like that too. If you claim to be democrat/liberal you have to support Clinton completely and unquestioningly or you’re a traitor. If you claim to be republican/conservative you have to support Trump completely and unquestioningly or you’re a traitor. You have to have political views A, B, and C, in complete opposition to the other side, and if you don’t you simply aren’t a “true democrat/liberal/republican/conservative,” and are pretty much racist, sexist, a terrorist, a bigot, a hate/fear/war monger, or fill in the blank with whatever insult fits or is most popular at the moment. If you even entertain the possibility that the other side has a point you are a horrible person, I can’t believe you think X, Y, and Z! People freaked out when Obama was elected, and people are freaking out again with Trump elected. The panic looks exactly the same, but no one wants to admit it. There is so much fear on both sides these days – all the mudslinging and media bull makes it soooo much worse. I could barely stomach the news during the election. Few seem willing to sit down and really hear what the other side has to say.

    I agree with you – both sides have screwed up, and I’m not happy with either of them. Both sides have some valid points, and both sides have some extreme crazies making things so much worse than they need to be. We are in trouble, and I’m afraid if we aren’t careful, and if we listen to only the extremes, we’re all going to hate each other more than we ever have before.

    Lol, on a side note – I love those purple and blue flowers with the brown in the center! :D I’m partial to blues and purples mixed together anyway, but those are gorgeous! Also, I like the filter you used on those blue buds – it kind of made them look like stained glass or butterfly wings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      I’m hoping that eventually (hopefully, within my lifetime) more and more people will eschew the extremes and come together at the center, or at least, moderate views on either side of center.

      Unfortunately, the advent of talk radio, 24-hours news channels, blogs, and a number of poisonous and extreme sites have polarized the population so much that it reminds me of those Middle-East conflicts that date back hundreds if not thousands of years, to the point that the animosity is ingrained and no longer even identified with specific things that can be fixed.

      I’m pessimistic because I don’t see a way back from this partisanship.

      As for the religion bit, yes, exactly. The teachings may have some value (I mean, I can’t really argue against “don’t kill”) but the organized aspect of it – the churches and institutions – do exactly what the political parties are doing (because it’s where the political parties got the idea for it – dictators throughout history understood it well).

      Arbitrary metrics of piety (or patriotism) are used to pit populations against each other and eventually used to blame/terrorize/control whole sections of the populations. Unfortunately (for us) it’s a tried and true tactic. It usually resets when it culminates in war (actual or civil) and much suffering ensues.

      In the case of the Middle East, we are watching a similar thing taking place in real time and even as we are at a loss to explain what to us seems as unreasoned and self-destructive animosity between people, we are heading down the same path.

      . . . it’s such a large and seemingly unsolvable problem to grasp that it’s easier for many to turn away from it . . . thus leaving the extremes to do nothing but escalate.

      . . . gee . . . I now need a bit of chocolate and to work on some photos . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • paigeaddams says:

        Sad and scary, but true. We are heading down the same path without even realizing it. It gives me hope that several people I know seem to feel the same, even the ones who lean a little more to either republican or democrat. For the time being though, seeing all the ugliness in the media, I’m totally with you on the need for chocolate and a little distraction through work – chocolate cake it is! :)

        Liked by 1 person

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