Beyond redemption

To: Mr. Bone spurs

Happy Veterans’ Day!

Looks like you devoted all of 20 minutes to going through the motions of honoring veterans today – from 11am to 11:20am EST. Maybe your published public calendar is missing all the heartfelt phone calls you made to veterans and their families today, thanking them for their sacrifice and service. And maybe pigs can fly. Actually, it’s more likely that pigs can fly.

I listened to another wonderful dharma talk by Sister Dang this afternoon (on the very, very off chance you want to listen to it, here’s the url: In amongst the other gems, Sister Dang explained how feeling ashamed or abashed – she alternated between the two – can be healthy and helpful. Not surprisingly, I immediately thought about you and your utter lack of shame.

Usually in clinical psychology we worry about shame and those who feel it, but when experienced in moderation it can have corrective properties that can be truly invaluable. Basically, if we don’t feel shame when we’ve engaged in sleazy actions (like getting military deferments for bogus health issues) or when we have generally behaved badly (like not conceding when we’ve lost a contest fair and square), then we’re doomed to be assholes. Ok, Sister Dang didn’t frame it this way and probably would never be so harsh (she’s really a dear), but those among us who missed out on the shame gene, to include you, don’t get the benefit of the visceral recoil from our own bad behavior. When this is the situation we just keep engaging in bad behavior until there’s some external punishment levied. With any luck, your luck is running out and you’ll be facing some nasty external consequences come the end of January. I’m not holding my breath on this, but it a person can hope.

To celebrate Veterans’ Day Laura and I took the dogs to Discovery Park this morning. Discovery Park is a huge (543 acres), largely wild area on the Salish Sea in the Magnolia neighborhood. It has wide paved boulevards through mixed growth woods and this feature makes it a great covid-time destination. There are also lots of trails through the woods and meadows, but we mostly stayed off those because it’s impossible to socially distance if you come upon someone else on the trail. The dogs love, love, love it there and now that we can’t really go to Magnuson anymore (because of the tight trail issue), this has become our new favorite spot.

Nothing particularly momentous happened at the Park. It was pleasant all that, but mostly I just wanted to set the scene to tell you about what we saw on the way home from there, which was the best bumper sticker either of us have seen in a very long time:


Terrific, huh? It’s so damn elegant – only 9 letters and it pretty much says it all! Talk about a fundamental lack of shame or abashment, or whatever you want to call it. Dang it. (No offense meant, Sister Dang.)

May we be safe from shameless bad actors.
May we be willing to stay the course with leaders who embody quiet dignity and integrity.
May we be strong and not led astray by ridiculous lies.
May we accept that the GOP powerbrokers are beyond redemption.

Tracy Simpson

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