Places (2020Oct06)

Tuesday, October 06, 2020                                               5:30 AM

Places   (2020Oct06)

There are places where people will just shoot you. There are places where people will just rape you. There are places where people will tell lies about you. Regular folks like you and me usually avoid such places.

The trouble is, the best humans that ever lived all got killed, from baby Jesus all the way to MLK, including Gandhi, the Kennedy Bros., and Malcolm X. It makes a person ponder: Am I good enough to drive others to murder me? Because we all know the truth: If you stand up and defend the truth loudly enough, in the wrong situation, someone will kill you.

Now, there are also campuses where the most delicate sensibility will find a willing audience; art galleries where the most enigmatic claims to artistic expression are allowed full display to the investors. It’s never all one thing.

But I have found that evil always carries the seeds of its own destruction. In the pursuit of its goals, evil inevitable reveals its true nature, repelling anyone who once saw it as viable.

The trick with evil is not to fight it, so much as to hurry it along to its own destruction, with as little contact as possible.

Why We Hate Atheists (2020Aug12)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020                                           12:11 PM

Why We Hate Atheists   (2020Aug12)

When an atheist finds themselves bereft in a hollow universe, first comprehending the “faith of their parents and grandparents” to be an ancient tradition of subjugation through mendacity, they feel wild anger and bitter resentment. Becoming an atheist often leads to attitudes just as indulgent in our human nature as those held by people of strong faith. I guess you could call these unhappy people Activist Atheists.

A true atheist finds themselves with the same problem as an ‘anarchist’ or a ‘nihilist’: you can’t form an institution to fight the corrupting influence of institutions. And, since we can’t field an opposing team, we can’t really push back.

But more than that, an atheist cannot change anyone’s mind. We come to discard religion, or we don’t—no one talks us into it. Knowing this, a decent atheist will forego the petty satisfaction of sniping at Theists—A Man in the Sky may be silly to you, but it’s not half as silly as hurting someone’s feelings for no good reason. The question of belief or disbelief is moot.

The thing we must look out for is the creepy people who use our faith, or lack of it, as a springboard for their political agenda. The greatness of our nation lies partly in our having recognized that Religion was too dangerous to let it be part of our Laws and regulations—and we separated church and state even before we declared Independence!

True American people of faith have been proud to live in a country that, by allowing many faiths, has kept them free to worship as they please—guaranteed. You think that’s everywhere? That just happens? No, sorry—that’s America. Or, at the very least, we started it. Why do you think all the Theocratic Dictatorships, like the Saudis and Iranians, always call us ‘Satan’?

So, it’s never been theist vs. atheist. The question remains simply this: Do you see everyone else you meet, as an equal? As a friend? As a strange relative at a family reunion? Well, there it is. That’s the only question. And our world is on the brink because too many people answer No.

If a preacher asks a throng to crowd close together on a public beach to pray, in a ploy to ridicule Public Health Warnings, when he’s never done that before—tell me, is that devotion to God—or a deadly PR stunt?

Breadth of Freedom (2020Jun21)

Sunday, June 21, 2020                                             5:52 PM

Breadth of Freedom   (2020Jun21)

In the 1950s, the Pulps, as they were called, were considered a bad influence on children, along with Comic Books. This was the mind-set for which the Fifties are famous: some topics of conversation were forbidden, and others very definitely frowned upon.

But even the 1950s were broader-minded than the preceding decade—and this could be said of each the 20th Century’s decades. The acceleration of transportation and communications made ‘decades’ the new normal for a changing world.

Prior to the Industrial Explosion, humanity was regional, parochial, and only managed significant change in terms of centuries. And prior to the early cultures of the Mediterranean, change in humanity’s condition is measured in millennia.

Today’s Americans measure change by four-year presidential terms (whether they are first or second terms is immaterial). But the 1950s stands out as the last-gasp of a slower, more-ignorant American public. Communities still considered themselves close-knit enough for conversational taboos to keep uncomfortable ideas and issues from coming to light.

I am most impressed by the human habit of being irritated by a change in subject-matter. In olden times, saying anything unusual was a good way to get beat upon—if you weren’t a witch or a troublemaker, you were just simple in the head.

We have no conception of the communal irritation that ‘free’-ish thinkers were subjected to. The phrase Fulton’s Folly is still known, echoing down history as a reminder that his entire community laughed in Fulton’s face for years while he developed the first working steamboat.

In Salem, centuries earlier, women were being executed for looking funny at someone. We have no idea of the power of peer pressure, in the days when a community was tighter than most modern families.

It is only the disruption of Science and Reason that have levered humanity out of its built-in communal dysfunction—and I know, if civilization should happen to crash, that freedom-from-bullying will be the thing I’ll miss most.

The effects on me are curious: I would be at risk in many countries—not realizing that religious talk can be fatal, or other unconventional thoughts that may be illegal or dangerous to express—and it wouldn’t be safe for me to bring my library to many countries. Even in more conservative American regions, I could easily disgrace myself, just by being my usual discursive jabbermouth.

But one really has to read science fiction to get the full scope of the revolution in thinking—publicly-debated, social thinking—that liberal America (and most of Europe and Japan) enjoy. Asimov, Clarke, Sturgeon, et. al. were writing for the pulps in the fifties—because the idea of leaving the Earth was one of those ‘Beat-that-guy-up’ Ideas that ‘serious’ people had pooh-poohed forever.

Soon after, several things happened: People left the Earth, and the USA was spending billions to catch up. Arthur C. Clarke was awarded the patent for TelStar, the first telecommunications satellite in geo-synch orbit, because he published a pulp story that described it in exact detail —which kinda shut up all the naysayers. Then there was Roddenberry’s “Star Trek” and Kurt Vonnegut’s take on the far side of sci-fi—and humanity.

The amazing concept of interchanging numbers with characters, into something called ‘programming’—for a thinking machine, no less, was kept a deep secret, from the end of WWII onward. Had the Nerd Revolution not been swept off their feet by Intel, and further titillated by the globe-spanning power of the Internet, Computer Science might yet be a state secret, rotting in storage like Indy’s Ark.

Instead, we have an explosion, not only in new tools of digital magic—but an explosion of concepts, borne of the instantiation of such things as databases, real-time feeds, multi-player gaming, etc., etc. Alan Turing probably never considered the swath of established businesses (and business practices) that digital technology would erase from history, like horse-buggy-whips. Digitalization is changing more than business—it is changing the world. I hope no one was attached to our existing socio-economic culture—‘cause it’s going fast….

Watch Yourself (2020Jun10)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020                                               4:22 AM

Watch Yourself   (2020Jun10)

Traditionally, the American Male will jettison his family responsibilities, lose his last urge towards decency, and let fall his last shred of ethics—all in his quest for wealth and power. If he avoids arrest, and gets hold of a lot of other peoples’ money, we call that success. If these poor bastards are the winners, I’m proud to be a loser.

Then, these same animals will try to act all ‘elitist’, as if being a pure piece of shit made them better than us. This is the American Dream in its actuality—pretending your money makes you special.

Oh, if only it were true! If only rich people weren’t a uniform mass of assholes. Imagine that confused pol, Biden, as our knight in shining armor! Imagine being reluctant to criticize that asshole Bezos, just because Trump is jealous of him. Imagine people taking anything Zuckerberg says seriously.

Imagine having a whole TV cable channel devoted to lying, in crooks’ favor. Imagine a media empire with the same goal. The owner of The Inquirer made an industry out of lying to us—and blackmailing celebrities—and he’s all good. If only decent people had a sense of vengeance, he’d be looking over his shoulder, for life.

The people shouting the loudest are scared for all they have to lose—their dirty money, their respectability, their privilege. It all sits on a knife edge, balanced on the inertia of society. Now they’ve shifted the center of balance on society’s inertia, they’re shouting louder than ever, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.

Fortunately, although people are ever concerned with money, Society, as a whole, doesn’t concern itself with bill-paying. Society reacts. So watch yourself.

And, on top of all that… (2020May04)

And, on top of all that… (2020May04)

Citizens are still working hard at the American Experiment. They’re marching (and masking) and protesting and calling for reform–as well they should. Respected Generals, forced by the disgraceful behavior of our ‘Administration’, are speaking directly to the public.

Think about that. Think about what it would have felt like, if a member of the Defense Department had ever done that with a real president. And imagine how we would have reacted! There’s even a movie about it, called “Seven Days in May” (I highly recommend both the movie and the original novel).

Now, that’s with a Real President (back when we have some judgement in our voting). Incredible though it may seem, former-secretary Mattis is not calling for a Coup. He is merely breaking the long-standing gentlemen’s agreement between big-shots–he is telling the American people what an a-hole our ‘president’ is. And he is doing it, not to overthrow, but to preserve our Democracy.

Trump is a confused old man who thinks history is not only Over, but oughta be Rolled Back a mite. Our American Experiment continues, whether that rich, old fuck likes it or not. I knew this would happen. No overgrown brat gets to spit on our legacy, borne in blood, for year upon year, without eventuaslly pissing off all Americans, as much as I was pissed off on his first day.

& Yes, the Racism is Bad–our national shame, that disgraces us in the eyes of civilized countries–but let’s not forget, we’re still in the middle of Trump trying let this virus run its course, kill 2-3% of Americans, and call it a win. The job of containing the virus still waits for the United States to begin a serious effort.

Survival Instincts (2020May23)

Saturday, May 23, 2020                                           7:15 PM

Survival Instincts   (2020May23)

The United States Postal Service has been humbly serving every single citizen, and the world, for centuries. Centuries! Now, Trump wants to ‘dump’ it.

Why? Because Donald knows he will never leave his mark on history by accomplishing anything Good—and, like a serial killer, he hopes to become famous, come hell or high water (mostly hell).

Who the fuck does Trump think he is? And why the hell is this disgusting excuse for a president still in office?

100,000 Americans will have died from Trump’s incompetent inertia before this Memorial Day weekend is over. It’s confusing, because we usually remember the fallen from past wars—this weekend, we have to try to do that, while our own friends and family are dropping all around us.

I don’t care what your politics are. The fact this worthless bastard is still in charge of our Federal Government’s Administration beggars belief. This is the guy who was convicted of fraud, during his campaign. This is the guy who was impeached for treasonous crimes just a few months ago.

Republicans can’t seriously expect any support from any of us, ever again, can they? Now that they’re just sitting there, letting this clown tank the economy and oversee a self-inflicted pandemic? I get that Red and Blue are two different kinds of people—but don’t they have any survival instincts?

Trump’s Emmy ? (2020May23)

Hey guys, don’t upset the ‘talent’!

Saturday, May 23, 2020                                          12:35 PM

Trump’s Emmy ?   (2020May23)

You can imagine it in mythic terms, if you like—like an episode of HBO’s “GOT”.  Backstory: the One, True Bama has repelled the demon, Bola, from our vulnerable shores. He defeats it first in TX. Bama defeats it again, and for good, in NJ.

Then the Usurper, Rump, comes to power (through the machinations of The Eastern Winter-King—a dead thing, with no soul or brains, bent only on disruption of the Great Peace).

Rump has been raised by a worshipper of a death cult—and forms an alliance with all the dead-walkers of every dark kingdom in middle-earth.

When the new Demon, Coronadona, appears, Rump cravenly waves her right on into the Iron Palace. Suddenly, he finds himself imprisoned in his own palace, unable to put a glamour on masses of people each night.

Rump prays to Media the Hut, Lord Most High of human deception, and he answers Rump’s rants—Media repeats the spells into the ears of Everyone, Everywhere—and suddenly none of them try to protect themselves from the Demon, Coronadona. They rush into the street, begging to be held in its arms.

Can the befuddled Prince Biden raise a counter-army, and save the kingdom from the evils of ignorance and secrecy? Only if the Democratic Knighthood of Mothers, Grandmothers, & Bad-Ass Chicks can get organized in Time!

Stay tuned….—if you’re not dead, or quarantined, already.

Since Lincoln Was Shot (2020May19)

getty images

Tuesday, May 19, 2020                                            4:13 AM

Since Lincoln Was Shot   (2020May19)

Ever since President Lincoln was shot in the head, in Ford’s Theater, the Wealthy have appropriated the Republican Party which Abraham Lincoln immortalized. When Post-War Democrats decided America should grow up, and willingly embrace the standard of multi-racial equality, Republicans embraced the Dixie-Crats with open tentacles, spurring their racism for a further century.

And having found profit there, the Republicans went on to include the over-zealous Christian Evangelicals—those who are not satisfied with ripping off their TV audiences, but must create an isolated, mind-controlled, child-warping factory—and call it a ‘closed community’. They persist today, twisting the enforcement of Their religion into some bizarre version of ‘Freedom of Religion’—very Sartre-esque, but nonsense in emperor’s clothes.

Then Reagan crystallized the Republican Party’s entire raison d’être, by ushering in the ethics-less Eighties—when destroying whole communities, just to make a market killing, became so common it was ‘normalized’ by the media. Not, I’d wager, by the victims—but who cares about the victims? This is Republican America.

There are some very rich people in this world, and in this country—and they all have the means to tell us their story, from their POV. How nice for them. Let me just say—just because the Russians and the Chinese were too fucking primitive, in the early 20th century, to realize the ideas of Karl Marx properly—does not mean that Karl had no point to make.

Au contraire, Red-neck. Karl’s words were so clear and revelatory that they spurred those Revolutions, as tainted by human nature and ambition as they would eventually become. He started the people’s united rage—and he did it by pointing how totally screwed they all had been, and still were being screwed—by the ‘owners’ of land and wealth—assholes that had no more claim on authority than you or I. That’d make me mad—especially considering the working conditions of the nineteenth-century poor.

Nonetheless, we can see from the history of Soviet Russia and Communist China that human nature infects the poor as well as the rich. If only we could find a government that allowed the rich and poor, imperfect alike, to meet on a level playing-field.

Well, we fought for, and won, that—in the War of the Revolution, 1776-1781—and the War of 1812. The wealthy have sought the lost elitism of royalty ever since.

The Republicans have followed greed as the default ideal, they have committed to the belief that money is everything. Hard to argue with? Perhaps, but look at the result. Their President is an ugly, unethical, unreasoning, unfeeling, well, PIG, who has all that wealth promises a person—and what a disgrace it is.

Only in America (2020May07)

Thursday, May 07, 2020                                          10:42 PM

Only in America   (2020May07)

Sure, we have Flat-Earthers in America. We’re proud of our tradition of suffering fools gladly, here. But I’d love to see one of those willfully-ignorant clowns fly to Kazakhstan, find a Cosmonaut who’s been to the ISS, and revolved above our globe—and look him in the eye and call him a liar. I’d love to watch that.

Protest Too Much? (2020May05)

Tuesday, May 05, 2020                                            6:22 AM

Protest Too Much?   (2020May05)

Liberals attack thoughtlessness and unfairness, mostly. To call them ‘snowflakes’ (?) implies the name-caller finds empathy and decency to be beyond the pale—something only a sissy would bother with.

As with most insults, it shames the namer more than the named. If you wanted ‘snowflake’ to mean a hysterical, panicky type, you’d have to apply it to the ‘Red team’.

Kirk Cameron made a Jesus-flic a few years ago. It was called “Saving Christmas” and it was meant to encourage viewers to “…stand fast against a culture that seeks to trivialize and eliminate the faith-element of this holiday…

Likewise, there are apparently millions of Americans who believe that liberals are trying to ‘take their guns’. I’ll bet you Liberals own more firepower than the kkklan and the 4-H put together—but that’s beside the point.

Conservative men whine that the ‘Me Too’ movement has left them confused about what they can or can’t do or say. If these men truly don’t get that message, their problems go deeper than sexual politics—but conservative politicians will further this meme, to push back against equal rights for women.

These grown children always yell before the doctor evens sticks them—before there’s a doctor in the room. And they invent these projects of ‘ours’, like we spend our lives trying to attack Conservatives.  We’re not the ones trying to suppress voters or gerrymander districts—we don’t need to.

I am perfectly happy with our Freedom of Religion rights, even without one of my own. I respect the Fourth Amendment—I just want some records kept, like with a car. I don’t want sex to become a legal issue—but I believe every person deserves respect and protection under the law.

Accusing me of attacking Christianity is fantasy. Accusing me of trying to disarm America is hyperbole without shame. Bitching about how you can’t paw women anymore—you’re on your own with that one.

“President” Trump is a de facto murderer, thru his inept dereliction and incompetence. The number of the dead is horrific—and we aren’t nearly done. Every day, president stare-at-the-sun announces non sequiturs—and shuns cogent questions regarding vital testing supplies.

And his tribe of primitives is out, breaking quarantine to protest the quarantine. That does it—Trump has convinced these yahoos to protest their doctors’ advice.

Trump has convinced his ‘base’ of incredible nonsense, on a regular basis—but the number of people that will die from protesting will be much greater than the people who drink bleach, or whatever….

So, it’s no great leap for Trump, or McConnell, to convince these deplorables—that we Liberals are just waiting fer a chance to bushwhack them varmints! Actually, we have other shit on our minds. But we do worry about all those people, listening to a psycho from TV….

I Can’t Recall the Event (2020May01)

Friday, May 01, 2020                                               11:31 PM

I Can’t Recall the Event   (2020May01)

Self-isolation is the literal definition of divisiveness. As a democracy, we are hobbled without the ability to congregate, to interact, and to protest.

I support the quarantine—I’m not one of those crazies. I’m just pointing out that our national quarantine is an unprecedented level of incompetence within the Federal Government. And a very dangerous position for our Democracy, given the Republicans’ ruthless inhumanity.

Better-run countries are doing tests and tracing source-points, as a First-World country does (so they don’t have to shut down, like some nineteenth-century Plague being re-enacted). Along with a death total (USA: 64,000 as of today) I’m seeing news reports of Trump muzzling the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and God knows who else.

‘President’ Donald Trump is acting as a de facto ‘useful idiot’ for the anti-Americans—whether he has a relationship with a specific head-of-state—or simply has narcissist sociopathy that presents as treasonous, it’s clear that Trump is a clear and present danger. He’s also trying to shovel unaccounted-for funds towards his billionaire buddies.

But who’s gonna stop him doing that, when he’s doing such a great job of obstructing both aid for, and information about, the pandemic? We are all in the grip of a handful of monstrously sociopathic anti-Americans.

Trump, Pence, Barr, McConnell, and a host of tame Republicans legislators have put us all in danger. They have made us as small and twisted as they are. I had cognitive dissonance in ’16, when that fat fuck was elected—and I still can’t believe I live in a place that trusts that piece of shit—or his buddies.

If lying was ever more transparent, I can’t recall the event. If incompetence in governing was ever more un-laughably laughable, I can’t recall the event. If any semblance of responsibility was ever more absent, I can’t recall the event. If corruption ever before enjoyed such freedom from objective analysis, I can’t recall the event.

I won’t call for Impeachment. They’ve even got that foxed. But, Americans, I ask you: is what we call the Republican Party still a political party—or has their lust for partisanship ‘morphed’ them into an enemy of the people? They call it the party of the wealthy. Is that what they mean by it?

Seen & Accepted (2020Apr25)

Saturday, April 25, 2020                                          5:24 PM

Seen & Accepted   (2020Apr25)

You’ll remember from past presidents—during a crisis, they addressed the nation, reassured them that an adult was on the case, and then disappeared. They worked behind-the-scenes to remove the crisis from the headlines.

This was only common sense, from a citizen’s POV and from a political POV. Those past presidents had credibility (be it ever so tattered). When Nixon resigned, he was recognizing that no serious adult was taking his side. Trump has known this (or should) since his Impeachment.

Look at the many ‘reasonable adults’ in Trump’s own circle—and yes, term used loosely, & so on—who have, at least, recognized a politically untenable position when they were in one, and resigned. Only that cowboy-clown child-molester down south has equaled Trump in ‘Deafness to The Room”.

We must recognize: the people “empowered” by Trump are disreputable, sloppy-thinking ticks, who have (to quote Asimov) “the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

They have been made to feel inferior their whole lives. Their lack of alacrity in wit and philosophy—is merely the consequence of their disinterest (or disability) in Reason. I’m just realizing that my own love of Reason is what stands out.

Every time I meet new people, there’s always someone who asks me if I’m a teacher or a scientist. It’s flattering, but it also puts distance between me and everyone else. My speech, my vocabulary, my attitude, even my body language—everyone else sees it immediately, but I never really got it until now.

I’m a scholastic. That is an obsolete term, from before modern times—as is my spirit, to some degree. I’ve always been interested in learning new stuff—and sharing it with others. What never really clicked, for me, was that this is not normal—I am not normal.

I’m just remarking on the reflexive principle at play here. There is an emotional component to being smarter than average—and there is an emotional component to being less-smart than average. Both extremes, on either side of the bell-curve, spend most of our lives trying to be seen, to be accepted.

And it may be hard to accept the Trump-base people—but we sure can see them now, can’t we?

Not for God (2020Apr01)

Wednesday, April 01, 2020                                              4:41 AM

Not for God   (2020Apr01)

People are animals. I don’t mean to be mean, I’m just stating a fact. There’s nothing inherently wrong with animals. Animals with the power of thought are a problem. We didn’t ask to be born. We didn’t ask to be ‘thinkers’. We didn’t ask to be stressed, insofar as we expect ourselves to be better-behaved than animals.

We are animals. Cruelty to animals is an expression of self-loathing and hatred of one’s own life. Misogyny is an example of how our thoughts are skewed by our feelings—knowing that women are basically ‘man, plus’, givers of life and love.

In fact, in many ways, men have no idea what love is—I certainly didn’t. I had lust, surely, and peer-pressure, and ego. But I hadn’t the faintest notion of love with the big L. We only get that from our mothers (if lucky) and are taught to be embarrassed by it, as soon as we socialize with other males.

And the masculine bent of organized religion is a monument to this dysfunction. That is why I am an atheist—religion is far-too-obviously a male scam, peaking during the era of witch-burning—when any women who acted with agency was quickly tortured to death.

But religion contains another primitive meme—the authoritarian skew that weaponizes the whole thing. God must be obeyed, thus the priest, the father, the male, must be obeyed—it’s a great racket. But the most dangerous thing about organized religion is that it buries the lede.

Men are not important. Authority is not important. Both are products of our dark side. The only truth in religion is the love of good. I’ve spent my life, trying to be good. Not for god—fuck’m. I do it because it is the only worthwhile aspect of our species—the urge towards goodness.

If we wish to be proud of the human race, of being a part of it, we have to stop with the mythology and start becoming our best evolutionary outcome.

Things They Oughtn’t (2020Mar31)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020                                        6:05 AM

Things They Oughtn’t   (2020Mar31)

The sad truth is that the educated, rational folks who produce modern technology are not always anticipating, say, the Internet’s potential, in the hands of a misanthropic, irrational troublemaker. America’s vaunted freedoms are based partly on the lag time, between something starting to happen—and the eventual legislative remedy for abuse of the new technology.

Capitalism, too, subsists in no small part on that gray area between unthoughtful and illegal. Very few people would actually be comfortable with wealth, knowing that its source was a criminal rip-off, or the cause of climate change, or caused cancer, or was manufactured by under-aged slave-labor.

But there are arms-manufacturers, pharmaceutical price-hikers, oil industry execs, bankers, investors, PR folks, etc. who are all willing to live by the maxim: ‘If I don’t do it, someone else will. And where does that leave me?’’ And I must admit, as heuristics go, it’s difficult to find fault with that reasoning.

However, I find that a good, solid argument can often be the worst kind of roadblock to an open mind. Perhaps I should state, rather than leave implicit, that an open mind is the most important part of personal liberty. Oddly, no one can give you an open mind—and no one can take an open mind away from you (just FYI and bye-the-bye).

Thus I have ever linked (since childhood) freedom of thought and open-minded-ness as core to being a solid American citizen. Perhaps this is what Conservatives don’t understand about Liberal values? I dunno. To resume:

Capitalism’s emphasis on ownership is reasonable within the bounds of business. But what Marx so inconveniently pointed out was, that the bounds of business often ignored the bounds of decency or humanity. We see the ultimate metastasis of Civilization’s “Big C” in the morphing of the USA from a land of overall wealth, to a land of poverty, with a handful of billionaires.

Bad people will do a lot of things they oughtn’t do—that doesn’t force us to do likewise, nor should we mistake their behavior for ’leadership’. Wealth has, for too long, accorded unearned dignity and false brilliance to its random lottery-of-inheritance winners.

And let’s not forget those savage enough to claw their way up, from nothing. They made themselves rich—shouldn’t a role-model show people how to rise up as a group?

I get it—it’s a great accomplishment—no denying. But at my age, I’ve come to suspect that I have more fun, imagining wealth, without knowing about all the pain-in-the-ass details, than an actual Richie Rich enjoys his actual dollars. I could be wrong. But I’m not.

Ask anyone—they’ll assure you: Money is everything. Yeah, you buy food and pay rent with it—but not always. Some people grow their own food. Some people live in their cars. Money is big—real big. But stop brain-washing yourself—money is NOT everything. It is an invention—when it stops working, people will stop using it.

That’s probably going to be a lot messier. I mean, than if we don’t make a conscious choice to shift towards increased social-service and social-support programs while the dregs of the outdated C system are still chugging away.

Science Fiction always predicts a future without want or payment—a post-need society. Ask HR what they think of that idea—ask the SCOTUS, while you’re at it. Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek made it all seem so simple. But can we get there from here?

Truth Be Jammed (2020Mar30)

Monday, March 30, 2020                                        2:19 AM

Truth Be Jammed   (2020Mar30)

Abusing the freedom of expression so dear to this nation, the for-profit ‘info-tainment’ industry has become a predator of our national consciousness, introducing uncertainty where none truly exists, amping fear under the guise of offering guidance, and providing cover for true miscreants. This deluge of disinformation and misinformation must be viewed as parallel to shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater—indeed, it shouts ‘fire’ to the entire nation.

The British have seen this for the threat to their national interests which the for-profit ‘info-tainment’ industry represents—FoxNews has lost its permission to broadcast there. And clear reflection on their motives reveals their intentions to be counter to the free expression of all—it is a ‘jamming signal’ against the truth.

Their lawyers gleefully point to the difficulty of deciding between misguided opinion and purposeful disinformation—which would have settled things, back before these same sharks had created a database of criminally dangerous misinformation campaigns. Now we have archives of evidence.

H2O (2020Mar27)

Friday, March 27, 2020                                            4:16 AM

H2O   (2020Mar27)

Water is Life. Life is Water.

60% of the human body is water (H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158). Here’s the breakdown:

Brain and heart                   73% water

Lungs                                   83% water

Skin                                      64% water

Muscles and kidneys          79% water

Bones                                   31% water

Biologists often liken land animals’ bodies to ‘space-suits’ for their original ‘sea-ancestors’, evolutionarily speaking. I find evolution, and its implications, as breathtaking as photos from the Hubble. That eternal humping towards a Jerusalem of infinite potential in DNA, in Mitochondria, in Microbiology in general—it’s psychedelic, man. Personally, I didn’t really see it, until Joan Slonczewski’s books explicated it for me.

But microbiology as technology is, IMHO, the only way to approach climate change, or the mitigation of human impact on environment. If that can’t cut it, no amount of space travel is going to mean jack. But I’m addressing Water, or I should be.

Water is known in chemical settings as the Universal Solvent. It is an ingredient in most poisoning-remedies. It dissolves salts, sugars—even rocks, which gives us both our sandy beaches and our Grand Canyon. Water is the culprit who carries mineral deposits to your kidney and gall bladder.

Chemically, Water is also notable for being easily state-changed, from solid to liquid to gas, and back again (dew, for instance). Not surprisingly, the key Molecule in Life, has unique characteristics.

Chlorine, BTW, the most toxic chemical in our lives, has equally, but darker, unique qualities—which make it the most deadly molecule. Neal Stephenson wrote a wonderful eco-thriller novel about industrial misuse of Chlorine, “Zodiac”, which I recommend. But, again, I digress.

So, Water, as a beverage, is always encouraged. To excess, of course (are we not humans?) You can drink too much water, just as you can drink too little. Why is moderation the last thought that ever occurs to us humans? I can’t seem to stay on subject this evening>

I’ll try this again, later….

Out of the Way (2020Mar24)

Out of the Way   (2020Mar24)

Liberty and Equality are entirely

A matter of attitude.

Americans grasp that, in their cradles.

Facts, sadly, are the opposite.

Our attitude doesn’t faze the Facts.

The Facts are only altered

Through Thought and Action.

If our attitude blocks out the Facts,

Our Actions will fail.

If we can’t separate attitudes from

Our Facts, we will fail.

Thinking is part of survival.

If you don’t like to think of Facts,

Get the Hell out of the Way.

The Inquisition’s Auto-da-Fe

The Disgrace at the Head of Our Country (2020Mar23)

Monday, March 23, 2020                                                  11:11 PM

The Disgrace at the Head of Our Country   (2020Mar23)

Republicans just don’t know when to put their dicks away. It’s as if they’re locked into Bluster-only. They’ve completely lost sight of the ‘Public Service’ theme. Trump tries to restrain his third-world-dictator persona, with all his might, during his flabber-talk (daily, for some reason).

But it still seeps through. You can hear in his voice that his only interest is in bans, boundaries, and limits—his focus remains on personal control, not fixing the pandemic.

And his Senate buddies are like dogs, smelling large cash amounts in play, and unable to listen to commands! They’ve actually held up vital legislation, to make sure they all get a big bite. As usual, they are disgraceful—and worthless as leaders.

By comparison, State leaders and local systems are dealing with the threat in an exemplary manner. It’s marred only by the total void, where federal sources of aid would normally be—and these people have to work even harder, more admirably, because of the disgrace at the head of our country.

Small Gov Death Toll (2020Mar20)

Friday, March 20, 2020                                            12:55 AM

Small Gov Death Toll   (2020Mar20)

If there’s a big ‘silver lining’ to this medical massacre, it is the proof that our world can turn itself upside-down at the flick of a switch. Everything’s closed. Everything’s stopped. Whatever was a sure thing, last week, is a pipe-dream today. Whatever was debated, last week, is now known as fact—and we didn’t even have to prove Trump wrong. We just had to have people start dying.

But, to get back to my point, there is evidence here—evidence that our society is not static, nor locked into financial regulations—it is a living thing. And, being human, if we are offered a new path, we’ll tell the super-wealthy to go F themselves.

Humanity still has enough instinct to drop what they’re doing and flee from disease, hunkering in their homes, so long as Plague stalks the streets. Trump’s non-existent ‘leadership’ is highlighted by the many examples of it displayed by various state and local leaders, in all 50 states. Conservs wanted ‘small government’—here it is: 50 entities acting without any coordination. My only question is: Are we gonna call the mortality-total the ‘death-toll’ of the Virus—or the ‘death-toll’ of the Trump administration?

Those Hoaxing Democrats (2020Mar19)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by J Scott Applewhite/AP/Shutterstock (10337288m) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks as, from left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., listen during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, . President Donald Trump on Monday intensified his incendiary comments about the four Democratic congresswomen of color, urging them to get out if they don’t like things going on in America. They fired back at what they called his “xenophobic bigoted remarks” and said it was time for impeachment Democrats, Washington, USA – 15 Jul 2019

Thursday, March 19, 2020                                               2:18 AM

Those Hoaxing Democrats   (2020Mar19)

We see by the poor results of our Federal Government’s response to the recent viral pandemic (and thank god for competent state and local authorities) that American society is no longer reflected by Capitalism. Capitalism has gone from an engine-of-progress, to a small elite, willfully persecuting citizens—and fragmenting their communities.

These ‘elites’ have gone so far as to ‘rebut’ reality, in broad daylight. It’s their current system of public address. Trump and henchmen spent weeks, urging folks to mingle, to get out there and spend money in restaurants. Who knows how much worse they made this crisis?

And now, they ‘spring’ into action, accepting reality, as people die and hospitals fill—without any reference to their little tap-dance of the previous two weeks. O, don’t bother making a fuss about last week’s lies, or the week’s before—we’ve got all new misinformation for you, hot off the grill.

If you are not a dyed-in-the-wool, certified Geek like myself (I once made a living, writing code all day) you have no business confining your life to the tiny screen in front of you. Go talk to your friends for real—what’s the big deal? Or, if it wouldn’t kill you, you could even use a phone as a phone.

The elites let the chain-stores gut American small towns from coast to coast—you think they’re gonna change i-phones to make them safer? Why is social media a sniper’s nest for every psychopath with a conspiracy theory? Is it really impossible to regulate the internet, without strangling free-speech—or does that merely make the effort unprofitable?

After the Republicans finished urging citizens to gather together in public places (and spend money, of course) and claiming this pandemic was a ‘Democrat Hoax’, Trump and henchmen are finally acting as if there is a pandemic.

My favorite quote from all of this is possibly the most cogent argument against the sitting president anyone could possibly make—Trump: “I take responsibility for absolutely nothing.” And, no, that is not out of context. I would say it defines the present context.

China Envy (2020Mar17)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020                                        12:03 AM

China Envy   (2020Mar17)

I don’t care for the Media’s attempts to make us envy China’s pandemic response strategy. The Chinese herd and isolate their people like cattle. Of course, that’ll do it—if you don’t mind being in the herd.

The Chinese choose to live the way they do—just as we choose to live like Americans. We had a perfectly good American pandemic response strategy. Obama had everything ‘ready to roll’ at the first sign of viral threat. Obama’s Administration explained to the incoming Trump people what these emergency provisions were for—and told them to expect this kind of threat in the near future.

Trump was told. Trump was warned. Trump trashed it all—just ‘cause Obama built it. If you want to be mad at Trump, you have more than enough reason to. He’s still doing his best to F everything up—he’s probably tweeting right now. I’m certainly mad as hell.

If you want to be afraid of the pandemic—that too, comes well within the bounds of reason—be afraid—or just worry a lot, like I do.

But, for god’s sake, don’t start envying the Chinese!

What the hell is wrong with you people?!

I’m sick and tired of the Media encouraging the entire population to panic every time the world goes awry. Cowardice is not America’s ‘brand’—or, it didn’t used to be….

Otherwise Sensible People (2020Mar09)

Monday, March 09, 2020                                        3:56 PM

Otherwise Sensible People   (2020Mar09)

The media is supposed to perform a public service. They would, ideally, tell us exactly what is going on, where to go for help or answers, and exactly what the experts have said. Creating panic is not on that list—fear-mongering for ratings is Extremist Post-Ethics Capitalism in its naked form.

We see ‘professional’ shift in meaning—from mature-competence-and-responsibility to rapacious amorality—Capitalism’s eternally slippery slope adopts the fashion of fuck-yer-buddy as a logical path towards maximum profits. Reagan sold it well. But Trump is the perfect illustration of what eventually transpires in a Republican culture with ethical corner-cutting.

President Disgrace seems to have only one gear—and lying-one’s-ass-off is a particularly awkward tool to bring to a Health Crisis. It is fortunate that most Americans have had four years to learn to ignore everything he says—his psychotic blabberings in response to the Corona Virus emergency would have caused national panic, coming from a real president.

I’m an at-risk senior—Corona has come to Somers. Westchester County is, in fact, one of the worst loci on the East Coast.  I can face death. That’s not what bothers me.

What bothers me is President Impeached dismantled all the infrastructure built by Obama’s foresight. Obama got us through the Ebola outbreak completely unscathed. Obama saw the future and acted to shore up our health safeguards—with special ‘virus’-squads in the CDC, in Homeland, and with the Pentagon. Trump trashed all of that stuff—because Trump isn’t a responsible adult, much less a president. Trump has replaced Benedict Arnold as America’s Biggest Traitor. Trump betrays everything and everyone—it is his brand. It doesn’t surprise me at all, anymore. What continues to shock and amaze me is the favor he is still shown by otherwise sensible people.

Rashōmon (2020Mar01)

Sunday, March 01, 2020                                                    4:51 PM

Rashōmon   (2020Mar01)

Life in the world of Magic was interesting. Don’t mistake me—with great power comes great danger—it was by no means a quiet life—but Magic gave life a depth which it no longer has. But we are humans. We used it all up—didn’t we?

Shall I tell you the story of the last Magic? We know its worldly interpretation: “Song of Bernadette” (1945 – Twentieth Century Fox). But others know it as the Final Chapter of The Saga of the Last Blue Fairy, a ceremonial chorus last sung round an oak tree in 2005.

No one expects Magic to return, at these gatherings. They are an amalgam of respect for the past and mourning for an irreplaceable loss. Is it healthy or not, to remember that the world once had a deeper dimension to it? To regret the human nature that led to its absence?

Still, one fascinating aspect of the chanting of the Saga is that final chapter. When the last Blue Fairy was very old, nearing her Transit, and barely visible in daylight, she sensed a pocket of Life-Water, just beneath the ground in Massabielle, France. Risking her life, she exposed herself to a human girl—who, luckily, mistook her for one of their gods. But she dug up the virgin spring, releasing the Life-Water, which was all that mattered.

It was the last bit of Magic on Earth—and the Lady-Fairy of the Blues felt it only right to have the Magic depart with her, the last of her species. The humans flocked to it, as humans always do. In less than a year, it was pure water, like any other spring. We, the descendants of their human servants, still keep alive the memory of the Old World, the world of Magic and Fairies (and ‘gods’). We gather round the Old Oak, the big one. We have a bonfire, we have a dance, we chant the chant, we drink the mead. And we dream of better times, times when the Earth’s soul was still inviolate.

Science Debate (2020Feb27)

Thursday, February 27, 2020                                           11:37 AM

Science Debate   (2020Feb27)

The debate over the shape of the Earth has been a reliable measure of a person’s intellect, since Ancient Greece, when one guy remarked, “All you have to do is, watch a ship sink beneath the horizon, its mast-top the last thing to disappear, to know that our Earth is shaped liked an orange.” For millennia, well-educated flat-earthers could point out that, “If the world was round, why don’t we all fall off?” Thank goodness for Isaac Newton.

Claudius Ptolemaeus (c. AD 100 – c. 170) was quite certain the Earth was the center of the Universe. He invented the Ptolemaic System, which explained how all the planets (& the Sun) revolved around the Earth. His planets stopped in orbit, occasionally, to do a little dance-orbit, then continue on their ‘big’ orbit. Ptolemy made an assumption—he was geocentric.

“Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” by Galileo (1632) explained that all the planets ran in smooth orbits (and so did we) around the Sun. He was tried for heresy by the Inquisition (No one ever expects that, right?) and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life. But since he was the ‘father’ of modern science, he just continued doing experimental research.

Therefore, it took 1,500 years for someone to correct Ptolemy’s assumption—and people were so used to it, they threw the ‘snowflake’ in jail for life. Fortunately, the scientists that grew out of the Renaissance were more receptive to Galileo’s math… although the Vatican did issue an apology to Galileo, about ten years ago, or so.

Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939) would invent psychoanalysis, but he would wrap it up in his own emotional issues, using his assumption of male chauvinism as a given, rather than an artificial overlay on society. This assumption made Freud’s work an amalgam of his study of the mind, and the feelings of his heart—a mess that psychologists are still trying to straighten out, a century later. Freud made an assumption—he thought everyone was like him, in ways he didn’t think of.

This is all by way of saying: Science is a slow grind—and people are its worst enemy. Galileo was also influential in separating the arts from the new, ‘reproducible’ sciences—and some people, including me, are still not sure if that was the right move…

But Science is beside the point.

We are faced with a psycho who believes that if he repeats a lie long enough, it will become true—and millions of people who are rooting for him to get away with it. Science will not help you here.

We are faced with a Republican Senate that admitted, sotto voce, ‘Yeah, he did it all—of course he did it all.’—and then acquitted—as if what he did was not treasonously criminal, clumsy, and unacceptable. It was acceptable to the Republican Senate and they said, “Forget it—we don’t care.”

If one single GOP Nazi Traitor remains in office after their 2020 elections, this country has entirely lost its way—like a cute, cartoon mouse with a thousand lawyers, or a Pussy-Grabber in the Oval Office. Where’s Galileo when you need him?

What Are You Doing In Public Service? (2020Feb14)

Friday, February 14, 2020                                       7:33 AM

What Are You Doing In Public Service?   (2020Feb14)

I imagine right now the Republicans feel pretty much the same way the White Sox felt after they threw the Series, 101 years ago. See, the ‘Black Sox’ (as they came to be known) were just part of a culture of sports-bet fixing that had become endemic. The players assumed that this was acceptable behavior, because of the corruption all around them. They went out and got drunk on the money they were paid.

When a straight-up judge was appointed the first Baseball Commissioner, he ignored the legal acquittals of the players and banned them for life, ignoring life-long pleas for re-instatement. This seems harsh to some, but it resulted in restoration of public faith in our national pastime—and our common belief in the integrity of modern pro baseball games.

The Republicans have been doing the truth-denying, respect my authoritah, science-is-lying ‘thing’ for years—remember the ‘Tea Party’?—a simperingly-cute label for a regressive inversion of truth and logic never-before-seen. What a bunch of racist conspiracies against the plain truth! Those people made me want to start screaming—the blatant confidence of sheer dumb-assed-ness.

But I don’t think these intellectual cowards, these locked-in-their-own-self-interest morons, have yet become the majority of voters. I think people that miss a respected and powerful America (or human rights?) may vote for someone else….

And please don’t try to tell me that Trump deserves credit for the fantastic Obama-fix of our economy—which he did nothing but ‘F’ with. Trump has been an out-in-the-open criminal (while Republicans spent the last four years pretending he was fine) destroying, dismissing, or demeaning every American value he can get his hands on. And while his leadership results are in the high negatives, his practical effect on our country has been nil—his accomplishments remain entirely on Twitter. His advisors remain in jail.

But isn’t AG Barr the cute one? He may actually believe that if you BS in the right tone of voice, no one will question it—but I find him neck-and-neck with King Ubu. Never before has anyone accepted that post on the understanding that his job will be to prevent the law.

Now, I don’t blame the media, per se—they are the fully-owned creatures of about four rich fuckers (tops—might be two). But they do abet the charade by pretending Republicans aren’t blowing it out their assholes, every time they respond to serious allegations against any of those traitorous scumbags.

I have taken a cue from my wife, who stopped watching TV news after the 2016 election. Rachel Maddow is remarkable by contrast with all the rest of it—a lone voice of reason and research—but sometimes even she is reduced to following the peer-telephone up BS creek.

So we have no social grapevine, like Johnny Carson or All In The Family, that can assure we’re all on the same page. We certainly have no Murrow, or Cronkite, to give us all the straight poop. We have to develop judgement of our own. We have to learn to look at rich people and ask, “What the fuck are you doing in public service, now that you’re old and out-of-shape? You think you’re a good leader because you’re used to giving orders? Get tha Fuck outta here!”

We Assumed Victory (2020Feb11)

Tuesday, February 11, 2020                                             5:08 AM

We Assumed Victory   (2020Feb11)

Americans have always fought with each other. We fought with (and about) the Native Americans. We fought with those who thought we should be ruled. We fought with those who thought we should accept faith as law. We fought with those who thought we should accept prejudice. We fought with those who thought we should disrespect women. And none of these fights have ended.

Ever since we showed up here and started stealing their home, we have been entirely cold-blooded about slaughtering the indigenous people—and whoever survived the slaughter is treated, even today, as less than a person. Just this week, Traitor Trump decided to dynamite their sacred site to install a section of border wall.

Traitor Trump also demonstrated the flim-flam at the heart of organized religion when, at last week’s prayer breakfast, he questioned the “part about loving your enemies… I don’t know…” I’d quote the full sentence, if he ever talked in full or finished sentences.

The cowardice of the truly prejudiced is evident in the notion that a border, lain open for centuries, suddenly needs a steel barrier to protect us from the brown people. Traitor Trump is manifestly a troubled sicko.

Traitor Trump displays his disrespect for women most incisively by bringing his third wife, an Eastern European émigré, to the White House and somehow convincing her that First Lady isn’t a real job, and she needn’t bother fulfilling that role. But, mind, that’s only the tippy top of a humongously long list of panic attacks our Dear Traitor suffers over the thought of female empowerment.

So America has a new image. The home of the constant battle against ignorance, the land where ignorance is funded by the wealthy. Come the ‘80s, we were so close to winning the culture war (because it was a war against ignorance) that we assumed victory would just amble along. But ignorance is a tool of the wealthy—and Trump has made it a power-tool. And with last week’s Senate vote-of-denial, ignorance has regained the upper hand.

Big Picture (2020Feb06)

Thursday, February 06, 2020                                           10:54 PM

Big Picture   (2020Feb06)

Can we take a step back? Consider: All of the Republican’s/Trump’s tactics are based on circumventing the will of the majority. An honest election would be a fatal blow to the Right.

Thus the lying, the conspiracy theories, the phone-line-clogging, the e-mail hacking, the randomly false accusations, the extorting of Ukraine, etc.—the Republican Party virtually admits that they are opposed to Democracy, in both practice and theory.

No wonder their darling is a convicted fraud, who can’t speak without dishonesty mixing in with his ignorance. No wonder several of his closest associates are now in prison, for working with him. No wonder the Republican Party has had to historically disgrace itself, to keep up with him.

This is corruption and decline, pure and simple. Cable news seemed a good idea, at first. Now, its format is a proven stress-inducer—and all mental-health authorities recommend against watching that crap.

Political satirist have thrown up their hands, complaining that nothing they could invent comes close to the Dali-esque quality of Republican fact-alternatives and denied truths. Now, that may seem like a merely ironic nugget among the deluge of bad news—but again, Consider:

People whose job it is to exaggerate the issues-of-the-day to their most-ludicrous extremes—are being outdone by straight-faced, angry Republicans. Hate crimes have soared. The news reports that ‘everyone is happy with the economy’—but no one asked me, or my neighbors.

So, what are we voting for, when we vote Republican? Dishonesty? Criminality? Tax breaks for the rich? Nothing I’m wanting, that’s for sure….

We’re Wise (2020Feb06)

Thursday, February 06, 2020                                           2:38 AM

We’re Wise   (2020Feb06)

I’ll tell you what happens if you watch too much stand-up: you stop laughing. The point of stand-up is to tell the truths that everyone else just naturally avoids saying. Whether we haven’t been clever enough to have seen life from that perspective, or if we’ve just avoided facing reality that objectively, the stand-up’s job is to rub something surprising in our faces.

As soon as I, the viewer, get the least bit tired, I start to hear stand-up as a litany of bitter truths—uncomfortable facts, being dwelt on for far too long. Comedy has to be a relaxation—people under strain aren’t prone to laugh.

I have become an expert in the overdoing of things. As a sick, old dude I have spent the last twenty years in bed, getter worse instead of better. As my activities become, year by year, ever more conscribed by failings in mind and body, the few occupations left to me have a tendency to get overused.

TV has to be at the top of that list. No other activity so perfectly matches a lazy blob. But now, I’m hypersensitive to bad TV—particularly any talking-head-type show where the agenda is the sponsor, not the journalism. I saw Edward R. Murrow on TV, myself—I don’t appreciate an entire channel devoted to lying.

At eight years old, I saw my favorite president get shot in the head—and his brains rolled off the trunk and into the fucking street. So I can handle Republican traitors, like those faithless Senators that voted a lie today. Come November, we’ll see just how far these oath-breaking dick-heads get, now that we’re wise to’em.

More recent FB Posts:

The Repumpsters are traitors–their agenda is to destroy the fed. govt.

With Trump as POTUS, yes, the obese addicted racist hate-broadcaster gets the PMOF

Disappointment Is My Only Friend (2020Feb03)

Monday, February 03, 2020                                             5:16 AM

Disappointment Is My Only Friend   (2020Feb03)

I was disappointed with the Media, when they made Trump a celebrity as a fat-cat who enjoyed saying “You’re fired!”—and even more famous as the spokesman for that racist ‘birther’ conspiracy theory.

I was disappointed with the Republicans, when they allowed him to run on their ticket—even though the only thing Trump has in common with them is that he is corrosive to human progress.

I was disappointed (first) by McConnell, when he went full racist, and denied a hearing for Obama’s SCOTUS pick.

I was immensely disappointed in the electorate, when they voted by the millions for that transparent, idiotic fraud, Trump—and even more disappointed in the Electoral College, which failed in being our failsafe against grossly unfit candidates who bamboozle the voters.

I was disappointed in Mueller’s ‘Special Investigation’, which was hardly what I would call ‘special’, or professional, for that matter. I was disappointed at the lack of outcry against the caging of child refugees, separate from their parents’ cages.

I was disappointed by the Senate recent admissions, both that they wouldn’t deny Trump’s criminality any longer, but that they would vote not to give a crap. Brett Kavanaugh, I think we can agree, was and remains a disappointment to us all.

So here I am, in the land of my birth, surrounded by people who don’t understand what America stands for—people who can’t even spot a flim-flam man when he’s laughing right in their faces. I’ve lost faith in the institutions, the communications, and the educations of my homeland.

I fear I now live in a greed-fueled slaughter-house, with an American flag pasted on the front of it, pretending we haven’t changed. Serious, straightforward issues, such as refuge, income inequality, gun violence, and climate disruption, are being ignored, while we discuss whatever simple-minded garbage our Networks and Platforms toss at us. They can’t resist Trump—because he’s a fount of simple-minded garbage.

I know that Americans can get mad. I know that great injustice, properly presented, can make every American rise and march as one. My greatest disappointment, I guess, is that I’ve yet to experience that reaction to our present political disaster. Why do we still find this mini-stroke mobster an acceptable head of state?

Ray of Sunshine (2020Feb02)

Sunday, February 02, 2020                                              1:28 AM

Ray of Sunshine   (2020Feb02)

If we had sensible legislation, McConnell would have been jailed as soon as he swore to refuse any compromise and kill any legislation, for so long as he helmed the Senate. That kind of mindless, partisan obstructionism has no place in that (formerly) august body.

When he guaranteed the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial, before it began and in contradiction of the oath he was due to swear, he publicly disgraced himself in the same way. And this nonsense about not allowing any evidence into the trial—ha! Justice prevails, right?

So we have this confessed gangster as president, being tried by a bunch of fatuous cry-babies whose own sense of entitlement is threatened by their responsibility to remove such a publicly-corrupt disgrace from office. So, they’re not gonna do it—easy answer. Easy, that is, for a self-deluded traitor and waste of breath.

Never before in our history could there have been such a multitude which that epithet covered—POTUS, VP, the entire Cabinet (but especially Barr & Pompeo), more than half of all Senators, less than half of all Congresspersons, a couple of SCOTUS judges….

Then there’s the problem of the one-quarter of the voters who are actually ridin’ this guy’s crazy-train all the way to the end of the line. They are the real problem. Decades of Republican, dog-whistling divisiveness has created a bubble-land for these people to live in: a private info-feed of disinformation ‘news’, scary stories to keep them from mingling with other perspectives or cultures—even white nationalist clubs to join.

America has been ripped from our hands by liars and frauds. The Democratic party is a disgrace—but even their wishy-washy adherence to the Constitution, and the human rights it points towards, would be a ray of sunshine in the midst of Trump’s flushing of the whole thing down the crapper.

Throwing It Away (2020Jan31)

Friday, January 31, 2020                                          6:19 AM

Throwing It Away   (2020Jan31)

Democracy requires a modicum of common sense—not much, but some. I see now that the United States of America has exceeded its quota of assholes. We no longer have a sufficient number of people intelligent enough to execute a public office, rather than abuse it.

The Impeachment power should work without any problem. But when the President is an asshole—and the VP is an asshole—and the Attorney General is an asshole—and every Republican Senator is a righteous asshole—well, even our beloved Founding Fathers could never have imagined such a corrupt, fucked-up pack of crooks being elected into office, by the People.

The Democrats, usually the still, small voice of reason (comparatively) are being joined by a disillusioned Russian gangster and a nuke-crazy, war-monger Republican who didn’t get the memo about ABL (Always Be Lying). Which means that even the craziest Tea-Party zealot, should they be afflicted with chronic honesty, is having trouble singing along with the choir, at this point.

Unfortunately, as I’ve said, we’ve exceeded our quota. Our ratio of decent citizens to assholes has tipped over to equal that of the rankest, third-world, war-torn ass-end of the earth you could name. This is only partially due to the fuck-ups with ‘public education’ and ‘student-loan-slavery’. It’s mostly due to Americans becoming gigantic assholes, disrespecting all the social justice and enlightened inclusion our forebears worked so hard for, sacrificed so much for.

And we assholes are just throwing it away. O, and we’re letting them fry the planet too—but who cares?

Full Faithlessness & Void (2020Jan28)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020                                                1:28 AM

Full Faithlessness & Void   (2020Jan28)

So, this Impeachment Trial has got to be high-water Trump, right? Have we not reached the peak, the acme of the ridiculous? Manifest guilt spelled out by Dems. All Trump’s-greatest-hits Lies in rebuttal—for 3 days, no less—talk about wading in BS….

Public servants used to have the decency to recognize when a lie was simply too transparent to be supported. Simpler times, smarter folks…

I was pleased to see Liz Warren announce her new platform plank—the undoing of all Trump’s mischief is as important as any new business or plan the candidates might have. Trump’s term has been a hasty retreat to a more ignorant outlook—and it has given the haters tremendous hope and encouragement.

The Senate is fortunate that America has become so slothful. Most of us real Americans are just one more dishonest disappointment away from going to Washington, DC—not to protest, but to wipe those traitors off the face of the earth. Mitch McConnell deserved it when whoever-it-was did that to his fucked-up face—but it’s nothing compared to his full faithlessness and void, on the inside.

My recent FB posts:

(These may be confusing, all lumped together like this, but each post was a release of anger and frustration and moral outrage—complete with color backgrounds—on a particular bit of idiotic injustice each day. It’s impossible to recreate that here.)

Trump breaks laws, sure–but a Senate that votes to let him– That breaks the country.

By smearing Biden at Trump’s trial, the Republicans aren’t just acquitting the charge, they’re joining the conspiracy

He’s always guilty—he likes to be guilty. The pretense of Trump’s innocence is beneath any serious adult.

What’s the upshot here? That Crime is good TV, but Justice is too boring to watch?!

Republicans represent the one-percent. Their politics consist of misleading the other 99%.

Soon a cabal of white-collar gangsters will vote to take their fair share of blame for Trump’s corruption.

The Dems’ 3 days were the more interesting of the 2. Truth is stranger than fiction

Well, they sure ripped into those Democrats! Too bad they forgot to rebut Trump’s Impeachment…

Are we supposed to watch the lawyers until they’re finished? (& Why?)

Did the defense just brag about the successful obstruction of the Mueller report, as evidence?!

News reports Trump won’t believe this or that. What about us, who don’t believe Trump?

Republican liars are all over the Sunday talk shows, talking very fast–but saying nothing…

Yo, Mitch: Flouting the law is only safe until the guy next to you decides to copy you….

So, as you can tell, I’m mad. I suspect there are a lot of people that are just as furious as I am about this open corruption and dishonesty in every Republican-held office. The worst is how they grub and scratch to find some little e-mail-mistake that they can run with, damning the Dems for imperfection. Talk about hypocrites!

The Media isn’t actually ‘in on it’—they’re simply too greedy and simple-minded to care what damage their ‘coverage’ does to the social fabric.

I’m also mad at the Dems—they have been consistently ineffective and have failed to fully face every challenge this century.

The Republicans are tearing apart what we understand to be ‘Liberty & Justice’ and turning it into a Pay-as-you-go Disneyland recreation of the America we once knew.

I guess, considering what people are, we’re lucky the USA lasted as long as it did, in its ‘dreaming’ stage….

Things Heard In Passing CNN: (2020Jan23)

Thursday, January 23, 2020                                              9:53 AM

Things Heard In Passing CNN:   (2020Jan23)

After all, many of these Republican Senators will be hearing this information for the first time.” (If these Senators have refused to stay current on an issue they don’t like—right up until ‘D-Day’—that’s on them. Dereliction is no Defense.)

The House Managers had better not be too derogatory—they’ll need at least some of these Republicans to vote with them, eventually.” (This reminds me of back when the ‘deplorable’s didn’t like their new nickname—too on the nose. We don’t need to sweet-talk the Republicans—we’ll be lucky if we can shame them into voting their conscience.)

In general, Democrats have been criticized for being too unfeeling towards the Republicans—calling them bigots, dupes, idiots. But I feel that they are equally at fault, for giving us good cause to describe them as bigots, dupes, and idiots. We would not be so rude, if those words were not so accurate.

Likewise, “Democrats have been trying to Impeach Trump since he took office.” That is only true because, even as a candidate, Trump was a confessed con-artist and pervert, and entirely unfit for the office. Democrats didn’t so much ‘run against him’ as beseech voters not to be so fully taken in by an obviously amoral creep.

And intelligence reports concerning Trump’s cabal’s connections to Putin and the GRU pre-dated Trump’s inauguration. So, it’s pure spin to complain that Trump has been under scrutiny his entire presidency. Yes, we’ve wanted to see him gone since day one, but—again—Trump, Barr, McConnell, et. al. are equally at fault, for giving us good cause to need Trump impeached and removed, from day one.

The Republicans would like to portray this Trial as the high-tide of some Democrat frame-up. That would be so much easier if they could refute any of the points on the House Managers’ timeline.

And still, CNN talks about “Is anyone listening to the Democrat’s message, yet?” That is such bullshit. They somehow equate ‘professionalism’ with lacking the balls to confirm an obvious fact, just so long as a single yahoo under the sun debates the point.

There is a distinction between preference and proof. You can belong to the Flat-Earth Society—but that only proves something about you—it doesn’t prove your preference.

Indebting Our Young Collegians (2020Jan13)

Monday, January 13, 2020                                                10:44 PM

Indebting Our Young Collegians   (2020Jan13)

Armchair politicians like to snipe at Clinton’s Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell policy, here in the future. Back then, it was radical, it was the best he could get, and he took it rather than let it go.

This idea that our elected government is something we should gossip about and re-hash, rather than something which we are informed about, or not, is a very entitled, viewer-centric concept of our elected and appointed officials. That kind of perception makes it easy for the loudest voice to steer the narrative—and is hardly how civilized, intelligent people conduct themselves.

Infotainment, in general, is a Capitalist scourge that runs counter to every ideal but profit. It has empowered the corrupt and the dishonest—so long as their job title is newsworthy, any nonsense they spout will be repeated and legitimized by the media. I can think of one very prominent example.

America should not be falling apart, economically and socially—that’s just poor leadership. We should be flowering with innovation, welcoming immigrants, and daring to reach for challenges equal to that of our ancestors. We should not be under the sway of senile fat-cats—we should be taxing them. We should not be indebting our young collegians, we should be empowering them. When did America re-institute fucking slavery?

Every Damn Day (2020Jan07)

Tuesday, January 07, 2020                                                6:19 PM

Every Damn Day   (2020Jan07)

C-SPAN2 is underutilized—Non-Americans would have fits of laughter if this was streamed as a comedy series. The more partisan the Republican, the more hilarious the character is. It’s not that they are all poseurs—it’s that they are all so awkwardly, transparently poseurs.

We must admire the effectiveness of the Doubt Factories—they have paralyzed reform of any kind, in our nation for nigh-on fifty years, maybe more. The drawback is that our Conservatives are now living in a fact-denying bubble. All their unacceptable truths are blamed on the Left Wing Democrats, who are ‘just making it all up’.

It allows Republicans to speak idiocy with a straight face. Worse, it allows Republicans to become too comfortable with denying uncomfortable truths. The number and importance of denied facts has accrued to a startling dogpile—which now includes: defending a treasonously criminal POTUS.

These SenatoTrumpers have crossed the line. Their rabble-rousing might have worked in a darker time, say the 1930s, but I have been annoyed. If I have to be annoyed, so do these soft-soaping, hypocritical pick-pockets infesting our federal government.

There’s a reason they don’t allow Free Speech in many other countries—if a little guy like me gets really annoyed, he might just bitch on his blog—every damn day—for the rest of his life. And who knows? Someone might read it.

Don’t Get Me Started (2020Jan05)

Sunday, January 05, 2020                                        3:10 AM

Don’t Get Me Started   (2020Jan05)

As a child, I had a skewed notion of what the world was like—I was assuming that it all, pretty much, matched our house and our family dynamic—and later on, our TV shows. My context of ‘the world’ has been broadened ever since, almost daily.

I know now that I can write nothing about which people will fail to have strong views. Anything I say will loved by some, hated by others—though my purpose is merely to avoid tedium or banality.

I started writing out my personal opinions and posting them on my blog several years ago. I had a great deal to say, at first. Now, I find it hard to say what I mean. Years of expressing myself have taught me that what I want and what is true are two different things—just as what I write may differ from what you read.

I’ve been thinking big-picture, you know? That thing with Viet Nam and the Pentagon Papers coming to light—all of us learning that the government had been sending boys to die over there, without any belief that their sacrifice would have value.

It was shocking and disgusting—our government failed spectacularly in their main job: to serve the people—and got thousands needlessly killed, maimed, and wounded in the process. Not to mention the pile of money they could just as well used to make a bonfire.

Nowadays, of course, when they tell us the same thing about Afghanistan and Iraq, we hardly blink an eye. It’s no different—it’s just as shocking and disgusting—it’s just not a surprise anymore.

Likewise, women couldn’t vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, one hundred years ago. Why (or How) women were seen as fit to raise children, but too feeble-minded to cast a vote, up until 1920—is hard to figure.

Nevertheless, women’s legal rights did not suddenly become equal to men’s. Margaret Sanger opened a birth-control clinic in 1916 and was promptly arrested, charged with ‘distribution of contraceptives’. Our ‘Comstock Laws’ lumped contraceptives in with dirty pictures and sex toys—and the birth-control and family-planning movements were major legal opponents of those who supported Comstock laws.

The 1950s discovery of the birth-control pill transformed the debate into a business transaction, giving contraceptives a reformed reputation among true capitalists. In the 1960s, it suddenly occurred to men that baby-proofed women might be fun. And by the 1970s, women had had it up to here.

Then you had Ruth Ginsburg and her 270 laws-discriminating-by-sex she got overturned, repealed, whatever. And I just watched a movie about the lawyer lady “Saint Judy” who, just recently, fought to have our Asylum Courts recognize ‘Women who fight for women’s rights’ as valid refugee-status claimants. This ended a terrible ‘dead-end’ for women at risk, but it is not the end of fatuous laws that enforce gender inequality (or binary-gender identities, for that matter).

You see where I’m going with this, right? Our government starts wars for no damn good reason—that’s insane. Our government has tried to shackle women for centuries—and still resists their full equality—and that’s also insane.

The Catholic Church, it turns out, has been normalizing and promoting pederasty, in addition to spreading the faith, in every Catholic country on Earth—for centuries. Apparently, forcing celibacy on people is unnatural—and invites a certain type of mental-health issue into those unnatural ranks.

The movie “Spotlight” made clear that pederasts have always been—and still are—in every Catholic Diocese, domestic or foreign—and that local civil authorities sometimes became entangled in the conflict between reputation and scandal, helping the church hide this corruption.

I remember being under the nuns’ care during childhood CCD classes—and encountering a priest or two after the children’s masses. They were definitely a hinky bunch, but my interactions always involved fear of cruelty—the clergy of St. Martin of Tours were really mean. Nobody ever made me feel like I was being intimately accosted—with our nuns, it was more like being attacked.

It’s odd to look back on that terror and think, I was one of the lucky ones—it’s ironic without being at all funny. Catholic priests, sadly, are not even the whole story. Sandusky’s Second-Mile scandal, and USA Girls Gymnastics Dr. Nassar’s scandal, make it clear that anyone teaching, training, or working closely with young people, as a profession, need (and should expect) much more monitoring by a third-party—a quality control, if you will.

To me, it all paints a picture of a society dumb enough to poison the Earth until we all die. We’re not done yet, no—but we’re well into it. Besides Greta, nobody seems to give a fuck—which makes us suicidally stupid. The only realistic public figures in our time are two teenagers, Malala & Greta. Ms. Yousafzai has actual grown past her teens, fighting for women’s right to education.

My problem is that these institutions, these pillars of our society, are all garbage. We continually try to push aside or abuse women, to ignore or abuse children—when women and children are the only things that have any real value (and I’ll grudgingly include men). Our TVs try to tell us that we got nothing more important to do than lay back and stare at the screen.

These ‘heads of state’ who make the Middle East a sandbox for their wargames and power-grabs and terrorist recruiting—and their opposites in the ‘free world’—love to point at a military ‘outbreak’ and shout, “Look! This takes precedence! Forget about everything else, until we’re done shooting—or talking about shooting.”

So don’t get me started on habitat-loss or population-doubling or acid oceans or economic-inequality—we are extremely close to proving that, as a group, as a species, we are too stupid to live.

If only we didn’t waste all our careful planning on profits and threat-scenarios, we might come up with some real great ideas—what with all the computers and new tech and all. But money and arms are all that matter, right? The ones with all the gold make all the rules?

And what about us patient liberals? Are we supposed to feel good about being right, when the proof is the whole world joining Australia in general conflagration? Are we supposed to respect people that lie to our faces? Are we supposed to watch news that promotes these liars? Why should we participate in this riot of ignorance and irresponsibility?

The Quick Fix (2019Dec20)

Friday, December 20, 2019                                               3:01 AM

The Quick Fix   (2019Dec20)

Once, late last century, our office went non-smoking. This was a major shift in the business environment. Before anti-smoking groups lobbied for clean-air environments in bars, restaurants, and workplaces, every office had been a fog bank of cigarette smoke.

This was a perfect environment for a heavy smoker like me—I didn’t notice the stink or the lung irritation—I even let the kids hang out in my office. It was, obviously, a different time.

That all changed in the 1990s. Suddenly, I was expected to sit at my computer all day long without smoking. I panicked. I said, “Look, why don’t we just keep my office at the end of the hall, as a smoking area?” They said sure, and I was able to keep my environment cozy.

As days went by, other smokers found reasons to visit my office and, of course, have a smoke or two while we talked. It wasn’t long before my office became a crowded place—with smoke so thick it crept down the hall on little cat feet.

Luckily, the end of the hall is also where the back door was, so we changed the smoking area to ‘outside the back door’, and I got used to nicotine patches and exterior lounging. Change is the only constant.

I’ve been thinking about Capital. Karl Marx, who couldn’t spell it right, still found several glaring problems with the whole system of property and ownership. And that was before it became the bloody hell-scape it is today.

Long ago, the fight for freedom was a fight against the idea that people are born subject to another, against the idea of owning another. Now things are more subtle.

Today, we are born free. And the wealthy stand ready to sell us everything we were born free of. They’ll even loan us money—as long as we make regular payments, and keep our underpaid, unfair jobs, and pay taxes (for ourselves and the wealthy, too—they don’t pay taxes).

The framers lived in a world where one could fly off into the woods, kill the local natives, and scratch out a private kingdom with one’s bare hands. But we live in a world where you’re not allowed to kill the people that own everything. In fact, the cops pretty much work for them.

That seems very unfair to me. But, because I once created a crowded smoking section in my own office, I’m always very careful about offering my solutions. But, bottom line, their world had farmers and hunters. Our world has lawyers and traders. Pretending money and government don’t mix in our present-day democratic self-government is the blithest of hypocrisies, and desperate wishful-thinking on the part of the wealthy.

Grand Old Party in Bad Faith (2019Dec06)

Friday, December 06, 2019                                               10:22 PM

Grand Old Party in Bad Faith   (2019Dec06)

Once Nixon resigned, the Republicans were in pretty bad odor, for a political party—between the Pentagon Papers, Nixon’s Enemies-List, & Watergate, their opposition to civil rights and women’s lib looked less like Conservatism and more like Racism and Misogyny. Scofflaw bigots don’t get many votes.

So, with Reagan began the Era of Republican BS. We find ourselves surprised by the fact that Nixon created the EPA—that’s how long it’s been since the Republicans have acted in a truly bipartisan spirit.

With Reagan came denial of the AIDS crisis, support for Extremist Evangelicals, deregulation of Banks, and the whole Iran-Contra scandal—a refutation of bipartisanship that has only grown with time. When Bush-41 came in, he made it abundantly clear that businesses (especially his friends’ businesses) took precedence over the will of the people.

When Clinton came in, they spent years impeaching him for a blow-job—as if the rest of Washington, D.C. were a pack of virginal choirboys—these are Republicans, remember. Hypocrisy jumped the shark with the Clinton Impeachment.

Need I enumerate the iniquities of Bush-43? Can’t we just leave it at: Allowed 9/11, Started first by-mistake War, Didn’t catch one terrorist in two terms, Caused financial crash? That was followed by Obama’s eight years, which displayed Republicans as bigots, liars (birtherism), and actors in bad faith (demonizing the ACA).

So this is a steadily rising tide of Republican hypocrisy, dishonesty, bigotry, misogyny, and bad faith. It attracts and unites some of the worst, most un-American citizens of this nation (not to mention small-time crooks) and picks as its leader the slimiest, cruelest, most dishonest among them: Trump.

And now Trump Tweets: “I don’t believe Nancy prays for me.” Talk about transference!  Charlie Manson’s cult of personal loyalty only had about a dozen. Jim Jones’ cult of personal loyalty only had a few hundred. But Trump’s followers number in the millions. It is the most successful attack on the US Government since Pearl Harbor.

And now some ‘moderate Democrats’ are talking about ‘alternatives to removal’! Sometimes I just wanna slap somebody….

Busy Work (2019Nov30)

Saturday, November 30, 2019                                          5:20 PM

Busy Work   (2019Nov30)

Usually, when someone admits to a crime, we don’t spend six months holding hearings before sending it to ‘trial’ (in the Senate, no less). It only happens because the Office of the Presidency is so important. However, to hear the ferocious spin of the Republicans, one can’t help but think they’re furiously trying to convince themselves that Trump is innocent, while they admire him for doing it. I’m sure there’s an explanation for Republicans, but I’m also sure it’s a tawdry, tragic tale—and I don’t want to hear it.

The way Trump’s disdain for our country mirrors Putin’s aggression toward us is a warning in itself. A high-tech society can’t be populated by unseasoned illiterates with no respect for details, maintenance or nuance. The world is too complicated to be run by a stupid bully.

I would not want to be a political leader in 2020. Seven billion people is not something you want to piss off. Especially now that we’ve broken the thermostat. They’ll be cranky enough.

We all know that not all grown-ups are adults. It’s time for the real adults to get scared enough to involve themselves. The human race needs enlightened leadership to replace the ancient power-foci, to get us all working together, to take care of all of us as well as we do the best of us. We have grown too powerful and too numerous for any other avenue of long-term survival.

To see this oneself, to feel the urgency—it makes these media match-ups of Dems Vs. Reps seem like glaring negligence only slightly less onerous than the President’s and his coterie’s. Nunes’ behavior is unacceptable—never has anyone so publicly committed to his role as lapdog—except perhaps Barr.

So I am torn between exhorting my fellow beings to face the future like sci-fi protagonists and despairing of my fellow humans for so seriously indulging in the busy-work which we solemnly call ‘The Impeachment Hearings”. O, if only we could all agree that the jack-ass is guilty, and move on—it would give me hope for mankind.

But then, I’ve forgotten—I’ve given up on ‘hope’ in humanity—we really are so repulsive, sometimes. These days, I run on pure optimism, just because optimism is better for my mental health. I no longer kid myself that my acute interest in current events and my burning passion for ‘goodness’ are both eating away at everyone else’s mind, as they do me.

But that is the most important part, don’t you see? People can’t live on small farms anymore—we’ve souped the whole thing up. So now, through a largely uncoordinated effort, the Earth supplies food, water, clothes, and shelter to seven-billion people, instead of the two-million, tops, that could sustain themselves without tech.

I ask you to consider what it meant to be human, pre-tech, pre-population-explosion, pre-pollution. Those days are gone for good. (If we keep ourselves from savagery.) The placidity and comfort of a life that asks nothing more than a hard day’s work (and a shorter life-expectancy) is becoming impossible to find. We’re having trouble getting kids to look up from their phones.

When evil strikes, and we seek solutions—we now have to worry about changing what it means to be human—CRSPR-stuff, surveillance-states, corporate autonomy superceding the human-rights of employees and/or consumers, etc.

We must then face the fact that we have already changed some of the most fundamental things about being human: a walking pace, the problem of solitude, our vulnerability to nature and biology, and our assumption that the greatest number of people have the most force. There’s a big list, but I won’t get distracted by detail. And so we see that we enter an age where we will be deciding how to consciously ‘define’ humanity. And the big question is: Do you want the idle, greedy rich to make those future choices? Or would you rather we all had a say? That is what makes Democracy more important today than it has ever been.

A Flat Denial of the Nose on One’s Face (2019Nov27)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019                                              3:01 AM

A Flat Denial of the Nose on One’s Face   (2019Nov27)

I think what I miss most of all is the shared-reality world of pre-9/11. After the WTC attack, I clearly remember being afraid for my own country. It had nothing to do with the terrorists—I was afraid of what Americans would do.

It became clear that this was an attack by a small group of criminals, with contacts throughout the Middle East—but with no specific government behind them. They staged from Afghanistan—and were linked to the Taliban.

The Taliban were once called the Mujahideen, back when they were being invaded by the Soviet Union—and we were only too happy to arm them and train them to fight the Reds for us. We didn’t mind the Taliban’s sharply uber-orthodox form of Islam—in fact, it fit right in with our own, Cold-War-heightened support of organized faiths.

I’m sure the Soviets just wanted the real estate—but it is nonetheless true that they imposed draconian limits on religions and their clergy (when they allowed them at all). But, once they were beaten back by Afghanis with US-supplied arms, the USA promptly lost Afghanistan’s number—a major example of where a stitch in time could have saved nine.

Had we continued funding the Afghanis’ recovery and modernization, with even a tenth of the money we’d spent arming them, the Taliban would never have taken flying lessons. But that’s all milk under the dam.

What had me scared, back then, was knowing that Americans saw this (as Bin Laden had intended) as an attack from the Middle East in general—and we would not be satisfied with an unsuccessful manhunt for an individual—we needed to declare war on a major Middle Eastern nation.

This was the beginning of all the Republican’s bare-faced lying (and the backing up of each others’ bare-faced lying). Bush-43 claimed there were WMDs in Iraq. Bush claimed links between Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. Journalists started seeing inconsistencies between our shared reality, and Bush’s wish-fulfillment filter of ‘things as they are’.

Bush’s tenure would continue to tend a garden of Republican zombie-lies, which would continue, through the Obama terms, as shrewish rumor-mongering and the most thinly-veiled racism of any party ever. But that was all just warm-up for the piece de resistance –Trump’s 24-hour Lie-cycle, and the Greek chorus of Senators who hear nothing, see nothing, and say nothing.

Now, granted, the media makes it far too easy for the Republicans to play these games with the truth—and the fact that their bullshit is working on millions of Americans must, also, encourage them to think there may be some sanity to lying-as-a-long-term-plan.

But it should be clear to these people, who so blithely manipulate people themselves, that all it takes is a well-placed sound-bite or two. Suddenly, the entire country will see Trump and McConnell, et. al. as I see them: opportunists who are very clever at bending rules, but hollowed-skulled when it comes to big-picture, long-term stuff—like America.

So, I dream of a near future where Conservatives and Fat Cats once again have the decency to see a flat denial of the nose on one’s face as a bridge too far—as it used to be, and always will be for folks of common sense and goodwill.

Mental Health (2019Nov24)

Sunday, November 24, 2019                                            11:02 PM

Mental Health   (2019Nov24)

Aren’t Trump & Nunes & McConnell & Barr & Pompeo & Giuiliani (& Republicans in general) pushing a little too hard to sell their fairy tales? Are we supposed to see them as anything other than treasonous gangsters? They’re not Conservatives. Conservatives don’t pull this shit. They’re not Evangelicals. Evangelicals don’t pull this shit.

And they sure ain’t ‘businessmen’—they’re not even good at being crooks. They talk like criminals. They act like traitors.

And cable news keeps lending them the patina of legitimacy—as in: they wouldn’t keep broadcasting this creep if he was really just telling lies, would they?

I see Fox News has a new ad: “America is Watching”—and whenever I see it, I mentally add “(We’re only banned in Great Britain)”.

It took me losing my own mental health to realize just how stupid people are. Before, I simply couldn’t imagine the levels of dullness and willful ignorance on which the human race operates. Now that I accept the truth about people, I can relax.

It seems that my upset was merely a matter of expecting too much. I couldn’t understand why civilization was such a worthless, filthy mess—but I get it now—and I’m going to let go of all my stress and let the human race be what it is. I’ve only been here since 1956—and I’ll be gone soon. What do I care?

So, there you have it—I’ve just spent a lifetime in the upper one-tenth of ‘intelligence’—and it’s only lately that it occurs to me that nearly everyone else, being of less intellectual vigor, will not make sense to me—any more than I to them. Thus, when I drove myself mad with frustration over things that are ‘obvious’, it only now occurs to me they are not obvious at all.

Thank goodness, I’m one with all of you now. My brain is as rusty, rickety, and unreliable as anyone else’s. Plus, I’m old and sick. No one has any hold on my obligation. Even if one man can make a difference, I volunteer someone else, someone under sixty and healthy.

Cling to the Fantasy (2019Nov05)

Tuesday, November 05, 2019                                           1:26 PM

Cling to the Fantasy   (2019Nov05)

I was against Trump as a racist, misogynist con-man and ignoramus. That seemed a bad choice for President. But even I, who expected the worst, am surprised to find that Trump is a criminal conspirator and a traitor.

I was against the Republicans as being wholly in the pockets of the wealthy. That seemed quite un-American to me. But that is nothing compared to their willful blindness and cowardice in confronting their mistake, in siding with the traitor—and continuing, against all reason, to pretend he’s innocent of the mountain of allegations that completely obscure the rest of American politics, or, indeed, governance.

I was against the media giving Trump billions in free campaign advertising—while helping legitimize his louché insanity. For-profit journalism is trying to serve two masters, and failing. But here we are, still getting critiques and discussions over what Trump tweeted—the news as Rorschach Cards.

In America, to be fair to both sides means ignoring right and wrong; and ignoring the rigor or provenance of ‘source references’. In short, ‘fairness’ is being without any judgement or reason.

I’m a New Yorker. I saw through Trump at the get-go—we have lots of slimy con-men in New York—especially in the city. They have charisma out the butt. They talk a Great game. But if you watch closely, they only have one agenda—to separate you from your wallet.

America’s Constitution—and its legacy: Public Education, the Panama Canal, Edison, two World Wars, Fission, the UN, the Internet—the story behind all that is neither clean nor simple. America is bloody. America is complicated.

Roughly one-third of Americans care only for the bloodiness. Another one-third simply take ‘America’ for granted. We poor bastards are the one-third that stands up to the complicated nature of America—and like our fore-fathers—we apply our fucking brains to the issue at hand.

We know, from experience, to avoid self-serving rationalization. We know not to confuse the anecdotal with the statistical. We accept that Democracy means some minority (small or large) will be disappointed by every election. We cling to the fantasy that the majority of Americans will want what is best for all of America—because, why wouldn’t they?

Calling B.S. (2019Oct08)

Tuesday, October 08, 2019                                               9:58 PM

Calling B.S.   (2019Oct08)

It’s so ridiculous with this president. It’s like being trapped in Kindergarten.

A ‘Long-Standing Justice Department Memo’ has no more ‘standing’ in Law than if I wrote it. The Republicans love to fiddle with this whole thing, they think it’s a ‘loophole’, but it ain’t. Here it is, so even Trump (if he listened) could get it:

The Justice Department can’t indict the President because that privilege belongs to Congress, which has the power to indict him through Impeachment. He can’t be tried in Court either—once indicted by Congress’ Impeachment Vote, the Senate has the privilege of Trying and Convicting the President (with the help of a SCOTUS Judge).

There is nothing in the Constitution that says the State Department, or the FBI, or any other agency, is prohibited from helping Congress conduct an investigation.

For the president’s lawyers to argue that he can stonewall Congress, because he’s immune from prosecution, is bullshit as high art, with a Yale education—but it’s still bullshit. Innocent people don’t need legal arguments that emulate Simon Biles’ floor-routines.

My legal difficulty with Trump is that our laws are based on presumption of innocence—we give any defendant the benefit of the doubt. I can’t do that for Trump—that pus-sac has been given more benefit-of-the-doubt than any motherfucker in history—and it’s enough, already. If Trump becomes the first US President ever to be forcibly removed from office, he will have completely earned it.

No Respect (2019Oct06)

Sunday, October 06, 2019                                       4:52 PM

No Respect   (2019Oct06)

As I’ve often said, our politics are just a symptom of something much more endemic. Take music, for example.

While copyrights have been in the forefront of every labels’ and publishing companies’ legal department, it wasn’t long ago that they were trying to steal artists’ intellectual property for themselves—and that continues, more subtly, while they add this ‘frenzy’ of defending their hoard from interlopers as amoral as they are.

Meanwhile, the mighty computer (which can supposedly play chess and run a factory) cannot help YouTube differentiate between my homemade videos of a Bach composition—and the same piece played by a world-famous concert artist. They send me emails, telling me I have encroached on their copyright of piano-works which have clearly aged into the Public Domain—which would only apply if it were not me at the ivories. Stupid, bad computer—try again.

As well, I watch this Music Choice channel (now the Stingray channel) which plays recordings, a la radio station—sans visuals. Except for the Titles! Each piece is identified by Name, Composer, & Performer(s)—but not always correctly.

Am I so expert? No, but I don’t have to be. When a Bach piece is credited as a famous pianist’s recording—and one clearly hears a harpsichord; or when a Debussy piece is credited as a famous pianist’s recording—and one clearly hears an Orchestra playing a famous transcription of it; it takes no scholar to understand that the database is corrupt.

Naivety might lead me to suggest that centuries of musical genius, the sonic treasure-house of Western Civilization, recorded painstakingly by talented stars who’ve devoted their lifetimes to this music—might be worthy of respect. But I don’t ask for respect.

I ask only what computers are supposed to be good at—accuracy. If computers’ precision exists only for accounting—and none of the other arts or sciences—then what the hell good are they?

Power of the Presidency (2019Oct03)

Thursday, October 03, 2019                                             8:52 PM

Power of the Presidency   (2019Oct03)

I just want to point out the desperate thinness of the GOP Senators’ (and Trump’s other Goons’) excuses for him—the only reason they even resemble ‘sense’ is because they so closely echo the nonsense that we’ve been fed up until this tipping-point.

But it’s time to recognize the fatuity of their ridiculous pretenses. These kinds of things only hold up when there is a sliver of a doubt regarding legality. But that sliver disappeared when Trump broke the law on his phone call with the Ukrainian President, trading Arms for oppo-dirt on Biden—and again today, when he televised a request for China’s help in smearing Biden.

Anyone who is defending the President’s behavior today is a traitor. It’s that simple. I need hardly add that it’s also the height of stupidity.

Own Best Interests (2019Sep19)

Sunday, September 15, 2019                                            5:09 PM

Own Best Interests   (2019Sep19)

Decades ago, we had already settled the argument over right and wrong with such things as Social Security, Immigration, and De-segregation. And as for Human Rights, America wasn’t just for them, we were pretenders to the Champion of Human Rights.

Somehow, we’ve devolved from that point, through the Reagan Right-turn, into a Capitalist Autocracy where these ‘settled’ issues had now the old one-two: both amnesiac re-booting of Hate as a ‘new idea’, and questioning whether problems such as racism and sexual assault even exist. (Hint: they do.)

If (1) we’re the richest country on Earth and (2) we have only a handful of citizens hoarding the majority of that wealth—then the proof that these fuckers run the show is in the fact that they just got a tax break—from an ineptly unfit joke of a ‘president’ and a confessedly-corrupt Republican Party.

Conversely, you could try explaining why a few thousand Americans own every. fucking. thing.—and that’s as it should be. But don’t try that with me. I was born at night, but…

People warned about all this stuff. Sure. But money eventually wore down individuals who had ‘pieces’ of the responsibility, until all responsibility was gone. Mass media being controlled by corporations—especially news, and that which dresses in ‘news’, such as FOXnews, eliminated the foundation of free speech—a shared reality.

People warned about the environment—especially the impact of petroleum combustion on the atmosphere—for over a century. And you will still find rich people who claim that Climate Change is a hoax—but no poor people.

People warned about opening the floodgates to campaign financing—and industry-lobbyists having more influence than voters. But we let it go, and now a drooling idiot sits in charge of the Free World.

What frustrates about Donald Trump the most isn’t the bullshit he does—it’s the traitorous Republican-majority Senate that refuses to say ‘boo’ about any of it. These are the same prissy-pantses who still pretend to have a fainting spell whenever they mention Bill Clinton getting blown in the White House—the same jack-asses who fought for decades against Healthcare reform and are still mad that they lost that fight.

You could pooh-pooh Socialism all you wanted, back in the day. The news didn’t report on the systemic racism and sexism—and a younger Capitalism still had plenty of room for growth. The digital age had barely gotten started. But now—now you’ve got low wages, student debt, income inequality, national debt, and a recent middle-class tax increase—socialism doesn’t sound so much like poison these days.

Let’s face it—nobody’s getting rich in America. The malls are all ghost towns and if you want to start a new retail business, you have to go through Mr. Bezos’ little shop. You can make your own demos today, but the age of the rich rock star has passed. China and India are cranking out new everything, including entrepreneurs—and they have the hunger. Plus, they can get rich without coming here, now—so there’s that.

Strangely enough, Capitalism is a luxury we can no longer afford. Money is costing us. Wealth concentrated in the hands of the few (with those few fixated on the status quo) paralyzes our ability to adapt to new information, to adapt to change.

And this is what’s so toxic about blind USA-boosting. We chant USA! USA!,  and threaten to flatten anyone who disses America. But that pride is misplaced—it should be pride in what our fathers and mothers and forebears did. We have done nothing to be proud of since we fell spellbound into the GOP’s siren song of an ‘established America’ that required no change, no maintenance—and certainly no re-thinking.

Hence, the increasing popularity of Socialism—when the rich are the problem, just take their money in wealth-taxes. But it’s not that simple. America is a car doing 80 on the interstate—fixing it on the fly is dangerous and difficult.

All of this, however, is nothing compared to the problem of forming a more-perfect union, using democracy, when the wealthy few have taken the truth hostage (along with all the communications/entertainment industry) and they are busily spreading false propaganda to citizen-voters who have little enough education to start with. These voters then proudly vote against their own best interests.

That is a problem so titanic that Trump’s ‘presidency’ is merely one symptom of it.

The Humane Thing (2019Aug20)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019                                       8:37 PM

The Humane Thing   (2019Aug20)

Technology creates a world that requires sensible, responsible behavior. Humanity cannot be confined to sensible, responsible behavior. Thus it follows that we humans will misuse technology until we do something that cannot be reversed—and we all die.

It used to be theory. Now, it is staring us in the face. The Russians have created some kind of radioactive cloud (not for the first time) and the glaciers are melting in days, rather than years. Earth’s major coastal cities could be underwater in as little as five years. Heat waves and droughts are decimating global food production. Habitats are vanishing.

The question arises: What’s wrong with humanity? Why can’t we be confined to sensible, responsible behavior?

Well, for one thing, you can’t control reproduction. Anything we might do to regulate motherhood would make us less than human. But, more importantly, humans thrive under struggle and sicken under civilized luxury. Humans, like other animals, have their issues with captivity. And what is civilization but a set of rules repressing animal urges, a cage of communal behavior?

Civilized societies will never be able to defend themselves against harsh societies that keep humans on their more-animal level of hunger and violence. Which is why I always advocate world charity—if we let others starve, we’re just breeding terrorists that hate and resent our security and comfort.

But charity isn’t enough—education and public health maintenance are what lift a society into development. And it’s hard to teach children to be thinking persons when their parents have raised them to be ‘survivors’ of a dangerous environment.

Besides, human don’t even have the sense to share their wealth with their neighbors. One need not visit a third-world country. Go to New York City, go to a million-dollar-a-year luxury apartment—then step outside, to the hell-hole that has you tripping over homeless bodies.

We talk about being ‘humane’—that’s a stupid word—it’s not human behavior, it’s what human’s rarely do.

And males—being born of women and then turning up their noses at females, dead certain they’re stronger and smarter. Have you ever heard anything so stupid? Humanity is so suicidally mindless that it’s hard to believe we can be so smart as individual units.

Fun (2019Aug03)

Saturday, August 03, 2019                                                12:31 PM

Fun   (2019Aug03)

When I was sixteen, and my friends all laughed at me for taking stuff too seriously, I understood. Life is for living, nothing was ever achieved by worrying, etc., and so forth—I understand.

But we’re all in our sixties, now. I’ve got two subsequent generations that I feel a responsibility towards. Not to mention—I’ve had a very full life, lots of adventures, lots of ups and downs. If I was anxious to loosen up and have a little fun, I should have gotten to it by now—and I think I have.

Plus, our planet is on a hot plate. And our democracy is led by the kind of evil incarnate that usually requires a military dictatorship. And I’m old, I’m sick, and I’m in a lot of pain.

So, my response to all the ‘chill out’s, the ‘be cool, brah’s, and the ‘lighten up’s, is as follows: “Eat a bag of dicks.”

Besides, if you have matured to the point that you feel the intensity of intention and the passion of character—you know that I’ve been having ‘rad’-est possible life, all along….

Better Than All Y’all (2019Aug01)

Thursday, August 01, 2019                                               1:12 PM

Better Than All Y’all   (2019Aug01)

Obama committed political suicide to give all of us the Affordable Care  Act. The Republicans lied so monstrously about the ‘dangers’ of the ACA that you would have thought ‘affordable health care’ was a nuclear device. They lied about Obama not reviving the economy (when they had totaled it), about the ‘risks’ of health care—even about where Obama had been born.

Now Trump is running on Obama’s recovered economy, while Trump’s only contribution has been Destabilization: shutdowns, tariff wars, border closings, etc.

The Democrats turned tail after the ACA was signed, abandoning support for Obama. Their voters followed suit, bringing us the GOP Congress we’ve suffered under, since long before Obama’s term ended—even before his reelection.

Now, with Trump’s impeachment and imprisonment our nation’s top priority, the Democrats have found a way to chew up air-time, distracting us from this entirely present problem, by talking about an election that’s over a year away.

Obama gave us Obamacare—he had damned little support from Democrats before or after. And he had a rabidly partisan Congress barring any of the rest of his agenda, for the six years of his office remaining. Of course, the Republicans are still blocking any immigration legislation that might ease their favorite crisis.

But to see the Democrats go on stage last night and start singing from the GOP hymnal made me realize that these people are, with some exceptions, only barely more ethical than Trump is.

You could vote for Warren. Or you could accept that democracy, in a nation of idiots, is worse than a dice throw.

And, P. S.—all that fear-mongering about death-panels & national bankruptcy that would attend the ACA—you don’t hear that anymore, do you? In fact, you hear Dems and Reps alike talking about how we make it better, don’t you? That’s because Obama gave the American people what they needed, as best he could.

And you Democrats are cowards, at best. And you Voters—given a choice between HRC and the racist, sexist pig, in your infinite wisdom, picked the pig.

You don’t need the opposite of the pig, you need the next nearest to Obama. And that would be Warren.

They Hate Trump’s Country (2019Jul20)

Saturday, July 20, 2019                                            1:08 PM

Mandatory Credit: Photo by J Scott Applewhite/AP/Shutterstock (10337288m) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks as, from left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., listen during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, . Washington, USA – 15 Jul 2019

They Hate Trump’s Country   (2019Jul20)

The funniest thing about Trump is when he forgets what a nightmare, bull in a china shop, foul-mouthed bully he’s been, and starts talking about someone else being a ‘disgrace’. This is where the limits of Trumpism start to show through.

Trump is so clearly unconcerned with anyone other than Trump, so quick to condemn others and excuse or deny his own wrongs, that he really should stay away from the more ethics-oriented insults and stick with straight belligerence.

This is a symptom of narcissism—Trump slams anyone who doesn’t observe ‘decorum’, while insisting that decorum doesn’t apply to him. That’s how he can curse, then call others foul-mouthed; he can lie and call others liars; he can joke at will (especially ‘after the fact’) but no one else gets any poetic license, nor any other escape from their exact syntax. It’s fair, ‘cause it’s unfair—get it?

Don’t confuse State & Religion, or Facts & Faith. Don’t confuse teachers with salespeople. A teacher teaches what they know—a salesperson tells you want they want you to think.

That is why someone such as Senator E. Warren can seem so earnest in her public speaking—and Trump equally so. They are both working very hard—at two different jobs.

Trump recently said of four Congresswomen, “they hate our country”. The use of the possessive ‘our’ is mad/genius. Trump lives in his own sick fantasy-world—and in that world, perhaps these ladies truly are enemies of his country.

Out here, in reality, they are vital components of our democracy—as indicated by the fact that all four were elected by the people in their districts. If Trump is under the delusion that those in Congress never criticize the Administration, he should crack a book.

If, however, his point is that women of color should never find the temerity to raise their voices in the direction of his fat white ass—that then, is a bigot of an orange color—as the saying goes. And that is clearly what that demented old cracker meant by his tweets and ‘comments’ at his nazi-rallies.

The Republicans stand behind this nightmare-of-an-ethics-quiz, because they share a delusion that ethics is embarrassing in their field—a sign of naiveté. They take their cue from Wall Street, where laughing at Justice is chapter and verse of their hierarchical tribalism.

The Democrats boldly commit hari-kari in the name of ethics, just to remind people that there is such a thing—look at Al Franken. But career suicide is a limited and unwieldly weapon—I don’t think the Dems get the credit they deserve.

Al Gore didn’t tear us apart for two years over his lost election—and HRC certainly had ammunition to go to court with, were she so self-involved—but she didn’t, either. By their acts ye shall know them.

Compare that to Republicans: the president, the cabinet, and the speaker of the senate (and his wife, in the cabinet)—a bunch of bald-faced scofflaws and scum, of which there never was such a collection of skin-crawling depravity and corruption. They are appalling—nothing else can be said of them.

Except that, for them (if not their country) those four Congresswomen should certainly be seen as their enemies—he’s got that much right.

Recent music:

Recent Poem & Illustration:

The True Nature of Art (2019Jul06)

Saturday, July 06, 2019                                            7:46 AM

The True Nature of Art   (2019Jul06)

I’ve had a life-long struggle to understand the true nature of Art. In one way, I see art as an intuitive action being spurred by a sense of passion or grandeur. I’ve practiced ‘outsider’ or ‘neo-folk’ art all my life, with a few exceptions.

I see my quandary more clearly nowadays—native art and ‘artifice’ are as different as night and day. To grow beyond native impulse requires artifice—the grand painters and great composers of old were all accomplished in their craft. Their emotional manipulations were so effective that art, today, is an important investment—whether talking Disney copyrights, Prince’s catalog, or original Van Goghs.

I use the terms ‘artifice’ and ‘emotional manipulation’ because folk art is far more the candid expression of the maker’s feelings, through use of wood, paint, sound, etc.—whereas, serious artists recollect such impulses, whilst considering how to evince feeling from the audience, resonant with that experience or impulse.

Put simply, a folk artist is all heart, flailing at his opponent, while a pro is dancing about, considering where to place the next jab. One obsesses, the other succeeds.

Which calls to mind the category of ‘craft’—in craft, the maker’s love is for the process—the carver’s chair or the potter’s vase, while beautiful, are not works of pure art. Thus craftworks do not shout of love—they proclaim only the personality of the lover.

And I felt this limitation often—while drawing a picture or attempting a poem—that certain labors of love show the love—and some only show the labor.

Conservative Talk (2019Jul03)

Wednesday, July 03, 2019                                                12:10 AM

Conservative Talk   (2019Jul03)

This Fourth, Trump is having a Commie-style Phallus Parade down the middle of DC—and nothing would be sweeter than that it should include “Impeach!” signs and chants, all through the crowd. Maybe we could get some of that “Good people on both sides” action going? I kid—but seriously, Trump is a traitor to his Oath of Office.

Trump, like an abusive father, is nauseatingly cloying when he puts on his good-person mask and pretends to true, human feelings. In a way, Trump’s ‘celebratory’ speeches are his own personal ‘shit-eating grin’.

He’ll talk about ‘great things’ in a way that makes obvious he’s focusing on himself, as he expounds on said ‘greatness’—and on his comfort, knowing that reality continues to conform to his bratty little whims—at least, on FOXNews, and in the Senate.

The RNC just proclaimed it collected more Trump re-election campaign donation money, from more people, than any Democrat candidate. The Mad Media, still eager to parrot Trump’s tweets and lies, couldn’t wait to break the story.

But I take a longer view. I’m content to wait until it’s exposed as bullshit ‘accounting’, possibly even an illegal conspiracy to launder foreign cash through domestic citizens (you know, like they’ve done in several elections, including 2016).

And who can blame them?—in a world this wired, a Conservative has little purchase on reality. To some extent, a modern Conservative supports Armageddon as their endgame—it’s the only result that won’t exclude them, making them obsolete; won’t blame them for a climate disaster; and won’t ask them to modify their ideas of who deserves respect.

But let’s be honest—once desperation reaches such extremes, only extremists hang on. And extremists make an extremely loyal voter-base, especially if they’re kept just as poor and miserable as possible. Catch-22 doesn’t confine itself to the military.

I Vote Maybe (2019Jun17)

Monday, June 17, 2019                                            9:47 PM

I Vote Maybe   (2019Jun17)

Our governments wait until things go wrong, then, argue over what to do. I’d like a lot less telling me what I’m not cleared to know—and a lot more telling me what the hell they’re doing to earn their salaries and, more importantly, my vote.

How come I’m in my sixties and my government is still without any solutions for any number of problems which presented themselves when I was a young schoolboy, decades ago? That’s not government—that’s a protection racket.

I hear reports of studies showing that our government responds not to voters, but to lobbyists and contributors (as if you can find daylight between those two things). This seems to have evinced no shame, nor reaction of any kind, from elected officials.

This disconnect between our vote and our influence is as disabling as a lack of democracy itself. Elections cannot be PR battles, with one side fighting truth with lies—or, worse yet, both sides inventing their realities.

Elections have to go back to policy promises, and whether or not they are kept. Otherwise, we can just skip the popularity contest and let the fat cats have their way—that philosophy has been marching us all toward perdition since the 1980s. Why stop now?

Can we really be in the 21st century, when humanity is in danger of global habitat collapse, just from our peace-time activities, and we have a crazed con-man for president—and he thinks the world is still small enough to take an extra war or two. When do I wake up? Is all mankind’s genius to be laid in the laps of drooling troglodytes?

Garden of Eden (2019Jun03)

Monday, June 03, 2019                                            1:12 PM

Garden of Eden   (2019Jun03)

I think about the birth of civilization: hunter/gatherers finally figure out how to plant seeds in a single spot, then grab all the grain and store it all in clay structures that prevented rot and pilfering by vermin. This surplus of food creates leisure. It creates theft. It creates military struggle and political power.

All during that time, there were surely those who mourned the loss of simplicity—the loss of the world as a garden to be walked through. They no doubt had jokes: “Food doesn’t taste the same if you don’t find it yourself”, and so forth. I would have either been one of those people, or envied their independence from the establishment.

The natives and early settlers in North America were aware of black ooze that stood on the ground in some places. Nothing ever grew there and sometimes it even burned. Had they known that certain men planned to pump this gunk from the earth and spread it all over the ground, they woulda probly kilt the guy.

Yet only thirty years or so would pass before the popularity of the automobile allows city streets to lose their carpet of horse dung—making petroleum seem very much an agent of cleanliness. It would be another fifty years before the smog and acid rain made their presence felt—and Joni complained about the cement coatings—when petroleum would return to villain status.

When I wrote code in the Eighties, it was a nerd thing. It had to be explained to everyone because it was very demanding and intellectually challenging. There were even two levels of competency—clerical training showed one how to use a running data-entry program. Managerial training included knowing how to turn the machines on and start the programs running.

When the graphic interface (Windows and mice) debuted, I thought it was crazy—but I didn’t realize that it’s most important use was hiding the technical stuff from the average user. I’m sure the hardware nerds felt the same way about me—buying my breadboard pre-chipped and soldered and wrapped in a metal case called a PC.

The weirdest part of all this development was that all those nerds with all that dusty algebra and chemistry and physics in their heads—they were required for the creation of today’s ‘e-verse-net-web’—but now they are the Joseph Henry’s.

Joe Henry was America’s first great nerd. His work with electromagnetic induction paralleled Michael Faraday’s. It’s a historical factoid that Henry’s work in Albany, NY and Faraday’s work in London were so neck-and-neck that, while Henry’s notes show an earlier discovery, Faraday’s published paper, weeks later, makes him the hero to this day.

Henry didn’t care. I mean, he cared, of course he cared—but looking like he did was not the thing, back then. Anyhow, he kept working. But he was never quick to publish or patent—he was an idealist (at least publicly). Joseph Henry was the first to use electricity to make a bell ring across the room. He demonstrated his switches and wiring publicly, and to fellow scientists, including one Sam Morse—he even leant him equipment samples.

Morse never returned those samples—they were used as the guts for Mr. Morse’s famous Telegraph. And Morse definitely filed a patent. He wasn’t the only one. Another guy, O’Reilly, sued Morse, claiming the invention for himself. Joseph Henry rather muddled things, when called to testify on Morse’s behalf—he was more interested in pointing out his own contributions to Morse’s work (which were, truly, most of it) and explaining that he was too busy being a scientist to be filing patents or be a businessman.

Thus ended scientific naiveté in America—Joseph Henry became the head of the Smithsonian and, upon his death, had the most well-attended funeral in Washington D.C. He was a respected professor and experimenter, beloved by many—but all the profits went to less idealist men, men who saw no need to include the creator in their financial plans.

My point being that science in America is always accepted grudgingly and with derision. Acceptance is always followed by scientists being marginalized, greedy men swooping up the profits, and Americans becoming addicted to some new convenience for which they don’t even know who to thank.

Think of the perfidy—the sheer stupidity! A group of the world’s most brilliant physicists and engineers design and build the first atomic bomb. Then they hand it over to someone as bullheaded and ignorant as a politician. Smarter people than scientists might have seen this as an unsafe experiment to conduct upon our species.

When Visual Basic first hit the shelves, business-guys started coming up to me saying, yeah, I code, too. Ok, bub—yeah, you code. There was a magazine article around that time—it said it was okay that these people were coding in ignorance because, if it wasn’t right, it wouldn’t compile. O, good—nothing to worry about, then….

Businesses are so used to doing this that the first thing they ask a scientist employee to sign is a release of all ownership of any intellectual property or patents their work produces. The second thing is an NDA—so they can’t discuss being ripped off so egregiously amongst themselves.

We are not the species that stopped using petroleum as soon as we realized its dangers—we are the species that kept using petroleum right up until it killed us all. It is amazing that we lasted this long.

Can you imagine living in a world full of technology, full of pollution and toxic waste, with near-Earth orbits crowded full of satellites and space stations—and voting for some slob who tries to pass off his ignorance as an ‘opinion’? Must we finally admit that people haven’t enough self-control to fine-tune and perfect the technoscape they’ve created? Is Capitalism really the problem—or is Capitalism just the expression of human violence in ritualized form?

I’m still waiting for the Disney ending—when we are saved from ourselves by a brilliant team of scientists. But I’m afraid we’re doomed by our insistence on someone else being brilliant.

More Damning or More Embarrassing? (2019Apr22)

Monday, April 22, 2019                                          2:44 PM

More Damning or More Embarrassing?   (2019Apr22)

As the damage gets worse, we begin to see more clearly how the enemy operates. We have the media, which makes a game, a contest, and a skit premise of every reported factoid (of which there are shamelessly few). For-profit ‘news’ is not designed to do what serious people do—sit and have a think. And, by never doing that, they create the illusion of a world where everything is a game show and the only enemy is silence.

Then we have the Republicans, who have determined that America = Cash—and everything else is meant to maintain the existing elite and a status quo that inexorably slips through their fingers. The Republicans don’t just eschew ethics—they openly deride ethics as the mark of a pencil-necked weakling.

Unfortunately, we also have the Democrats, who have the upper hand now only because of the horror-show the Republicans have become. Nearly twenty have declared for a presidential race that’s a year-and-a-half away—when many of them should be too actively busy with an overdue impeachment to think about anything else. Senator Warren came out and basically said if we don’t impeach, we condone—we become complicit and Trump becomes what America stands for. I have to agree.

I bought the Mueller e-book transcript for $2.99 and read chunks of both volumes—it is unpleasant reading. If I were Trump, I would find the entire report extremely embarrassing—getting off due to a combination of ignorance of the law, laughable incompetence, and outright disregard for his orders.

Luckily Trump doesn’t feel shame like humans do—I believe he’s already tweeted that the report is ‘all lies’. Since the report undoubtedly includes Trump’s written responses to questions, this is one of many instances where Trump inadvertently condemns something he’s a part of—just part of that crazy charm he has. What a rascal.

But, aside from all that embarrassingly air-headed hijinks surrounding Trump’s efforts at Obstruction, there’s also Volume One, which reads (and I’ll paraphrase) as follows: “Trump-guy 1 did criminal act. Trump-guy 2 acted as enemy agent. Trump-guy 3 lied to a bank. Trump-guy 4 is a fucking traitor for money. Etc.” –or something to that effect. You get the idea. But Trump didn’t.

Apparently, Trump had no idea that everyone on his campaign squad was a traitor or an embezzler. When he found out, he did his best to use Presidential powers to shield his buddies from justice. Plus, he was working the Trump Tower Russia deal the whole time—and lying about it.

So, case closed. Or, not really, because there are fourteen on-going investigations, thirteen of them secret, about which we don’t even have any dirt. I seriously doubt that those cases will ameliorate what is already public condemnation, in black and white, from the redacted Report. So, case closed, on the face of it. For any Democrat to argue now that there is a political upside to letting Trump finish his term unimpeached—well, given recent events, I’d guess he’s being paid by Putin, too.

Watch Your TV Show (2019Mar24)

Sunday, March 24, 2019                                          6:35 PM

Watch Your TV Show   (2019Mar24)

There’s a running cliché among today’s politicians: ‘We can’t get anything done if we don’t get elected (or re-elected) first’. They devote huge amounts of time to fund-raising phone calls. They basically have to buy in to the popularity-contest aspect of politics—and tell themselves that Election itself is axiomatic.

If, however, we remember that everyone is replaceable, we can imagine a candidate that cares more about what he or she stands for, and plans for, than whether or not they get elected. Wouldn’t it be funny if a candidate won on the issues alone—sans PR wave, sans stadium rallies and hat sales?

How, you may ask, would they rebut attack-ads without any media budget? They wouldn’t. They would tell reporters it wasn’t true (or was true) and hope that people saw a smear-job when one was aired. They would use the Internet and Facebook to make public statements and forward policies, for free. Voters would say to themselves, “At least this person isn’t wasting millions on worthless commercials”.

Would they lose? Sure. They already have been losing—although, on that score, I’d have to say our third-party candidates are all one-trick ponies, equally unprepared to address the problem of modern democratic self-governance. But the real question is: Would they always lose?

Can people learn to look at the results after elections, instead of focusing on the empty campaign rhetoric before elections? Why even have campaigns, when everyone knows that rule one is: ‘Say anything—no one expects you to follow through’?

I have to laugh when I see pundits on cable discussing what the voters will be sensitive to, or averse to, from Democratic candidates. This after half the country didn’t vote, a quarter voted for a pervert, and slightly more than a quarter voted for HRC, who ‘lost’ anyway! How can anyone look at Trump and, with a straight face, say that any Democrat is too far in the other direction? Or, for that matter, how can any democracy led by Trump claim any judgement at all in its voters?

Voters? More like little children, being lied to and led down the primrose path to destruction. America’s success has made its people lazy and ignorant—and America’s rich and powerful are corrupting that success into a sleazy money pit we’ll all be screaming to emigrate from, soon enough. Go on, go back to watching your TV show. What do you care?

Entitled To (2019Mar14)

Thursday, March 14, 2019                                                3:30 PM

Entitled To   (2019Mar14)

If I harbor bigotry deep in my secret self, I need to remember that I am no better or worse than those whom I condescend to. Whatever disdain I have for others, I had better be prepared to feel that same disdain for myself, at some point. If I feel entitled to impose on others, it is only a matter of time when I’ll find myself being imposed upon against my wishes, or even my consent.

In other words, if I find myself a Trump supporter, cheering on his willful ignorance and code-word hatreds, I must be prepared for him to be impeached, for he, and his family and friends, to all go to prison, and for Democrats to take control of political power for the next year or two.

But do not fret. The Republicans survived Nixon, Iran-Contra, opposition to Women’s Lib, Civil Rights, Gay Rights, and most other humanitarian memes, Dubya’s ‘Whoops’ War, the 2008 Financial Disaster, and Nazis in Charlottesville. People will forgive Republicans anything—they save their bitterness for Democrats’ failings.

Pussy-Grabber himself will ultimately fade from our daily lives—only to be replaced by even more insidious evils and more unconscionable elitism. The world moves ever forward, in its good—and its bad.

The only thing that really excites me is the possibility of someone who can make voters support a positive change—against all the partisan lie-mongering and media over-dramatization and late-night comedians’ glib dismissals—to fire the minds of all voters, at least enough to get them to show at the polls every year for the next ten years—‘appointment politics’.

Not like Trump—not with crowd-pleasing, simple-minded shit from a bull—but with algorithmic goals meant to better everyone, in spite of all news-items and conversational currency bouncing from day to day. Plans for workable and enforceable transparency in government, plans to rein in corporate entitlement—and replace with workable regulation and enforceable compliance—particularly in Finance and Petroleum. Maybe even a National Board of Science that can settle down some of this pesky, flat-earther-level, willful ignorance. I don’t know…. psychotherapy for the Trumps? There’s a lot of good waiting to be done—waiting for the greedy status quo to take their hands off our throats.

Taken Advantage Of (2019Mar11)

Monday, March 11, 2019                                        2:50 AM

Taken Advantage Of   (2019Mar11)

Notice how the media and the Republicans are already poisoning the well of the Democrats’ field of 2020 presidential candidates? They show poll figures that purport to overwhelming support of the ‘moderates’, Biden or Booker. They ‘explain’ that the country is afraid of going too far left.

I call bullshit. First of all, any constituency that can vote in Trump has lost all credibility in terms of judgement or moderation. Secondly, if the Dems roll back the recent Tax Bribes to the Rich, they can spend trillions on infrastructure and social services like health care—and it won’t be very much different, economically (except for a few moping billionaires and CEOs).

I kid, of course. The trouble with Democrats is that they will actually take responsibility for the national budget—and roll back those new tax-cuts without spending as much in the left-ish direction. And the Republicans will have no trouble depicting any plans to pay for liberal programs as an attack on Capitalism. (It’s ridiculously easy to be the bad guy.)

But let’s discuss it. AOC suggests taxing billionaires on their net worth. I can hear the wheezing laughter of old white men in their leather club chairs—yet consider this: 99% of the people in this country live on their net paycheck. Their salaries virtually are their families’ net worth—and they certainly get taxed on it.

There is nothing that says Capitalism is required to be unfair. Why should the super-rich’s assets remain undisturbed just because they have more than anyone else? In a way, this is actually stupid. So why do we laugh at AOC’s notion? Not because she’s wrong—but because the rich make the rules in this democracy.

It’s bad enough the fat cats have all the power of money. Why do we insist on voting only fat cats into all the authority of elected office, as well? Do we like being taken advantage of? Is that it?

Day After Women’s Day (2019Mar10)

Sunday, March 10, 2019                                          5:29 PM

Day After Women’s Day   (2019Mar10)

I been thinking about how many ways women have had to fight. They had to fight to wear pants. To smoke a cigar. To own property. To inherit property. To have a job. To vote. To walk alone in public. To have a bank account. To get fathers to financially support their own deserted children. To get this job-women-can’t-do; to get that job-women-can’t-do; to get the other job-women-can’t-do.

You’d think men would be embarrassed by their terror at the thought of female agency. You’d think men would have the sense to include women in their ruling over the earth—two heads always being better than one—and a heterosexual pair being among the most deadly powerful examples of that aphorism. But men are people—and that means we are fucking idiots.

Look at the current Congressional Hearings on changing the military’s code with respect to male superior officers who use that code to get away with rape, etc. Now, if you’ve seen even one tenth the amount of action movies I have, you know how the U. S. military invariably emphasizes its Honor, especially during training and indoctrination.

So where is the honor in sexual assault? How can any soldier commit it? How can any of the others abide it? So, is the ‘Honor’ stuff bullshit—or is it poor training and indoctrination?

And how can we trust these animals to protect us—when they don’t even protect their own? It’s just common sense. But you watch that hearing and you’ll see an ocean of minutiae and a phalanx of obstructors ready to explain why you’re wrong to worry—but that’s just par for their course, isn’t it?

And, No, I am not bashing the military—I’m bashing the corrupt government mismanagement of our military. When the military was told to go diverse, they went diverse—they are not the problem. They just need a strong voice giving them orders—orders manifestly based on human dignity.

And wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we had such a thing in our government, as well? Wouldn’t it be incredible to have leaders who told big business and the banks to wait and see, to have leaders who told refugees: the more the merrier, to have leaders who told us what we needed to hear, trusting us to understand the difference between a scary problem and the person who points the way out.

A leader like that might finally give women their last victory: agency over their own bodies. Ooooo…Scary! Maybe next International Women’s Day….

God Loves You (2019Mar10)

Sunday, March 10, 2019                                          1:44 PM

God Loves You   (2019Mar10)

The God that you believe in loves you dearly and has infinite mercy. But there is an important problem here on Earth that only you can fix. I’ve never discussed your God before, because I don’t pretend to know anything about God. But there are tons of people who will tell you about God until they’re blue in the face—as if they knew more than you or I.

There are biblical scholars that know more about the bible or the torah or the quran, but that doesn’t make them God experts. The plain fact is that no one is a God expert. Also, no one has returned from the after-life with a clear description—so no one can lay claim to After-Life expertise, either.

We can know only what our senses tell our brains. God and the after-life, by their very definition, have no evidence—so they are unknowable. You can have faith in God, but you cannot know God. Therefore, everyone and anyone who talks with ‘authority’ about God’s will—is fooling themselves or (far more likely) fooling you.

We face the unfortunate evidence that what attracts many to ministries is the ‘authority’ vested in them by ‘Godliness’—used by religious leaders the world over, to prey upon innocence, inveigling others into sex and terrorism.

How can I stop them? How can we? Aside from having ‘god’s backing’, religions are also performing the vast majority of our charity-work, helping the homeless and feeding the hungry every day.

I just wish I could tell everyone that, by and large, your priest or preacher is just a human being, trying to make their way through this life, fighting with the same demons that attack us, subject to the same weaknesses.

They do not love you. Only God loves you—and it is in God alone you should put your faith. Your own conscience is not inferior to anyone else’s–don’t let others define Goodness, for goodness’ sake. You were born knowing.

Come Off It Already (2019Mar03)

Sunday, March 03, 2019                                          7:18 PM

Come Off It Already   (2019Mar03)

The list of the confessed, the convicted, the security-risks, and the nefarious connections among Trump’s campaign inner circle, paired with Trump’s well-documented history as a litigious scofflaw and a bigot—all make it outlandishly desperate that Republicans based their rebuttal of Cohen’s testimony on simply calling him a liar—a crime he has already confessed to committing at the president’s behest.

This is the point where the old strategy of ‘deny everything’ begins to jump the shark—where they must split the hairs of Cohen’s dishonesty while pretending Cohen wasn’t acting as Trump’s professional liar. It also raises the bar for insulting the public’s intelligence.

Still, the media have decided that nothing is insulting to the public’s intelligence, if only it’s sensational in its stupidity. There was a time when both the media and the Republican party would have conceded the obvious by now—if not long before now.

Yet they speak of a possibility of a veto against Trump’s spurious ‘emergency’, rather than being well into the impeachment proceedings. I wondered why, but then I knew: the crowded cast of characters, the countless crimes, the uncountable lies, the complications of foreign involvement and probable treasonous activity, the interference of Russian agents and Republican efforts to social-engineer Hillary’s public condemnation—there is more plot to Trump’s  ‘presidential’ crime than there is in all the seasons of ‘Thrones’.

Hassan Minaj’s “Patriot Act” just did an episode on Trump’s Cabinet’s attack on Civil Liberties. Trump is not alone in his efforts to dismantle our democracy and end our freedoms. And hate must be a strong motivator—we can only hope that the following Administration will work nearly as hard to undo all the damage. Sadly, they will have a much harder job rebuilding than was Trump & Co.’s job of just torching everything they could reach.

Worse, the vile horror that is Trump distracts us from an equally threatening situation—a Democratic party that is only slightly less flawed than the drooling pigs presently seated at the table. We are tempted to assume that the opposite of Trump is Good—but just because the Democrats oppose Trump doesn’t mean they’re offering a coherent vision of America’s future.

Green Deal?—Fine. But you don’t get genius-points for finally recognizing scientific findings from the last half-century of warnings. Fighting climate change will be more about diplomacy than technology—global cooperation and unity will be vital. Simply accepting the overdue reality is an abysmally small first step.

And what’s with this crowded field of candidates for 2020—is this a frickin’ Dickens novel? If the Democratic Party is an organized group, don’t they feel as if deciding on a platform, and choosing the best among them to represent it, would be an excellent demonstration of their ability to unite and organize the nation? Or do all politicians simply start campaigning these days, as soon as the fundraising potential appears?

If all those war-chests got passed down to the remaining candidates, as each drop-out left the race—then one could make the case that this was something other than the monetization of politics. But that is not what happens. Whoever raises the money, keeps the money—if I’m not mistaken. And suddenly we’re polling the dollars spent, instead of the voters’ minds.

We had tough restrictions on money in campaigns for centuries—should we be worried that the Citizens United decision was immediately followed by the election of a historically total scumbag to the presidency?

I dunno. It’s dawning on me that, whoever wins, you and I will lose—until people start getting mad about dishonesty again, like they used to.

Trump is Not President (2019Feb18)

Monday, February 18, 2019                                             6:26 PM

Trump is Not President   (2019Feb18)

Trump is not being a president. He usurped the office through a massive con, but he has never understood the job and he has never done the job. While holding the office, he has attacked our nation, its government, and its people—but he has never served one day as the President of the United States. And that is because he isn’t just unfit—he’s incapable of understanding the office.

I am tired of people pretending that this is just a different way of doing things—‘different’ and ‘wrong’ are not synonymous. I’m tired of this whole disgraceful farce.

The voters are careless and uninformed—but you’d never know it from the zeal they bring to any shouting match regarding the day’s issues. They’re not much for reasonable discussion—but, boy-howdy, don’t they love to argue.

The media have gone from a public service to a transmitter of mental disease. I’m sick of these nattering nabobs of news—no better than Bozo the Clown at keeping the public informed.—pretending that the distractions of each individual day are the equivalent of information, pretending that they’re objective, pretending that disgraceful criminal is just ‘45’, no different from the 44 preceding statesmen who actually held the office and did the job.

The elected officials are 90% craven opportunists, with a leavening of idealists who suffer the inexorable failure of decency in the face of overwhelming hypocrisy. Politicians, judges, detectives—these folks are not geniuses—recent evidence indicates that we can’t even describe these people as honest, by and large.

Traditions of hate and superstition are joined by our natural impulse towards selfishness and procrastination. While our world fills up with science, invention, and technology, it fails to reject old problems. Injustices remain institutionalized, science only complicates the issues. And the only progress we really need to make, is to become a mature society—something more reasonable than a mob.

Until then, we are at the mercy of the worst of us, including the present POTUS. I’m starting to think that Democracy fails in most countries because it is flawed—I think the USA ran for two centuries on responsibility, not democracy. Politics isn’t the same as statesmanship. Ruling isn’t at all the same as governing. And, most of all, money and value are not the same thing.

We Can’t Have It Both Ways (2019Feb06)

Wednesday, February 06, 2019                                       9:52 PM

We Can’t Have It Both Ways   (2019Feb06)

Here’s the thing about people: In Vincent Van Gogh’s time, people lacked the wit to appreciate his art. We think of this today as a factoid that adds value to the tremendous worth of each painting. But in Van Gogh’s life, it meant that everyone thought they were a better judge of painting than he was. And this included respected, professional art-critics.

They were wrong.

Everyone who resented hippies throughout the sixties believed that they were being patriotic Americans. Today, we know about the Pentagon Papers—we know that the Viet Nam debacle was a hideous case of our government not being patriotic to us. We know that, while the hippies wrongheadedly berated returning veterans, the anti-war protests helped curtail the number of veterans who never returned—and increased the number of young men who would never become veterans.

They were confused.

Capitalism has made America great. It has done its job a little too well. We now have billionaires living mere yards from the poor—and so cleverly are our cities designed that no billionaire is significantly disturbed by the suffering of everyone around them. Of course, in rural areas, wealth requires fencing and guards. Only in crowded cities can the wealthy rely upon the zeitgeist to protect them from everyone else.

They aren’t scared.

People think that whatever society has been doing for a couple of years, is the way things have always been and will always be. People assume disaster will not strike, but they will confine themselves in straitjackets to avoid taking a risk. People can design five-stage Mars landers and then turn around and stub their toes.

Intelligence flits in and out, but dumb animality is the steady pulse behind all mentation.

I’ll tell you how I know that I’m right and the Trumpsters are deluded: I’m not getting any satisfaction out of this. This isn’t fun for me. I am not riotously celebrating the return of incivility. I’m simply resisting out of survival instinct. Reporters ask those glassy-eyed rednecks, on line for a rally, “Why do you believe Trump?” They invariably focus long enough to smirk, “I don’t really believe him, I just like his style.”

All they know for sure is that Trump will never correct their grammar or their addition—Trump will never tell them that they should read a book. Here in the 21st century, a guy like that is priceless. He won’t ask you to memorize your Social Security number, he won’t ticket you for parking in the handicapped zone, and he doesn’t give a damn if there’s Human Growth Hormone in your kids’ milk.

I began to write computer programs in the eighties—an early adopter who’s woefully behind the present. One striking memory that stays with me was the day I realized that a single typo, anywhere in the code, made the whole thing garbage. There is no mistake so small that a computer will ignore it.

People, OTOH, don’t like to ‘sweat the small stuff’. Historically, that has been human wisdom. That’s why it struck me—and stuck with me—to realize that could never apply to computers. That is their terror.

The monstrosity of two blips on an air-traffic-controller’s screen, meeting, then ceasing. If you’re not watching the screen closely, you won’t even see it happen—but your awareness, or lack of it, changes nothing about the two jetliners carrying hundreds of people, exploding into tragedy.

Trump and his ilk are sales hacks—they will never stoop so low as to sweat the small stuff—and we admire such bravado. But there is a choice we are all pretending we don’t have to make: we can concern ourselves with the small stuff and have a futuristic, global civilization—or—we can go on with the sloppy thinking and science-denying of the freakin middle ages.

We can’t have it both ways.

When your computer tells you that coastal cities will all flood in ten years, you can just buy a new computer. When disaster arrives, we can go back to caves. Or die out completely. Either way, the last 10,000 years will have been flushed down the toilet. But, hey, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Government Is Not the Same As Business (2019Feb06)

Wednesday, February 06, 2019                                       5:58 AM

Government Is Not the Same As Business   (2019Feb06)

I have a new ‘guess’ about the mystery of the divided country. Conservatives, Trumpsters, whatever: I bet if you asked a Liberal if they accepted that there’s plenty of corruption in business, they would agree. In business, wheels are greased and corners are cut, because it’s people that are doing the transactions—and people are human.

Liberals are not so naïve as to imagine that businesses don’t do whatever they can get away with—in some sense, that’s the nature of Capitalism. (And listen as hard as you can, you won’t hear any Liberals calling for an end to Capitalism. Liberals want social programs, not Social-ism.)

But Liberals (and one would hope, Conservatives) see government as distinct from business. Government is not the same as Business. Government is not the same as Business. I’d type it again if I thought it would help.

Democratic Government is intended to support and protect all of its citizens equally. It is not a for-profit ‘outfit’—that’s why they take taxes. And Government, like business, is performed by people—those same, imperfect humans. So, there is corruption in Government, too—and ignorance.

Government, however, without its standards of equality and justice, is like a business without money—it has zero value. The recent shutdown displayed peoples’ understanding that their civil service was about more than their salaries. The elected Government showed little of that.

I think there is something else, too, something we all have to absorb. The 21st century is full of traffic, weapons, toxins, and misinformation. Don’t hate Liberals if we take to the electronics and the science a little quicker than you—but don’t kid yourself that only nerds need to know this stuff, either.

Trump is dumb as a sack of rocks—and most of those Republican yahoos in Congress aren’t far behind him. If you like Trump because he’s dumping on science and intelligence—you’re in for a rude awakening. Look around you. It’s the F-ing future.

Profound Debasement (2019Feb04)

Monday, February 04, 2019                                             6:24 AM

Profound Debasement   (2019Feb04)

I can’t defend the racism of Virginia’s governor, nor do I wish to. But I will say that the timing of this ‘discovery’ of an 80’s yearbook photo is particularly auspicious, considering that racism in a governor, if sufficiently ballyhooed about, helps mask treason and corruption in a president—for several news-cycles, it seems.

It makes me wonder if, among the Republicans’ many cynicisms, there is a list of available dirt that they keep on Democrats—not to bring them to justice, but just to release, as a diversion and for the appearance of parity, whenever their own corruption becomes too massive to overlook.

The fact that the Democrats are human is unfortunate—it’s so easy for Republicans to equate human failings with their own profound debasement. My advice to Democrats is to run lean—Republicans make more hay from an unofficial email server than Democrats could from 1st-degree murder—so keep it tight.

First and foremost, decide between yourselves who can best carry forward the Democratic agenda—don’t have thirty candidates for president—that just makes you look sloppy. Have all those people out there, and in media—sure—but have them all pulling for a certain goal, not an amorphous concept.

Secondly, begin impeachment proceedings. What are you waiting for? Another secret meeting between Trump and his Kremlin puppetmaster? Trump has crossed lines in several directions—high crimes and misdemeanors that Republicans would like to ignore (like emoluments and campaign violations) that do not require waiting for Mueller’s final indictment. Trump has flooded the system with his sludge—start clearing the backwash now.

Yeah, yeah, the Virginia governor is a racist—oh my stars and garters—and right there in the heart of the old confederacy—can you believe it?! Yes, I can believe it—and I don’t care. The media can whore for eyeballs all day long—but that makes it too mindless to keep its perspective.

People always say, ‘write your congressperson’, but in this case we should start writing our network and cable news-CEOs, telling them to get off the dime. It’s time they found a way to sell their sensationalism without endangering our democracy. Besides, I should think they’d feel shame at being such a tool for people like Trump. It’s embarrassing.

Spoiled Brat Of A President (2019Jan24)

Thursday, January 24, 2019                                              9:16 PM

Spoiled Brat Of A President   (2019Jan24)

The same logic that allowed Citizens United to equate money with speech could just as well equate money with firearms. And while Americans have the right to bear arms, they do not have the right to discharge them at will—not, that is, until “Citizens United v. FEC” (2010).

Beyond the ethical solipsism of the wealthy deciding that cash is free speech, there is the obvious, but unaddressed, issue of fairness. How can it be fair that the rich have more ‘speech’ than the poor? Is this not the very definition of disenfranchisement from a democracy, based on wealth?

It has occurred to me lately that the rich are getting way too big for their britches. Their incurable greed-lust can’t be turned off, even after it has accomplished whatever object it may have begun towards. Hence income-inequality.

In a rational society, the wealthy would take care to maintain their surroundings—both the landscape and the human resources. Today’s wealthy go mindlessly forward—acquire, acquire. They don’t do maintenance—and they’re too cheap to hire someone else to do it. No, they get at the government and make it stop serving the people, just to count coup—it’s heedless monomania these fat cats suffer from.

This is how all the empires fell. Things got too good. People took too much for granted. Greed and Self, gnawing away at a grand phenomenon that had grown strong through adversity. Success breeds spoiled children. America’s success has bred a spoiled brat of a president.

Happy MLK Day (2019Jan21)

Monday, January 21, 2019                                                5:04 PM

Happy MLK Day   (2019Jan21)

Martin Luther King Day makes my heart hurt, as a whitey. People that looked like I do came to this place and murdered virtually everyone here. Then they kidnapped Africans and held them in slavery for centuries. We had our bloodiest war fighting each other, ending slavery. But that didn’t end the mistreatment and indignities visited upon African-Americans. It continues to this very moment—in, to name just one example, the fact that some states choose to ignore Martin Luther King Day.

I am too short-tempered to be a follower of the Rev. Dr. King—but anyone can be awed by his courage. I have spent a lifetime regretting my ethnicity—I would prefer not to be associated with white people. I know that sounds racist—but I can’t even hear the term without cringing. I never thought of myself as a color—nor anyone else. The fact that it can bring the ignorant to violence and crime, through a cultural lore of hatred, has always frustrated me.

The thing I always liked most about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches was when he included me in his dream—he understood that hatred was a threat to friend and foe alike. He saw that white people cripple themselves and their children with hatred, beyond what it does to the intentionally persecuted.

I also loved King’s clear thinking—he didn’t lecture us on what was right—he confronted us with what was true. And his lessons, and those of his inspiration, Gandhi, teach us about more than bigotry. They teach us that whatever blurs our sight of the truth is a greater threat than a comfort.

Uncle Sam, Get Yer Gun (2019Jan21)

Monday, January 21, 2019                                                2:41 PM

Uncle Sam, Get Yer Gun   (2019Jan21)

Trump is an enemy of the United States of America. Trump is an ally of Russia—or wherever might takes the place of right. Trump has shut down our government over a lie. There is no national security emergency at the southern border—and the humanitarian emergency there is of Trump’s own making.

Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators don’t have the moral fiber to impeach him for lying (and general unfitness). They don’t even have the wits to override Trump’s veto on the shutdown.

So, which is worse? We have a president with a vacuum at his moral center—and a Senate without a single vertebra between them. The Media persists in framing the shutdown as two sides arguing—but the reality is that, while we all play politics, Trump is fighting a civil war.

People have already died (including children)—and as our crippled government hobbles along, many more will become victims of Trump’s attack upon our homeland.

My initial concern was over the erosion of our ethics and ideals—but with the shutdown, it becomes clear that Trump is an actual physical threat—not just to those seeking asylum here, but to the citizenry. Trump isn’t just outrageous anymore—he’s not just an embarrassment. Trump is an enemy of the state.

I Blame Wolf (2019Jan18)

Friday, January 18, 2019                                          6:59 PM

I Blame Wolf   (2019Jan18)

News-media producers are coming up against an uncomfortable truth—their origin was in Public Service for a reason. The early TV journalists were very direct in exercising their First Amendment rights—to better inform the public. That was their job—you didn’t have to sponsor them and, more importantly, you didn’t have to watch them. They were there to inform whoever cared enough to want to learn.

That is a public service. News-media as profitable entertainment? Not even close. Quite the contrary. By seeking larger audiences, news-shows ‘dumb down’ the reporting—and the discussion. They force a bubble of stupidity over our national discourse. And that is just one of the ways in which journalism-for-profit is a threat to this country.

But don’t go tarring print journalism with the same brush—those old papers have never been get-rich-quick professions—only those with the calling go through what real journalists do. It’s an insult to them even to mention digital News-media in the same category.

It all goes back to Wolf and the CNN gang on that Baghdad hotel balcony, streaming us real-time war-porn for us to watch on our couches, eating chips and ice cream. Was that a part of the digital revolution? Yeah. Was it a journalism coup? No. War correspondents have risked their lives before—on the line, with the soldiers they’re covering. War correspondents have never before sat themselves down in a bombing-target zone and babbled into a microphone like cocktail party guests. No.

So, for two weeks or so, CNN was a profitable business. The problem was nobody needs twenty-four news unless there’s a war going on. And the rest, if not journalism, is certainly history. Literally.

Trump could never have gotten this far, unscathed, if we weren’t locked into this cable-news/social-media battle royale of ignorance and sensationalism. A criminal traitor scumbag became president of the united states. We can only wait and hope for impeachment. It would almost be a relief to blame it all on Trump and the Russians. But that’s leaving out the show-biz.

Dear Turner Classic Movies: (2019Jan15)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019                                                10:34 PM

Dear Turner Classic Movies:   (2019Jan15)

Being a disabled half-a-shut-in, I’ve spent more of my life watching your channel than is natural or healthy—and I am grateful for it. Like many of your viewers, I’m fascinated with the breadth of cinema, the depth of history, and the complexity of a century-plus of moving-picture artistry.

One of the great charms of movies is the caught-in-amber historicity of the figures-of-speech from distant decades. The Runyonesque dialogs, the gangster patter, the particular speech of Americans during WWII—many different accents and expressions are jewelry-settings of distant times and lost neighborhoods. It is an essential part of each movie.

My hearing is so good that I often (i.e. always) use the closed-captioning while watching TV. And here is where I find the one annoying thing about TCM—the CC’s are typed by a young person with no ear for chronological jargon, without any experienced supervision. On some movies, typos and mis-hearings abound with every other screen of dialogue.

I recognize the expense of closed-captioning subtitles is prohibitive. However, with so much energy directed towards the restoration and preservation of the movies’ images—it seems wrong to attach, eternally, a faulty transcription of what is being said.

And it wouldn’t hurt to add music-titles and foreign-phrase-translations—though I suppose that’s extra. Anyway, in a perfect world, right?

A big fan,

Xper Dunn