Buchanan’s Trump

How The 1990s Paved The Way For Today’s Political Divide – 1A: https://the1a.org/shows/2018-10-04/the-red-the-blue

How Trump Really Got Rich – The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/podcasts/the-daily/donald-trump-fred-trump-tax-money.html

[For a layman like me, a blue-collar tax-paying voter, this reinforces for me why I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, and will never vote for him.]

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“Truthiness”

truthiness: Word of the Day from Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/2018/05/12

Attempting “Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness” via “Work & Deism”(?)

Sensualism – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensualism

Sentimentality – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentimentality

[Sensualism & Sentimentality. Not a fan. Just as vulnerable to them as any Human animal, maybe more vulnerable. No matter how hard I try to “check and balance” them.]

Empiricism – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism

Positivism – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positivism

[Empiricism & Positivism. Huge fan, actually. Being a deeply flawed Human animal, I’m not as successful in employing these on a daily basis as I’d prefer. Dovetails with my Deism, though.]

………

Epistemology – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology

………

Deism – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

Age of Enlightenment – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

Deism has been an intensely personal experience for me, bringing me back to God. The tendencies of Human animal behavior, particularly the propensity toward “alpha ape mode” abuse of any power and/or authority, soured me on Religion long ago. Even had me flirting with Atheism for a time, most strongly during my senior year of high school, way back in the 80’s.

My Deism isn’t trapped in the 17th or 18th centuries, however. Don’t believe in some immutable “Clockwork Creation.” Do believe: God is Creator and Created. Matter, Energy, Time, and Space are the “hardware” of Creation, a dynamic system. God exists as Life; where the algorithms of Life gain purchase, Nature (ecosystems) develops. Life consumes Matter, Energy, Time, and Space to help perpetuate itself; also, Life comsumes Life to perpetuate itself. Evolution/Adaptation: Pain and Death are parts of the Cycles of Life. Reason, Ethics, Morality, Science are higher-level tools we have begun to achieve use of; if we can, it’s possible to become more than we are.

Can we do so in a way that is Good? Much of Nature, Evolution, of simple Survival, is not Good. It is what it is. Not Evil. Painful, yes, not Evil. Evil is sometimes an instinctive reaction, but more often a choice, a result of a kind of pessimism and cynicism, an acceptance at some point — maybe not fully conscious, maybe relying on instinctive reaction to a series of situations — that being aggressive and/or violent in someway, consistently, will ensure survival, at least of an individual, sometimes an alliance of individuals.

Since each individual being will eventually die, such Evil is self-defeating. But, individual beings often die having passed on the effects of such Evil, and the Evil perpetuates. Instinctively.

Food for thought.

———-

Anyway. I’m just another stupid monkey.

My Fiance knows it, my Parent and other loved ones and family know it. My Bosses and Coworkers know it.

Just a stupid monkey, waiting to be fired, then removed from existence.

From NPR News: Pruitt Proposes New Rule Defining What Science Can Be Used By EPA https://n.pr/2Jo7Yy2

Opinion: another reason I’ve gradually moved away from so-called “Conservatism” since the 1990’s: what I see as an unGodly anti-science position, and propagandistic, lawyerly tactics of weaponizing concepts like “transparency,” “opportunity,” “choice,” “equity,” and “justice” in order to achieve goals that are diametrically counter to those concepts.

Thor: Ragnarok is a Hilarious Blockbuster About the Evils of Imperialism | Tor.com

Thor: Ragnarok is a Hilarious Blockbuster About the Evils of Imperialism | Tor.com: https://www.tor.com/2017/11/07/thor-ragnarok-is-a-hilarious-blockbuster-about-the-evils-of-imperialism/

Being a Marvel Zombie, sci-fi/superhero fan, and in-general blue-collar guy who likes to continue educating himself on Civilization and the Venn-lime interactions of the spheres of STEM, HAL, & EMC that propel it, I really enjoyed geeking-out to that article. Jist stumbled across it this morning. Excellent, thought-provoking, fun stuff.

I’m not even that big a fan of Thor.

As with BLACK PANTHER, continues to make me ponder Humanity, Civil, Evolution and Nature, and how being Good can be a huge challenge, individually, and in a group. And trying to aspire to Be Good and Do Good after you or your “group” may have done a lot of Bad/Evil thing to get to the “Top”…?

“Tribes.” “Nations.” “Empires.” Generational, evolutionary advancement through cycles of war and subjagation? *shudder* “Fun” to reflect on, in a terrifying way.

EDIT: Wow, never heard of “TOR” but iy is definitely cool site —

“Who are you?”: Black Panther and the Politics of Belonging | Tor.com: https://www.tor.com/2018/02/26/who-are-you-black-panther-and-the-politics-of-belonging/

More ramblings.

I miss having time to think about *everything*. 

Mind you, not going to give up what I have to regain that time. I have a good woman in my life now, going to make her my wife. 

Still. I miss lazy Sundays on my bachelor’s “game room”, with either the TV on some history or science PBS broadcast program, or with NPR on. Tinkering with my HeroClix collection, tinkering with the rules, pondering larger questions about *everything* while I worked on something small.

It was an enjoyable pastime, a hobby. Still is. To a lesser extent. I continue to but, to collect, as a way of supporting human beings, the artists and game designers and engineers, workers and technicians involved in making the game, even if it means certain “souless parasites” who may “own” the IPs may also benefit.

These days, like oscillates between Work and Non-Work responsibilities, with distractions in between, sometimes enjoyable, often ephemeral.

Wondering if I can ever help to get my future-wife and myself to such solidly stable financial foundations that I can not work, still buy HeroClix and reform my man-cave “game room”, while meeting her needs and helping her enjoy Life while we’re still young and healthy enough to do so.

We’ve both seen enough of the “decrepitude” extreme old age and the pain of one’s body failing, taking the mind with it, that neither of us is looking forward to old age. 

And we’ve both found each other so late enough in Life that we’re leary of making our own children; we both have our health challenges, that may impact the genetics of any children we produce. We don’t want to stack the deck against a child’s already challenging existence, genetically. There’s already challenge enough in front of every newborn.

My Lady fosters animals, exercising her maternal instincts, her compassion. Sje has a lot of love. 

If we were to have a child, it would not lack for Love. From either of us.

I worry I’d be passing on some weakness, something insurmountable. And with people in general, and people in Congress in particular, preferring to just hoard as mych personal wealth as possible and not invest in science and medicine and technology and policies that could lead to longer, healthier, more productive lives for everyone, … why bring a child into that world? Into a socioeconomic station that biased against its survival, let alone successful and fulfilling individual contribution to a greater whole? Just to get mercilessly exploited, fodder for other’s ambitions of megalomaniac greatness?

Feel powerless to help. 


….. I used to donate to Wpunded Warrior Project, before the scandal/kerfuffle over highly-compensated executives mismanaging funds, living the “high life”. I miss it.

Love donating as a sustaining member to my local NPR affiliate. Will continue. 

Hope Congress and all levels of government can keep taxes under control, below 31%, efficiently invest into and manage the nation’s growth, our participation in the broader Human Civilization. 

Would love to donate regularly to… National Science Foundation, maybe? Can I afford, right here, right now, that kind of continued investment in the future of our species?

Have I contributed enough already, in the form of my labor and taxes and time, all these years?

Or do I just adopt a “hobbit lifestyle” from here on out? Concerned only with my “hearth and home”? Thinking we’ll be unaffected?

Ramblings

6 Possible Hurdles For The GOP Tax Plan http://n.pr/2zY0noO

Hi. I’m not a journalist, not any kind of ‘expert’. I’m a blue-collar, working-class, tax-paying white American male, a “Purple Republican” Ohioan, a Moderate/Centrist. 

Often thought of myself as a “Conservative” back in the 1990’s, especially diring my 6-year stint in th Army.

No, I’m not running for any office. In the “Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness” vein, I’m happy being a workaday “Cog” in the socioeconomic machine propelling the Pax Americana. 

I don’t understand today’s “Conservatism.” And considering the fine human beings I grew up with and served with, have no place for Racism or Sexism.

I’m for the use of Capitalism, as long as it is Checked & Balanced in a Free & Fair way, to capture our gains, sustain civilization, continually lay the tracks for growth, of the Pax Americana and Human Civilization as a whole.

I very pro-business. But, given Human Nature and this country’s history, am leary of giving too much leeway to Corporations or business.

Compromise, to me, means means People coming together to do the hard work solving common problems or working towards common goals that will ultimately benefit all, often while coming from radically difderent origins and perspectives. 

It’s something to think about: How much the Europeans, during the age of Colonization, hated the “you’re either the hammer or your the anvil” rigid socioeconomic hierarchies, yet when the got here, they tried to establish rigid socioeconomic hierarchies of their own. Often taking God in vain to do so, to justify “hammering” other human being into place beneath them.

I have this pseudo-scientific cosmological belief system I’ve developed over the decades….. [and since this zone is where I can roam free–]

I am a Deist, influenced by Jesus.

God exists, God is All, God is Creator and Created, God is all of Existence.

Celestial Mechanics: all of Matter, Energy, Time & Space. Reality, all dimensions of it. The Celestial Machine, the Body of God. Yet, the Matter, Energy, Time & Space is of such Design & Construction that it could follow its Cause-Effect processes without any further guidance operation of the Designer itself. The Celestial Machine itself is unthinking, disimpassioned. Matter, Energy, Time & Space.

Life: the Soul of God. It weaves itself within the Machine. The Machine being harsh environment, Soul of God seeks to survive within its Machine. The systems it creates over the Macines processes results in the systems of Nature. Ecosystems.

Life seeks to perpetuate itself. It turns what it can of the Machine into things it can use, Resources, when it can, to the extent it can, as efficiently as it can. It seeks to survive. It survives by Growth. It survives by Procreation. It survives by cyclical Birth/Life/Death. Seeks to pass on knowledge, memory, of Life to Life, as it goes. Evolve. Seek Enlightenment, grow even as it continues to seek survival.

Humanity: part of God, part of God’s Nature. Trying to Evolve, subject to the laws of Nature and to the workings of the Machine. Currently bound physically to this little spinning mudball, Earth, as it spins on its axis, in its orbit around the sun, as the solar system grinds its way thru the multiverse as part of the Celestial Machine.

I believe in the process, the system, of Evolution, because it is part of God’s Nature. 

Humanity: we’ve evolved up thru the cold survival calculationsof the reptilian-brain, up thru the emotional pecking-order drives pf the ape-brain, into our current human-brains, and all its conceptions of Love, Compassion, Justince, Truth, Fairness, et cetera. We still have a ways to go. Enlightenment is always the goal.

Our limitations may reside in our animal natures and existence as individual units, but being part of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, Enlightment is something to strive for as an individual. No matter what may become of every individual, the whole of God will benefit, feed it back into life.

As long as we can kick certain “bad habits”, dismantle detrimental algorythims when we can, make way and re-use resources in a more Enlightened manner.

“Conservatism.” One the one hand, seeks to “capture/preserve gains”. On the other, often locks us into Unjust systems out of some perceived efficiency, often because the benefits are so beneficial to a relative few, that those few — often finding themselves in a very advantageous position in the Human hierarchy — conflate thier own successes as the Public Good, and refuse to see any detrimental effects than can cause stagnation, or even a “back-slide”, a de-Evolution. 

What’s that got to do with Taxes? Pro-business and pro-growth, unchecked, unbalanced, feed ape-brain autocratic impulses of a few, can lead to Injustice and stagnation.

Look at the effects the socioeconomic system of Slavery has had on the country, historically, spiritually. Rigid socioeconomic hierarchies we’re still trying to dismantle and disentangle from, that enriched and benefitted a few. A significant, sizable population subjugated, stripped of even the acknowledgement of thier Humanity, in the economic interests of the few. A large portionof the population inbetween the few Slaveholders and the Slaves did benefit from that system, in a ‘trickle-down’ way, and with the Slavers and Slaveholders manipulation, convinced themselves such Injustice and Evil, was Right and Good, perpetuating it, with laws and policies that benefitted the few Slavers and Slaveholders, in hopes they — a large, middle-/working-class — could benefit without losing their freedom, without becoming Slaves themselves. 

And I see this pattern of human behavior repeating itself. Using the tax code a government of the People, elected by the People, and allegedly for the People, seems to be giving up on the broader applications of Checks & Balances, undercutting the Rule of Law while it uses Law to hand “power” to large corporations. 

A relative few gain more power, in the hopes they use it wisely, while mechanism to check and balance against abuse of that power are eroded. Again in the hopes all will benefit, in the short-, medium-, and long-term. 

If history is any guide, they will shore up thier own advantages, keep some upper-middle players strung-out one some small incentives to keep them “loyal” and working in thier favor, the larger systems as a whole will stagnate, likely regress, and we slide backwards toward destructive socioeconomic conflicts. 

A few will benefit, secure wealth and resources for themselves, while systems and “infrastructure” of every kind with continue to crumble. The only “infrastructure” that might see a bump is only what strictly benfits them, thier control of resources. Innovation, kowledeg can plateau. Feed stagnation. Or de-Evolution. 

(“Homo Economicus”? As pie-in-the-sky unworkable as Communism and Anarcho-Capitalism. All seem to think that the Human-Brain can work without the influences of the Ape-Brain and the Reptile-Brain, do so without causing problems on its own, thereby working itself into problematic situations where it may have deprived itself of its own tools it needs to get itself out of a situation it put itself in. Out of balance enough to pit itself into a death-spiral….)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) – Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ai_artificial_intelligence/

Wow, that “Critics’ Concensus” blurb really sums things up. I remember seeing this movie twice in the theater back when it was released. I remember that l liked it, with a couple caveats. Don’t remember seeing it since. Worth another viewing.

(I guess I’m just into bleak sci-fi movies about where human behavior and our innovative technological advances might ultimately take us, which is either some degree of Enlightenment (rare outcome in these movies) or our own Extinction (more likely outcome in these movies, as our inherent animal natures and short-sighted impulses mean we keep putting off solving long-term problems in favor short-term comforts, like the medium- and long-term problems are either too complex to solve right now or completely insurmountable.)

After Equifax Hack, Calls For Big Changes In Credit Reporting Industry : NPR

http://www.npr.org/2017/10/18/558570686/after-equifax-hack-calls-for-big-changes-in-credit-reporting-industry

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Rein them in with appropriate ‘checks and balances’. I believe in the concept of Checks and Balances, not only as it applies to a Federalist Democratic-Republican form of government Rule of Law, but also Free & Fair Mixed Economy, and the growth of the Pax Americana. 

Human civilization relies on the mix of hunting, gathering, mining, farming, creating, making and trading darn near any “thing”, be it real or abstract. 

Ensuring tranquility requires C&B. IMHO.

npr.org: the-two-way (2017/10/18: 558460284): nfl-players-meet-but-punt-on-anthem-controversy

npr.org (2017/10/17: 558390590): former-green-beret-and-nfl-player-talks-about-take-a-knee-protests

stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/flag-represents-those-who-fought-our-country-s-battles

backstoryradio.org: shows: it-is-so-ordered

Upfront: I’m a lowly blue-collar taxpayer/voter who served for 6 unremarkable years in the U.S. Army, never seeing combat, chose to not go ‘career’. So, I guess I approach this more as a Constitution-Loving Civilian than as former military.

Take everything I say as one person’s opinion.

Axiom: “Freedom Isn’t Free”.

Axiom: Our “citizen-soldiers” serving in our military, as well as ‘civilians’ in the professions often referred to as “First Responders” (law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical/rescue) are the most likely among us to give their lives in the Calling of Protecting and Serving the Public in our Federal Democratic-Republic.

I have unending respect for them.

That said, I have a problem with it being said that “[persons of group X] died for our flag] or that the flag first and foremost represents those who have died in such public service.

I have a real problem with a physical symbol — one of several symbols of the whole country and the Rights, Responsibilities, Liberties, and Freedoms it embodies — becoming the sole ‘possession’ of a single group, that this symbol cannot be used under Freedom of Speech to express concern over/ draw attention to some unresolved social issue/injustice  because that would be disrespecting both the symbol and Group X, whom it ‘alone’ represents.

That seems flawed reasoning to me. To put it simply, I disagree. If such a symbol cannot be used by protestors, where does that put the Country those citizens died for?

I personally, wouldn’t burn an American flag, most likely would never kneel during the national anthem.

Who said it? “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I think that best sums it up for me.

 

I don’t know what to say about the Las Vegas shooting that hasn’t already been said.

I have prayed for the victims and their families. Prayed for insight.

I do not understand “Why?”

….

Feeling “numb”. I do not understand why.

EDIT: I was wide awake, laying in bed, in silence when I wrote the above, sometime between 3am and 4am.

Kinda confronting knowing that I’m not the only one. At 4:30am, when I decided to get up, get ready for work, BBC and NPR were tapping into what must be the “vibe” of the public, reporting stories along the same themes of “why?” and “numbness” in America over this.

Gives me Hope, for some reason, for some Reason.

From NPR News: Republicans Outline Biggest Tax Code Overhaul In A Generation http://n.pr/2yrLDdo

In general principle, as a blue-collar Moderate/Centrist Republican, I’m for tax reform, for keeping taxes as low as possible, and getting spending under control, and debt and deficits lower, and making sure Congress gets the Public the most/best ‘bang’ for every tax-dollar spent, everyone paying thier fair share. 

The Preamble to our Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Quite the “mission statement”. My views —

  • Union Perfection, baby! Need to work toward a 23rd century infrastructure in the 21st century. And turn the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico and Guam into States.
  • Justice: historically, we’ve done some bad shit. Systemically bad. Got stuff to atone for, to make room to progress, to improve.
  • Tranquility: could use a bit more. We are and will continue to be a Great Country. We have been “in the making” since Jamestown. If you think we aren’t great, need to “Make America Great Again”, then you’d lost faith at one point. Probably because you weren’t being honest with yourself about what faults we still have and still need to correct or improve upon. Ignorance lead to a sense of Privilege and Entitlement. Need to Work on that.
  • Common Defense: we spend a tremendous amount on our military already. Jist need to ensure the money is well spent. Diplomacy and insuring Free & Fair Trade contribute heavily to Defense, in a way that Force can’t. 
  • Promote the General Welfare: yeah, when the Constitution was ratified, maybe it was unfeasible for any level of government to be involved in ensuring healthcare, what with the level of the Art/Science of Medicine and level of Technology being what it was. You pretty much had to Hope and Pray that you’d get that Nature-trumping Miracle to heal you from a major illness or injury. But, it’s the 21st century now. We (Humanity as a whole) have made great strides in all areas of STEM/HAL/EMC, and all the overlap areas in the Venn intersections of those spheres. Need to improve healthcare and lower costs.
  • Secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity. A constant process of work and innovation and work and evaluation and work and study and work and reform and work and problem-solving. Never-ending struggle. Learn from the past, work towards a better future. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. 

‘People Helped You, Whether You Knew It Or Not’ : NPR

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/25/545848025/-people-helped-you-whether-you-knew-it-or-not

A reminder that we can’t erase history, that we need to learn from it. Systemic, belligerent racism almost destroyed this gentleman’s life and almost deprived the nation’s veteran community a crucial asset. He, and those who supported him, fought back, non-violently, and won the Good Fight. People like him continue to change the world for the better. 

My view: Racism is Evil and a Sin. 

Trump v. Afghanistan 

(Posted 2017-08-22): From NPR News: ‘We Are Not Nation-Building Again,’ Trump Says While Unveiling Afghanistan Strategy http://n.pr/2vXKYRb

Well, we’ll have to see how this series of changes pans out.

I wonder what President Trump will do if rumors that Russia has been arming the Taliban for years turns out to be true? 

————-

Edit (2017-08-23): Watch: Trump’s Speech On Afghanistan, Transcript And Analysis : NPR: http://www.npr.org/2017/08/21/545038935/watch-live-trump-s-address-on-afghanistan-next-steps-for-u-s-engagement

Listened to analysis yesterday. Basically, boiled down to some inter-woven contradictions: we’re there long-term, because leaving any time soon would create conditions where the Afghan government would collapse and either the Taliban or ISIL might take over, *but* we’re not going to “tell any one how to live” (encourage development of democratic-republican forms of government), we’re just concerned with our own national security needs. We’ll pad-out the number of troops by around 4,000, but likely hold or reduce the number of diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan….

Nervous. Is Afghanistan another decades-long ‘project’, like South Korea has been?

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2017-08-25: Adding this for my own reference:

Ex-Intelligence Officers Respond To Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy : NPR: http://www.npr.org/2017/08/23/545616875/ex-intelligence-officers-respond-to-trump-s-afghanistan-strategy

Republican Congressman Mike Coffman Reacts To Trump’s Afghanistan Speech : NPR: http://www.npr.org/2017/08/23/545616910/republican-congressman-mike-coffman-reacts-to-trump-s-afghanistan-speech

My opinion: I really don’t want to see us back in a position of accepting dictators or regimes that are brutally oppressive to their own people, supporting such regimes and dictators, just because they otherwise allow us to “kill terrorists”. Such repressive regimes often support terrorism in some way (as an asymmetrical weapon in its arsenal), or create conditions internally that can feed international terrorists a supply of recruits. 

We have to spread the Good of Human Rights, Democratic and Republican and Federalist Principles, encourage them over time. Plant the seeds, cultivate them.

From NPR News: Ohio Man Charged With Murder In Fatal Car Attack On Anti-White Nationalist March http://n.pr/2uz3OR8

Hope this guy gets the book thrown at him.

Said it before on thia blog, will say it again:

Fuck the KKK, fuck the Neo-Nazis, fuck the Supremacists of every stripe.

Freedom of Speech requires we allow them thier spot in the Public Square, but if said people of such ideologies are only holding such public rallies with the intent of provoking or initiating physical violence, then they need to be treated as the Domestic Enemies to Freedom that they are. 

EDIT (2017-08-15): To be clear —

To Hell with Racism. To Hell with White Nationalism.

The American Melting Pot works, and continues to do so, despite all efforts to dismiss, blame, or sabotage it.

Edit: From NPR News: Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer ‘Stood Up’ Against What She Felt Was Wrong http://n.pr/2uzGTFb

npr.org (2017/07/20): fact-check-trumps-confusing-remarks-to-senate-republicans-on-health-care

This article is why *this* “Purple Republican” is ‘sustaining member’ of his ‘glocal affiliate’ NPR station. This article fact-checks it all, providing some links to great follow-up reading.

————

EDIT: So, lately I’ve been thinking of myself as a ‘Purple Republican’. I’ve parted ways with Conservatism, a while back. Modern “Conservatism” and it’s “Libertarian” offshoot just got really ‘Out There’ for me.

Got used to the jabs that Conservative Republicans would take at Republicans like me, calling anyone who wasn’t Conservative enough a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”). My “Republican Heroes” — Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt, and so on — don’t really line up as “Conservative” as the “base” of the party seems to want either.

I searched the internet for a head-shot image of a ‘purple rhinoceros’ I could snag and adopt as my symbol. A “Purple RINO” as it were. Unfortunately, found out that “Purple Rhino” is some sort of breed or strain of marijuana. Since I am very, very anti-recreational narcotics/drugs, looks like I’ll have to find a different ‘symbol’ or ‘sigil’ to help me represent myself.

“Purple Triceratops” perhaps?

Purple_TriCeratops_by_Carlos_Ortega