A Mushroom Cloud of lies and conspiracy theories

Lughnasa and the Herme Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Memorizing The Trail to Cold Mountain. Seoah, my son, Murdoch. Korea. Brother Mark. Sister Mary. Gabe and Ruth. Kate, always Kate. Jon, a memory. A Foggy morning. 48 degrees. Magic the Gathering. Korean competition. Sky Castle. K-dramas. Writing. A new novel idea. Getting ready for the long journeys. Israel trip meeting today. Packing gifts for Korea.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Fog

One brief shining: Fingers curve over the keyboard as I learned in high school typing almost 60 years ago a manual skill one of the few I learned well, how to fell a tree, limb it, and buck it another, suppose you have to add driving, and there you have it.


I’m close on memorizing The Trail to Cold Mountain. A couple of more hours today and I’ll be even closer. On the 19th I’ll have all the poems as a prop, but not what I’ve written. My costume still lacks a cloak and hood, boots. Gotta get on those this week. Satisfying.


Toobin’s book, Homegrown, details the lives of several feckless men and women folks whose lives never managed to crystallize. Failed marriages, bouts of unemployment dotted with rants, seeking a culprit and finding one in the Federal government.

McVeigh spent much of his adult life going from one gun show to another, often driving thousands of miles in a week. Toobin illustrates how gun shows are a carrier of the far right pathogen. At the larger ones there were sessions on the Constitution, what really happened at Waco and Ruby Ridge, how to become a sovereign citizen, survivalist skills. Then there is the gunshow loophole which allows individuals to sell guns and ammunition with no checks of any kind. This still exists.

While on the road McVeigh listened to Rush Limbaugh, often for hours at a time. At night he had a shortwave radio and listened to a similar podcast from Arizona. His friend Timothy Nichols added the plight of farmers in the 1980’s to Tim’s thinking. Nichols hated banks, floated around the Michigan militia movement. With his lone wolf, road warrior lifestyle McVeigh rarely came out from under the mushroom cloud of conspiracy theories, second amendment fanatics, and gun show radicals.

Toobin shows, in a neat twist, how the early response to the Murrah Building bombing focused on Muslims, on foreigners who wanted to do harm to the Great Satan. But no. Instead this bomb made of fertilizer and racing fuel in 55 gallon drums all packed tight in a rental truck came from the same source as those who blamed the attack on outsiders.

As my brother said in an e-mail, reconciling the Trumpists with the rest of our nation will be difficult. Make no mistake. Trump is only a highly visible manifestation of the same mushroom cloud of lies and hate that engulfed Timothy McVeigh over thirty years ago. And the bomb that made that cloud became real in a fantasy world already well inhabited by the heirs of the Ku Klux Klan, the John Birch Society, and the NRA.