2017 is the new 1984 and other stories

Bald Eagle And Flag is a piece of digital artwork by Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos which was uploaded on March 18, 2014.

2017 is the new 1984…I seriously hope the United States fails

Did you know?

Shortly after the U.S. presidential inauguration I watched the movie “1984.” I last had watched it in, uh, 1984. Imagine that.

I normally only watch movies once because, well, there are just too many movies out there that I want to see, so I don’t consider it a good use of time to watch a movie multiple times.

In this case, though, I thought it might be appropriate to watch it again.

1984Even though I was 29 in 1984, I didn’t think much of “1984” other than as a science fiction dystopian novel. I never really thought that it might come about in my lifetime, but I think it’s here. Now.

I noticed that at the same time I was watching the movie, the book was zooming to the top of best seller lists everywhere, including Amazon and USA Today because of Kellyanne Conway’s famous quote about “alternative facts.”

While Winston Smith (John Hurt) is being tortured by O’Brien (Richard Burton), this dialogue takes place:

O’Brien (Richard Burton): How does one man assert power over another?

Winston Smith (John Hurt): By making him suffer.

O’Brien: Exactly. Obedience is not enough. Power is inflicting pain and humiliation. Otherwise you cannot be sure. Power is tearing human minds apart and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Power is not a means. It is an end. In our world there will only be triumph. Everything else we shall destroy. The past is forbidden. Why? Because when we can cut man from his own past, then we can cut him from his family, his children. There is no loyalty except loyalty to the party. There is no love except love of Big Brother. All competing pleasures we will destroy.

In another scene from the movie, O’Brien says that the purpose of war is not to win, but to continue.

I wanted to read some in-depth analyses of “1984” so I went searching and found this:

In 1984 the government of Oceania produces enough supplies to fuel itself. Winston says himself there is always a shortage of something, razor blades, bootlaces, etc. Yet Oceania ALWAYS has enough supplies and could, if the Party wished it, supply everyone and make everyone happy and comfortable. However they don’t, this is because war is used as a means to destroy the surplus. Think of it like they making a ton of shoes for their country. They give a certain number to their country but the rest they throw into the furnace. And then they continue to make more shoes, and repeat this over. War is no longer a means of victory, it is a means to control the population, through propaganda (by giving them something to cheer for, to campaign for) and to keep the world self-sustaining and self-destructing, to keep the world stable. That’s all 1984 is about, freezing the world at a certain point of time in history, essentially. What better way to ensure your government never fails than by “stopping time” and not allowing advancement.

I really do believe, and fear, that the current president is doing all he can to go to war with many other countries, including some of the longest and strongest allies of the United States.

This might be the only time in my lifetime where I seriously hope the United States fails.

Alternative facts are the new fake news

Since Facebook and Twitter are trying to put a stop to fake news, or at least tag it as fake news, the current administration seems to have come up with a way to get around that by calling their fake news alternative facts.

My oh my.

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, brought up alternative facts on “Meet the Press” this morning, and the world is having a lot of fun with it. Even Urban Dictionary is getting in on the fun. Their definition:

When truth is so unfavorable to a pathological liar that they must invent a whole new category of lies to describe their nakedly intentional acts of deception.

Examples: “Kellyanne Conway told CNN that the President and his Press Secretary presented alternative facts about inauguration photographs that prove conclusively how few people attended the ceremony.” #lies #falsehood #intentional lies #pathological lies

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”

If these alternative facts didn’t have the capacity to do so much damage to so many people’s lives, it would actually be funny.

It has encouraged me to write two books concurrently, one about the history of railroads in San Diego County and the other a day-by-day account of this administration alternative factsPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In memory of the victims of the “Bowling Green massacre”

Friday Flower Fiesta

There are so many alternative facts (lies) coming out of this administration that I can’t keep up. I’m sure glad I’m not a professional fact checker because I’d be working 120 hours a week. I feel like my head is going to burst from all these alternative facts trying to take up residence in it.

So in the midst of all these alternative facts, I’d just like to post a picture of this single white rose in memory of all the people who were killed by terrorists in the “Bowling Green massacre.”

Single white rose in memory of the people killed in the Bowling Green massacre.

I might die of laughter before I die from lack of health insurance under this administration.

This is history, folks, happening right before our eyes

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Is the United States in the midst of a coup?

Britannica defines a coup as “the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group,” differing from a revolution in that it happens quickly and doesn’t depend on large numbers of people. Instead, it requires only “a change in power from the top that merely results in the abrupt replacement of leading government personnel.”

One might question whether or not what’s going on is violent. Certainly it’s violent in a way to those who are fearful of President 45—blacks, single women, Muslims and other non-Christians, battered and abused women and children, the hungry, the poor, the sick, the elderly, non-heterosexuals…………..

A presidential election, especially one where there is a change in parties, and where the party of the new administration is the same as the party which controls Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, certain provides a good time for a coup that probably wouldn’t be recognized by a great super majority of anyone in the world except for dictators and kings of other countries, and possibly their citizens.

The United States had a constitutional crisis in 1973-74 with President Richard Nixon, the most recent, perhaps only, attempt in the United States to create a dictatorship or kingship. Jonathan Aitken says in “Nixon: A Life” that of he and his brothers—Harold, Donald, Arthur, and Edward—four of them were named after kings who had ruled in historical or legendary England. It’s well known that President 45 likes kings and dictators.

I was a mere child of 19 in 1974. The crisis resolved itself because of the unique type of republican democracy that is the United States. With its three separate but equal branches of government, its reliance on the rule of law, the fact that Democrats had a 56-42-1-1 majority in the Senate and a 241-192-2 majority in Congress, and the fact that the Supreme Court had ruled 8-0 against Nixon in United States v. Nixon, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, rather than be impeached.

In a motion to quash the Watergate subpoena earlier in 1974, Nixon’s attorney, James D. St. Clair, stated to Judge John Sirica of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, “The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment.” Wow. Nixon did have an ego.

What do you do, though, when the President 45 has an even bigger ego and his Republican party cohorts are in the majority in the Congress and the Senate, and the Supreme Court is at an impasse with a 4-4 split and with President 45 probably nominating a new justice to the Supreme Court as early as tomorrow?

This is history folks, happening right before our eyes. It might not end well for the United States as we have come to know it.



I’m reading an article on LED vs. CFL vs. incandescent light bulbs. The average life span is 22.8 years for LED, 9 years for CFL, and 1 year for incandescent. So if I replace all my bulbs with LED’s, how are the big corporations supposed to make money? Wouldn’t they be making 22 times less money? If President Bannon finds out, he’ll issue an executive order making LED’s illegal, I’m sure.


Please let me know when and where the next paid protests are. I’m available 24/7 and I don’t charge more for overnight protests.

Inclement weather protest surcharge: rain, 10%; snow, 25%; hurricane, 50%; tornado, 100%.

25% discount if the protests involve women, blacks, queers, animals, children, health, veterans, homeless, or immigrants.

50% discount if the protest involves black lesbian immigrant women with minimum one pet, minimum one child (preferably sick but not required), and dating a homeless veteran.

Thank you for your consideration.


In this new world of alternative facts, here is a picture of Zoey the Cool Cat in her new home, a box I brought home from Costco. She loves these Costco boxes.

Zoey the Cool Cat's new box


Favorite Facebook comment yesterday:
“I learned about the Bowling Green Massacre in my alternative history class taught by Betsy DeVos. Angry grizzlies were involved.”


I would like to do more videos for my YouTube channel but I’m not encouraged because I uploading a 22-minute video last night. Two hours and 9 minutes just to upload it and then another 27 minutes for processing. How do people upload 2-hour concert videos?


Did you know that the longest YouTube video is 596½ hours long? If it took me 156 minutes for a 22-minute video, it would take 253,784 minutes to upload and process 596½ hours. That’s 176 days and 6 hours. I guess if I were going to do something like that I would hire someone to do the work for me, which would make me a job creator, yes?


My wise old grandmother taught me to add laughter to each day. This new administration is adding to much laughter to my day that I’m afraid I’m going to have a hernia from laughing so much. Then, since the Republicans will have taken away my health insurance by that time, I’ll be finished.


Sean Spicer, President Bannon’s Press Secretary, argued that Bannon’s policies to protect this country, to create jobs, to grow the economy do not receive the same amount of coverage as protests. Spicer believes that members of the media don’t cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered. Protests, for example, get blown out of the water with all-out coverage yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn’t get the same coverage.

One could argue that the press coverage of a certain person was all blown out of the water during the last two years, that another person’s coverage did not receive the same amount as his, and all that free coverage of alternative facts resulted in said person now being president…………….smh


So for every $1 that California sends the federal government, it gets 78¢ back in terms of federal funding. I’m thinking that if President Bannon defunds California, as he threatened to do Sunday in an interview, California should just defund the federal government. As my wise old grandmother said 50 years ago, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”


I need a margarita. You will join me, yes?

Margaritas at On The Border in El Cajon, California


Out and About...

Out and About…

For more information about Ray’s property inspection service and blog, visit Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray at http://russelray.com/. Or call (619) 341-0173.

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