Money Talks   (2018Jan31)


Wednesday, January 31, 2018                                          2:06 PM

Money Talks   (2018Jan31)

A train full of Republican lawmakers was headed for a retreat in WV today when it struck a garbage truck—one of the garbagemen is dead, the other two are in hospital—garbage is everywhere—all the politicians are fine. Talk about symbolism.

Trump made a speech last night, trying to re-brand his ongoing destruction of American values as a new type of modernized ‘American Dream’, that includes greed and fascism as accepted values—hip, hip, hooray, anyone?

Will someone please explain the difference between official, technical Obstruction-of-Justice—and the daily attempts to obstruct justice that we see from Trump—and, more recently, from his party faithful? The present charade around the so-called ‘Nunes Memo’, attempting to impugn Trump’s investigators before they can close their case, is just the latest in the blatantly public attempts to obstruct justice on-the-fly that we have seen all this past first year of President Enemy Agent’s term.

Trump’s actions—and those of his goon-squad—have all been clearly aimed at obstruction, not just of justice, but of government. Remember, most of Trump’s supporters are hoping he destroys the Federal Government—they’re not concerned, like you or me—they’re jumping for joy. Bunch of jack-booted, militia-manic traitors—pretending to be GI Joes, ignoring their responsibilities, to play Army with their friends.

Meanwhile, important positions are left empty, budgets are zeroed out, regulations erased. Only an enemy of the United States would do this to us. I don’t care if he colluded anymore—he’s doing something much worse—dismantling the federal government—making it easier for corruption to hide—and harder for justice to prevail. Trump is an enemy of the United States of America—but a friend to all lobbyists and campaign contributors. They should all be tried for Treason.

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Some Sucky Spots (2018Jan30)


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018                                                10:07 PM

Some Sucky Spots   (2018Jan30)

Conservatives give me a pain. They distort the Bible in the same way they distort the Founding Documents—politicizing the extremist viewpoints to sway public opinion, and equating it with Christian decency—just as they wave the Second Amendment around as if they believe that guns create a safe environment.

Decent Christians believe that we should love one another as we love ourselves, that we should treat each other as we would be treated. But Americans don’t do that—they put a price tag on everything—especially treats. And while I am no Christian, I have still managed to reach my sixties without ever using a gun—mostly because me and everyone around me had better things to do than play with guns—unless they were in the army or on the police force.

People would describe my area as a ‘nice neighborhood’. I suppose it’s a combination of people being busy and people not having much to tempt a thief. From outside my neighborhood, I imagine it looks privileged—though if you told that to folks here, they’d laugh—to them, ‘privileged’ means a much higher tax bracket.

My neighborhood’s virginity is important to me—if crime ever became commonplace here, I’d have to move away and live in the woods—or something. I fear that every nice neighborhood is vulnerable to hatred-born-of-fear and cruelty-born-of-commerce—any bad actor can pick our little pond to spread ripples in. Without pushback from a cohesive community, such things are not a matter of if, but of when. Such is my paranoia—or community spirit—you decide.

Back to Conservative pains in the butt- Question: If a handful of people own 80% of the wealth, with income-inequality and concentration-of-wealth steadily rising higher, how are we to view Capitalism as a long-term system for anything but the end of civilization? Or try this: If we cut taxes on big business, but raise them on families, so that we can keep pace with the monolithic economies of the undemocratic East, are not our citizens destined for the same autocracy and neglect afforded the people of Ukraine or North Korea?

Capitalism has not aged well—it used to have unlimited potential—endless room to grow—just like America, in its youth. By now, a lot of sediment has slowed the streams of commercial enterprise—once certain needs are filled by certain businesses, it becomes harder to find a new niche. Plus, the scale and interconnectedness of today’s business world makes paradigm changes problematical—so many moving pieces, pole-to-pole, around the globe—even in near-orbit, just above the atmosphere.

Capitalism has forgotten that Christianity is good for business. Once we had solved world hunger and begun educating the world’s children, no one is going to be willing to let that dissolve back into chaos—that’s a steady business for the foreseeable future—a new business with global value. It could pay as much as drug smuggling, once it got started—who can say? But do we fight for a piece of that pie—or do we shout “America First”, like a bunch of clansmen, and let the rest of the world take the lead in emergent economies?

I don’t know about you, voters. A third of you voted for that blowhard whose SOTU address I’m currently not watching—there is no need. Trump may change the details, but his story is pretty consistent: “I don’t take this country seriously and neither should you!—Cash is king!—Fuck you all very much!” Yes, that pretty much covers it—except for the over-the-top racism. (You know he does that so people will mention Hitler—and he can accuse them of hysterics, right?) You folks voted for a douche-bag—come on, admit it. You know you did.

Look, we didn’t know you were that mad, okay? You’re not Democrats, you don’t know how to protest for your own interests—you let some yahoo tell you what you’re mad about—and who to blame it on. But I have been in some sucky spots in my life. I can’t remember a single one I didn’t have to think hard about to get out of—I’ve never gotten out of a bad spot just by being mad.

Kingdom of the Blind (2018Jan26)


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Friday, January 26, 2018                                          7:24 PM

Kingdom of the Blind   (2018Jan26)

There’s no end to this farce. The Republicans and Trump’s administration have attempted to co-opt the balance-of-powers our government rests upon—and now that hasn’t worked, they’ve started with the ‘hardball’. They’re on the attack—but their targets are problematic: the FBI, the NSA, the CIA, the DOJ, Journalists, and Emigrants. Why would someone attack all these things—rather like an enemy of the United States would?

Trump ‘knows more than the generals’ but slipped up on knowing which general had lied to the FBI. Trump ordered the canceling of every government regulation ever enacted—but did he read them first? Did he even bother to have his son read them, or his son-in-law? How does he know that someone won’t get hurt due to his happy-go-lucky, no-safety-regulations approach? Or is it just that he figures the business boom would be worth a few lives, here and there?

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I don’t think you Trump-supporters get it—that clown isn’t just in charge of the Administration of the Federal Government—he’s also responsible for your children’s safety, for your job security, for upholding the US Dollar as the world’s most secure investment. He’s so unfit, he doesn’t even know all the things he’s responsible for, things that no one has bothered to tell him yet.

Did you know they almost spaced out on the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House last spring? They’ve been holding that children’s delight since Roosevelt (Teddy, not FDR) but the Trumps weren’t aware until the egg-supplier called weeks before, complaining that the White House needed to place an order, as the hand-carved, hand-painted wooden eggs took some time to prepare.

Upset norms—sure fine. But don’t wipe your feet on’em, Trump. The presidency is not some bauble you won in a popularity contest—much as it must seem so to you. It is a responsibility so great that, if you had the sense to comprehend it fully, you would relinquish it to Pence immediately and disappear from public life. You think you’re just dicking around on reality TV—but, no, you’re committing treason, you’re pissing on the graves at Arlington—you’re an unnamable disgrace.

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But the Republicans (quick studies) are leaving you behind—once they make progress, attacking judicial and policing and intelligence-gathering agencies, they’ll be free to determine published ‘reality’—and they won’t stop with dismissing Mueller’s findings. But that’s corruption for a few weeks from now, nothing set in stone yet.

Congress is after these agencies—they are attacking the FBI, pressuring the DOJ, and dismissing the CIA. Aside from just how mindlessly foolish that is, it is even more hypocritical. The people that live off the public’s favor are investigating whether the FBI was showing favoritism.

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But wait—it’s not all of Congress, is it? No. It’s just the Republicans! I would think they be scurrying to arrange bi-partisan hearings on these very serious allegations—the Democrats must be alerted at once. Right? Oh. ‘No’, you say? Hmm….

So wait. So, the Republicans suspect that the Democrats are the Deep State—is that it? Is ‘Deep State’ just code for Democrat, like ‘New York’ for Jewish? They have to play their cards close to the vest, in case those traitorous Democrats find out about their counter-ploy? Okay, let me see if I get this: Republican = Good — not Republican = from Satan. Is that where we are now?

There are some irresponsibly imaginative Republicans in the House of Representatives today—headed by the head-spinning head spinner, P. Ryan. Ryan sees no way to upset the delicate balance of the state, just because he has an ‘unfortunate’ president leading his party. And, in truth, as big a douchebag as Ryan is, he’s still the one-eyed king in that bunch.

But for those of us with both eyes open, it’s a very stressful time. Will the voters beat back the United Fringe-bags of Trumpery? And can we do it in time?

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I Prefer the Corner Facing the Door (2018Jan24)


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Wednesday, January 24, 2018                                          2:30 PM

I Prefer the Corner Facing the Door   (2018Jan24)

Do we have laws? Or do we just have rules that apply when and if it’s convenient? Do we forgive the Trump-campaign’s fervor in ignoring ethical guidelines—on the excuse that they were young, foolish, and inexperienced in the ways of Washington? Do we say, “Oh, Trump’s just learning as he goes—teaming with Russian hackers to campaign, leaking classified info to Putin, raking in emoluments hand-over-fist, signing pro-racist XO’s that destroy separation of Church and State—these are just the clumsy stumblings of a puppy.”?

Well maybe, if the ‘puppy’ weren’t in his dotage—maybe if the Caligulan House-members with the dead eyes weren’t smoke-screening for this corrupt con-man, enemy agent in chief, racist sex-deviant Trump—maybe if… Never mind. That’s not even the point.

Did previous presidents have some ‘fatal flaw’ that, without affecting their fitness in any way, would have been politically damaging? Yes. And did party faithful rise to their defense, thinking that masking this one thing was a lesser sin than losing a good leader? Yes—I’m sure they must have. Was this criminal? Well, in all prior instances of the question, the answer is murky—and depends a great deal on one’s own politics.

The thing is—this is virtually unavoidable, since no angels have been elected to the presidency thus far—and, while we can expect many things from a president, we can’t expect perfection. Previous presidents have had to make their way in the world, catch the public’s eye, display character, and wield influence—at a minimum—to reach a place where they could be considered a presidential candidate, much less to win the election.

The average president, until now, has been a public servant as much as a public figure—usually an attorney-at-law. I assume they start to see politics as a way to ‘win a case’ for everybody, instead of one-at-a-time. Or maybe they just prefer social activism to the courtroom. In many cases, their charisma highlighted their character, rather than disguising their flaws. But life if not simple or easy—for them or for you—and no one reaches middle-age without having seen some shit—and, yes, even been in some shit.

Truth to tell, you wouldn’t want a president who hadn’t been tested by life and come through the other side with some character. Trump may be the first president to ever attain office without ever having been tested by life’s trials in any significant way.

And excusing a single flaw of Trump’s would be a piece of cake. I wouldn’t blame a single Republican for excusing Trump’s single flaw. But you know as well as I do that Trump has got an effing telenovela going on here—it’s not one thing—it’s not even one hundred things—it’s a non-stop firehose of flaw and unfitness. And defending that is where the Republicans have gone wrong.

Hey, GOPs—cut a corner here, cut a corner there—hell—it’s politics, after all—but you can’t just throw out the whole rulebook and expect the rest of us to trust Republicans. And I’m not talking about trusting Republicans over Democrats—I’m talking about trusting Republicans enough to turn my back on them.

The Pied Trumper (2018Jan22)


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Monday, January 22, 2018                                                3:15 PM

The Pied Trumper   (2018Jan22)

I remember, ‘bout this time, last year, someone replied to me, “Shut-up and sit down—the grown-ups are in charge now.” I found it a swell-headed thing to say, at the time—but now that the new book “Fire and Fury” has hit the stores, in which virtually everyone describes Trump as ‘childish’, I don’t see a lot of comments like that anymore.

Now Trump has already decided to eject nearly a million hard-working, patriotic citizens (in all but name) simply because their parents broke the law. He decided to cast these souls into the outer darkness without ever looking a single one of them in the face. That may be ‘grown-up’, but it is not anything any decent parent would ever do—and if parents aren’t part of the ‘grown-ups’ then the ‘grown-ups’ are kinda fucked in the head. You should pardon the French.

There is a population of plague-bearing rats in the United States—that significant minority of us who are more likely to join in on a ‘ganging up on’ then to be concerned about the innate injustice of a gang of people against a single person. These people make a virtue of cruelty against strangers—yet cry the loudest at any imposition upon themselves. Their bitter resentfulness would prefer the total demolition of others’ security over any effort to face their own insecurities.

Trump has called these rats out of their holes, politically speaking—all the anti-social folks who resented the progress of social justice over the recent decades—and given them hope. They’re all running around now, full of hope that Jim Crow, and women chained to stoves, and gays beaten to death in alleys—‘the good old days’—are about to return.

And instead of leading them away from America, he marched them straight into voting booths, just like the NRA does. He’s well on his way to ‘normalizing’ the fact that the President of the United States is a pig. He’s fired half of the staff any real president would need to do the job properly—which makes for less insiders, to comment to reporters on how little is done in the White House.

My favorite Trump quote is: “America kills people, too.” It was an inane response to a question he had been asked, it was a childish thing to say—but it remains one of those rare Trump statements that are factually true. The media missed a trick there—asking Trump to affirm the sanctity of human life, sincerely, may be more than his acting skills can handle. His previous comments (or should I say delirium) on Roe v. Wade make it clear he’d rather obfuscate than pontificate on this issue. Trump’s major role, right now, as I see it—is to stand tall, as the one remaining sexual predator who is immune to the #meToo movement—hence yesterday’s crowds at all those protests.

Just yesterday, some Trumpster replied to my previous comment:

PBurt: Chris Dunn What treasonus act did he commit?

Now, this ain’t my first rodeo—and I know that once we get into the thicket of 20 Russian contacts, over 30 fired or resigned Admin Officials in the first year in office, Nepotism, Comey, Flynn, and Papadopoulos—well, it’s just a diversionary tactic—‘pretend ignorance’. So I says:

CDunn: Let me count the ways… (Did you want technical, official acts—or should I include all his assaults on the ideals of our country?)

But I know he may come back—the zeal of the unreasoning overcomes my placid sense of reality every time. And it’s funny how the people with the most mania are always more worked up than the people who have it right. Still, there’s a danger there—and it is, perhaps, an unlooked-for blessing that Trump has come along and alerted everyone—communities, and countries, require engagement from their people—not just the nut jobs—all the people. It’s called democracy.

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So Now What? (2018Jan17)


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Wednesday, January 17, 2018                                          2:05 PM

So Now What?   (2018Jan17)

Earlier today, the president’s chief of staff described Trump’s campaign promises about the Wall as “uninformed”. I don’t see why he felt the need to be specific—most would describe all of Trump’s promises as “uninformed”, excepting all those that remain “empty”.

I just saw Sen. Jeff Flake give a Senate-floor speech that was forthright in castigating the Republican Party—and even MSNBC went straight from that to discussing whether or not Flake’s words would matter (!?) One would hope they’d spare a second—or any of the ‘excitement mills’ would—to discuss what he said.

Trump tweeted that Flake was just ‘trying to get attention’—and he was right. Flake was trying to tell his fellow Republicans that they had strayed into a mirky wood full of dangers; to tell them they had to hack their way back into the light. It seems petty—to deflect such a grave message by suggesting that a man retiring from the Senate is no one to be taken seriously—and the president’s sentiments should give other Senators pause, I’d hope.

But mass media is so label-prone and outcry-hungry that they can become a mask for truth as well as a platform for truth—the job at CNN, MSNBC, etc. is to create dramatic tension out of thin air. This is often done by stating facts—but the mass media have become too commodified to wait around for facts. And by now they’ve become so used to ‘keeping the ball in the air’ that they have difficulty finding the time to insert facts, whenever they reappear. Straight truth screws with their bottom line.

Well, aside from the deferred job of undoing all the damage Trump will have done to the government (and the nation) by the time we see the ass-end of his shenanigans (or more optimistically (though less likely) a groundswell of outrage that sweeps away not only Trump, but his whole party) there’s little point in watching the ‘Trump show’.

The spokesman for unreasoning fear and anger led a large constituency to the 2016 Election polls—and the rest of us failed to see the danger of not voting. Electoral Colleagues scorned their duty, after the popular vote presented them with an unfit choice. The Republican Party has abandoned any claim on legitimacy by riding this horse through corruption, dishonesty, racism, sexism, plutocracy, xenophobia, fascism, and jihad-like attacks on our religious freedoms. Not to mention treason.

That Congress—they are something. A veritable army of people, hundreds of people—each elected by their local folks, each responsible to work together with hundreds of others. What a challenge they could face! What great things they could achieve! But such a great opportunity can also go greatly awry—it can devolve into a bunch of schoolchildren on a playground, but without a teacher. Modern politics obviously requires one very important skill in one’s toolbox: the inability to be embarrassed.

One very obviously lacking skill in modern politics: leadership—and that goes for both parties. If the Democrats didn’t have the sense to unite behind Obama, and the Republicans embraced the nonsense of uniting behind Trump—which party is the most pathetic? Has the politics overcome the democracy so completely that, like a seedy roadside bar, no one with any sense walks into it anymore?

Gosh—I’ve gotten this far and I haven’t even started on my theme: What do we do when (and if) this ship of state rights itself? We’d have to start (fittingly) by throwing all of Trump’s XOs back in his face (as he always does with accusations and failures). We’ll have double-duty, because we’ll have to clean-slate all of Trump’s garbage and, more importantly, reinstate most of Obama’s—but as legislation, not just an XO.

Then we have to ‘do the right thing’ by all Dreamers, TPS-es, and divided families—just to start. Then we have to take in 500,000 refugees from Syria and other hot-spots—in the inaugural year, not over ten or fifty years—right now. And be ready to do it again the next year.

Then we have to re-do the Tax Reform thing, and charge the corporations and the wealthy the ‘total maintenance fee’ on getting to be rich and powerful in the greatest country in the world—that stuff don’t come cheap, boss. We’ll need that money to pay for free healthcare and higher education—it’s about time we caught up with the developed world, in terms of maintaining the flock. (You can’t have nice, fat chickens if you don’t give them that quality feed.)

Infrastructure would be nice, too—mostly because it is stupid to let the work-backlog keep growing, decade by decade—what is this, dreamland, FFS? Do you expect to get credit for your ancestor’s efforts—without even the courtesy of a coat of paint? Not likely.

But, if we’re going to dream big, Federalist dreams… —Why not a guaranteed-minimum-income for all? That way, employers would have to offer a living wage to get anyone to work for them. There’s justice for ya, huh? I know, I know—you don’t like it—it sounds all wrong. Sure. And what we got going on right now is totally just and fair. Wouldn’t want to make the business-owners angry, calling it modern-day slavery, with TV. (Or is it cellphones now?)

Anyway, moving on: We shouldn’t be satisfied until our low-income population has the same quality-of-life as their Canadian counterparts—that’s simple humanitarian governance, plus it really lowers all the costs of maintaining an underserved community and its associated crime stats. Making peoples’ lives more fulfilling than doing drugs might even help with the whole opioid problem.

That’s just a rough outline off the top of my head—and I’m not an expert on this stuff in the first place. But, obviously, it will require a reversal of our present politics—we need a majority in both houses and a president with chops. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a constituency that has felt the cold chill of what democracy might become, if good people stay home. Nor would it hurt if those same voters had the courage of their convictions, remembering that freedom means not being afraid–or lazy.

Trump is a Joke (2018Jan15)


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Monday, January 15, 2018                                                3:08 PM

Trump is a Joke   (2018Jan15)

Donald Trump is a joke—he was a joke before, and conning a bunch of people into voting for him doesn’t make him any less inane. There’s nothing too wrong with being a laughable idiot. The Republicans, however, by excusing, defending, and supporting him as if he were a respectable person, have made themselves, the legislature, the administration, and the government into a joke.

This country is broken. We vote for known criminals. We vote against our own self-interests. We transmit bullshit propaganda as ‘TV-journalism’. We have forgotten the difference between science and wishes, between democracy and popularity, between humanity and profit.

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I don’t want to call Trump-voters stupid—but what choice do I have? His kind have been selling snake-oil from a bandwagon forever—taking money from the rubes until the serious townspeople ran him off. But America has become the town that elected a carnival barker as their new mayor. Not just one town, or even one state—but coast-to-coast stupidity. And where are the serious people—the ones that saw Trump comin’? Sleeping?

The Republicans not only legitimize their pet clown—they are so bereft of ideas or imagination they let him lead the way! An idiot Executive is fine, when he’s a tool of the legislature and the fat-cats—people with plans and an agenda. He can rubber-stamp whatever bills they plan to pass.

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But Trump, mentally challenged as he is, fits right in with the cud-chewing herd. He is not being swept along by a canny group of pioneers—he’s filling the void of the Republican agenda. Conservative voters seem to respect the ability to lie well above the ability to think well.

American Conservatism used to mean resistance to change. After the civil rights act and women’s lib and gay marriage equality, Conservatism didn’t mean resisting change—not any longer. Now, Conservatism is a bugle call to return to the hatred and injustice of the past—they don’t mind change at all, anymore. The more bias and unfairness they can inject into our culture and our capitalism, they more they lust for changes. Some conservatives. Some joke.

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