I choose not to gamble. I might be able to gamble without causing harm to myself or others. If that is correct and I do not gamble I lose nothing. If that is not correct I and others are at great risk. I am at this time of my life able to manage my feelings and think through possibilities with a calm clarity.

There are other risks in life other than gambling. Certainly other addictions of the body and mind. And, every day choices that we all make. One of those choices recently was at the ballot box. Before I go further with that string of thought I want to see Stacy Abrams often and wherever she wants to be in the next administration.

Over 70 million people voted for trump knowing of the past four years even if they did not know of his previous 70 years. Uber won their ballot initiative in CA, the graduated tax was voted down in IL, susan collins won along with other republican senators. Oh by the way, our fellow citizens are contacting and dying from Covid-19 in record numbers. I have learned not to ruminate/obsess/fantasize about the past but I am going to go there for a moment. I have no doubt if trump would have taken measures back in Jan/Feb to deal with Covid-19 along with adequate stimulus money he would have saved 150,000 to 200,000 lives and won the recent election in a landslide. I would not have voted for him but I would have had to give him his due.

Why couldn’t he and the republican leadership done right by their constituents? Why do people vote for the 1% when it is against their own self-interest. Greed and fantasy are two thoughts Climate change was a big issue in exit polls yet once again people vote against their own self interest. We will leave polling for another discussion.

I just finished reading the novel and watching the tv series, The Queen’s Gambit. I recommend them both. The book digs deeper in the chess culture and matches if that is your interest. One conversation sticks out to me about cultures. When offering assistance to another US player the character explains how the Russians do that all the time. They look at chess as Russian. He thought that the US players were only into it for themselves.

I look at the US response to trauma, tragedy, and competition the same way. We are in it for ourselves or at least some version of fantasy about life and liberty. I stood along side with others on the days after 9/11 saluting our first responders. It wasn’t long after that we were told to go shop and that in the midst of war that a tax cut made sense. When does a tax cut not make sense to selfish people. My connection to today is that unlike Asia the US was not willing to take actions that might have saved 200,000 lives (and still counting). There were 70 million people willing to go another four years with a sociopathic bad businessman who has disgraced the US and has left the biggest mess in US history. Let’s hope he is not the last piece (there were many pieces before him) of the failing of the experiment we call The United States of America.

Taxes are going to rise both locally in different ways (for everyone) and nationally (for those fortunate to make over 400,000). Some day inflation will come back with a vengeance. We will either work together as a collective society for the common good or we will perish. Dramatic I know. I also know that it does not have to happen that way. I know that because as a person with addictions I did not perish.

One other note: I am fairly certain now that the graduated tax did not pass Illinois is going to double and triple down on what they call gambling tax revenue opportunities that we know are gambling/family losses.

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