Alien

I really resent having to be classified by the United States Internal Revenue Service on my husband’s annual American tax return as a ‘Non Resident Alien Spouse’.

We don’t live there, have never lived there together and have no intention of EVER living there together. My only link to America is being married to an American Citizen – even though said American Citizen has lived here in the UK since he was 11 years old, was educated here, has only ever worked here, pays tax here, owns property here, got married here.

So I suppose what I resent more is that my husband has to pay through the nose for a UK-based US tax specialist to complete a convoluted, complex US tax return every year in the first place (even though we rarely actually owe any tax because we pay tax here) simply because he is an American Citizen, regardless of where in the world he lives…

Come on America, why not have a much fairer, sensible, residency-based tax system like everywhere else in the world!

Weekly Prompt: Alien

Truth and Consequence

Yeah I know, I’m a whole day late with answering this prompt, but lock-down-limbo time plays impish tricks on me and I struggle sometimes to remember to get my days right. But I figured it probably doesn’t matter all that much in the grander scheme of things right now – and as it happens I’ve got far more of an idea today about what I want to write than I had yesterday…

So I’ve had all sorts of frustrated thoughts and feelings floating around in my head since hearing the disappointing but entirely expected outcome of the US Senate Impeachment ‘trial’ of the man-who-would-be-king. Acquittal. Again. Seriously, what an absolute farce of political posturing is that particular partisan example of ‘due process’. Thankfully there were seven brave Republican Senators who put their own moral conscience above toeing the party line by voting along with the Democrats to convict the former President.

But what about the rest? However clever the other 43 renegade Republican Senators think they’ve been in completely side-stepping the issue by using their triumphant-if-tenuous get-out-of-jail card to pretty much say – well yeah we know he did it but he’s not in power any more so we’re letting him off on a technicality – rest assured the rest of the world saw what happened on the day, and what has transpired since the insurrection, and we all know what we heard and saw without needing anyone to provide us with a carefully-edited alternative version of an otherwise obvious truth.

So whatever poor-me ‘witch-hunt’ narrative Trump’s followers choose to present in wily weasel words the whole world saw it all unfold live on TV in real time, backed up on countless social media platforms. Trump lied to the American people, because he lost that election fair and square. He lied and he lied and then he lied some more, just to make sure. Because the only potential ‘steal’ to be stopped was clearly being perpetrated by him. He and his henchmen deliberately whipped up a perfect storm based on perpetuating that basic lie and let it loose to go spinning off to do its stuff, come what may.

Outside of America, Trump’s infamous bad-loser legacy will inevitably go down in world history as a bad example of deluded demagoguery, a disgraceful and embarrassing autocratic abuse of power in a supposedly world-leading democratic country. Inside of America? Well, for now how that plays out in the long term remains to be seen. Will the Republican Party reclaim the right to its own name and regain its moral compass, or will it continue down the slippery slope of selling its soul to a slick snake-oil salesman?

But whatever happens across the pond post-Trump be in no doubt – the former self-styled Emperor has only imaginary clothes to cover his shame, and however many times he and his lawyers and the myopic members of the not-so-grand-old-party-any-more tell us how wonderfully appropriately he is dressed, we’ve all got eyes in our heads and can clearly see the naked truth evident below the grandiose fabrication of alternative facts draped so defiantly in layer upon layer of illicit lies…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Above/ Below

Trump-ty Dumb-ty

Trump-ty Dumb-ty thought he was King
Trump-ty Dumb-ty and his offspring
Played to the racist supremacist right
Urged them to follow with violent might.

Trump-ty Dumb-ty lied that he'd won
Trump-ty Dumb-ty thought it was fun
Watched his believers work up to the kill
Storming the Senate on Capitol Hill

Trump-ty Dumb-ty hates that he lost
Has to win everything whate'er the cost
Bully-boy loser deluded and vain
Let's hope he never holds office again...

The Sky’s the Limit

I’m not really a ‘sky’s the limit’ kind of girl. A ‘world’s your oyster’ believer in never-ending freedom or pushing yourself to do stuff just because it’s possible, whether its really in your long-term interests or not, whether you even want to do it or not.

Even Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan in Magnum Force tells us that ‘A man’s gotta know his limitations’ and he’s right, we all need to know what we can and cannot do, should and should not do. We should not as a human race have been doing all the stuff to the natural environment that allowed Covid to produce and reproduce and mutate and maim and kill so indiscriminately across the world.

And the people in power in America should have known better than to allow that narcissistic nut-job in the White House to get away with deliberately pushing the boundaries of common sense and civility in order to create a call-to-arms with a hand-picked angry mob whipped into a frenzy by blatant lies and empty promises just because he’s a sore loser.

We watched them all being worked on, worked up, wound up tight en masse like clapping-monkey clockwork henchmen, watched Trump push them all in the direction he wanted them to go, then run away to hide in the safety of his Presidential bunker as he set them loose to run amok in self-righteous indignation and carry out his seditious insurrection on Capitol Hill.

So now it seems the sky’s the limit when it comes to political backtracking, too, the deafening sound of backwards-shuffling feet, denials and distancing and the holier-than-thou re-framing of fundamental facts amongst the Republican rabble-rousers. Even those whose silence condoned such behaviour are just as complicit as those who actively sought to undermine democracy with spurious objections to the electoral college votes based on illegal falsehoods not facts.

OK, so this wasn’t exactly where I intended to go with this post, but it’s where my Stream of Consciousness has taken me today so perhaps this is as good a place as any to stop…

Outcome Adjourned

For varying reasons, it seems a decision on the provisional outcome of the US Presidential election will necessarily be adjourned for another few days at least while ballot counting continues carefully in those last few remaining key battleground states where the count margins are narrow and every vote counts.

It does appear, though, that Joe Biden will win the Electoral College vote as well as the popular vote to become the next US President Elect. And thankfully Donald Trump can finally be relegated to a dusty shelf of history as the nepotistic narcissistic nutter who stirred up hatred and division across America for four dark and difficult years. Hopefully at the end of all the counting this time around it will become clear that the democratic process as well as the Democratic candidate won the day and that America can once more speak as ‘We the People’ instead of ‘Me the President’.

Thankfully along with the Presidency, Trump will also lose his proxy power to spout his pathetic propaganda and lies, so that his astonishing abuses of the platform of POTUS to date will now be rendered mute. His blustering bully-boy bark will be reduced to a whimpering whine as the world stops listening to him – stops having to listen to him rant and rave at whatever personal outrage he feels slighted by on any given day.

Keep counting, America, the rest of the world is rooting for you…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Jour

WTF America?

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week asks:

What do you think about what happened in the United States yesterday? Are you shocked or surprised at the outcome, if it’s even known as you read this? Or are the results of the election what you expected? And finally, are you happy, or unhappy?

What can I say… Don’t even get me started… WTF America?

Trump being up to his usual stupid dirty tricks and throwing his toys out the pram in pathetic childish tantrums because not everyone wants to play with him the way he wants is pretty much as expected. Trump threatening to get the Supreme Court to stop vote counting in states where he’s already ahead but wanting the counting to continue in states where Biden is already ahead is laughable, but not unexpected. Right now he might get a second term, or he might not, but Trump is Trump and his arrogant bully-boy ignorance of due process, however distasteful, is not unexpected.

But what I’m shocked at, truly shocked at, and what I didn’t expect was the unbelievably high level of support Trump has been given from so many brain-washed Americans after four solid years of deliberately inciting hatred and division and pretty much single-handedly dismantling the last of America’s respected position across the world.

If Trump gets in again I wouldn’t be at all surprised if another all-out civil war may be on the cards, and America as we know it disappears. If Biden gets in, Trump and his Proud-Boys-on-stand-by will undoubtedly kick off big time and constant civil unrest will probably lead to a self-destructive gunfight at the OK Corral implosion, and again America as we know it disappears.

Over the last four years the world has seen a side – a truly nasty exposed fetid underbelly – of America we can’t now unsee. Trump’s America reminds me of George Orwell’s dystopian Animal Farm, where years after the animals rid themselves of the farmer in order to run the farm themselves, the pigs rise through the ranks to take over everyone else with the skewed principle that ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’. The pigs become so human in appearance and action it becomes difficult to differentiate.

Democracy feels directly under threat. America fought a War of Independence to rid themselves of British Rule, only to have the infamously autocratic King Donald behaving like an absolute monarch presiding over his pandemic-infected collateral-damage people only a couple of hundred years later. This preening narcissist loves himself bigly, we all knew that, but I’m seriously disappointed that so many others seem so unwaveringly under his spell and clearly love him bigly too…

So no, I guess you could say I’m not happy with the whole situation in America today, whatever the final outcome of yesterday’s election… Seriously, WTF America? 😦