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In the Dark
Maybe this is a metaphor for our new reality. Walting in the dark for the lights to come back on. Either that, or waiting in the dark for word to run like hell so as not to be burned to a crisp in a wildfire. I’m still not sure which it will be.

It is my belief, as I sit here, that my electricity will soon be returned to me, and that no immediate harm will come to me and my loved ones. That is not to say that life will return to normal, because normal isn’t normal any more. The good old days are not coming back.

Those days had problems of their own, of course, like the possibility of all-out nuclear war. That particular Sword of Damocles is still hanging there, but somehow its isn’t the source of dread it used to be. It has, however, has been joined by a new sword that’s all about global warming and the slow, agonizing death of human civilization. It is looming over me right now as I wait here for a siren, or a whiff of smoke, or a call to evacuate.

Nuclear war is certainly a horrifying prospect, but all it would take to save us from it, really, is a couple of good, strong treaties. Global warming, on the other hand, almost has a life of its own. It needs no ill will to motivate it, but instead grows more and more menacing even without conscious human participation. It seems too big, too complicated, too relentless to be stopped by mere human effort.

So here I sit, dividing my time between simple annoyance and existential dread, depending on which possible outcome I’m thinking about. No matter which it is, though, after the power is restored, I will still be totally in the dark.
No One But You
Are you tired of people?
Are you fed up with fools?
Has your mellow been harshed
By all of their rules?

Then why not just split
And cut off all contact?
Abandon your stake in
This lame social contract?

Just head for the hills
Find yourself a nice cave
Blow out the bear stink
And stop having to shave

Now you’re in charge, man
So kick back and enjoy it
None of those bozos
Is here to destroy it

I should mention here, though
One link is a bit weak
Cause if that bear comes back
Then you’ll be up Shit Creek
What Oath?
I took my first vow when I was 14. It was my promise as a soon-to-be-confirmed member of the Catholic Church that I would abstain from alcohol until I turned 21. By the time I hit 15, I had already broken that vow.

I am not proud of having this mark on my record. I was young and at the very beginning of my hitch as a Soldier of Christ, but that is not really an excuse. I made a solemn commitment (to God personally, as I remember), and I wouldn’t blame people who might think that I am an untrustworthy weasel for breaking it. To those people I can only say that my record on vows has been very good since that first one.

I have a pretty good history with pledges, too. I do feel a little squirrelly when I “pledge allegiance to the flag” (it’s just a piece of cloth, after all), but I am still genuinely patriotic, even in these times of national shame — and that is the true essence of that pledge. My everyday promises hold up pretty well too (if you don’t mind my saying so), and I do take pride in keeping my word.

Which brings us to the subject of oaths. I’ve taken a few of those, as well. Two, at least — one on becoming a member of the State Bar of California, another when I was sworn in as a fresh-faced young District Attorney. Both of those oaths involved swearing to support the Constitution of the United States. Let me say plainly that I did then, and I still do. In fact, my belief in the Constitution and the rule of law remains central to all my thoughts about politics.

Oh, I have broken a few laws in my day, and some of those violations I am even proud of, but I never stopped believing in the primacy of the Constitution. I am guessing, however, that Mike Pompeo does not share my view. Nor, I would assume, do any of the lawyers and public officials in and around the Trump administration.

But let me focus briefly on Secretary of State Pompeo. He has taken a lot more oaths than I have. In addition to the solemn oath he took on being sworn in at State, he also graduated from West Point. He is a member of the Bar, and was, until recently, a member of Congress. All of those gigs require oaths to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. All the evidence isn’t in yet, but appears that Mike has violated every one of those oaths…repeatedly, and without a whit of regret.

What’s more, he is, by his own proclamation, a devout Christian. All of those oaths, then, were sworn to God. I wonder how he handles the possibility that he might burn in hell forever for backstabbing the Almighty.

That is for him to deal with. I resigned my commission as as Soldier of Christ long ago, so that aspect of my vow-breaking is no longer an issue. All I have left is the residual guilt over my broken word. I don’t think Pompeo has even that. Nor do any of these other pathetic enablers of the Felon-in-Chief, including the ultra-pathetic Lindsey Graham. Didn’t their oaths mean anything to them?

I feel a bit embarrassed to even ask that question. Do I reveal myself as the pathetic one here by clinging to my innocence about such matters? Maybe, but if cynicism about the rule of law is the alternative, then I have to decline that choice. Better to keep on living in a dream world where a promise is a promise, and where violators of solemn oaths will get what they deserve.

I’d like to think that those just rewards will at least come in the next life for those people. Sadly, I am no longer so innocent as to believe in divine justice. For me and for the rule of law, it’s now or never.
Wind Breaking
Okay, my power’s still on. Including my wifi, which tells me that 800,000 of my fellow Californians are currently without power. Mine, they tell me, will be cut off soon. Please pardon me if I stifle a yawn.

To my city friends I say, chill out. This stuff happens all the time up here, and it’s no big deal. So just kick back, pop a brewski, and enjoy this nice bit of quiet time.

And don’t worry. By this time tomorrow, this whole thing will have blown ov
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon