Zero Tolerance   (2018May29)


Tuesday, May 29, 2018                                            2:51 PM

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Foot-sore, traumatized, asylum-seeking youngsters—and their penniless, defenseless, desperate parent(s) trying to find a better world, a better life, for their beloved children—these are the people for whom POS Trump has zero tolerance. And this is the beauty of that POS—by enraging all decent Americans past the point of any patience whatsoever, he tricks us into saying we have zero tolerance for him. He prods us to become as ugly towards him as he is towards us.

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The POS has taken the GOP’s tactic of obfuscation—the claim of ‘alternative views’—to its logical extreme: that ‘good vs. evil’ is simply two different viewpoints. He must lie on a daily basis to do so, but by lying, he makes the case that ‘he knows we are, but what is he?’—and, due to the childish nature of such discourse, it forces all mature citizens to balk at a retort. We are not prepared for a president who is willing to take advantage of the fact that the POTUS can moon the world, stick his fingers in his ears, and bray ‘Nyah! Nyah!’ on national television—and no one can do anything about it.

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Prior to the current POS, all POTUSes were responsible, reasonable men who knew the difference between doing business and serving the public—not perfect men, surely no, but still with consciences of accountability. The only prior POTUS who, like Trump, felt that ‘if the President does it, it’s not illegal’, was forced to resign in disgrace. And even Nixon had the dignity to drop the pretense, when the writing appeared on the wall—he didn’t force his country to endure the shame of a criminal trial against his administration.

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Meanwhile, I just saw news footage of lines of dead-eyed, defeated refugees being herded thru barb-wired enclosures by heavily armed and armored guards. They trudged in what seemed an endless, tortuous process which, in my mind, is the way third-world countries let refugees know they are  not welcome. And in that line I saw a woman, about my daughter’s age and height (but much scrawnier) with a baby in her arms, about my granddaughter’s age.

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They did not look like they were about to enter the Land of the Free—they looked like they were being herded into a prison. They did not look like they were being cared for in any way—though they certainly appeared frightened, tired, and thirsty. Is this America? Is it right for our POS to take our nation’s great strength and power—and use it to bully the entire world, including his own country, his own government, his own family? How did this asshole abrogate the glory of the USA unto his sick, evil (tiny) hands? I have zero tolerance for POS Trump, or the GOP goons who maintain his ‘legitimacy’ in the face of mountains of evidence of unfitness.

But we can expect nothing more from a party that long-ago adopted unfitness as a political tactic, rather than a disqualifier.

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1,500 Missing—Presumed Dead (2018May26)


Saturday, May 26, 2018                                           12:02 PM

1,500 Missing—Presumed Dead   (2018May26)

The explanations, excuses, and counter-accusations keep coming—almost as fast as the reports of foreign dealings and criminal activities drift into a mountain range of malfeasance. Let’s face it—Trump’s a helluva tap-dancer—but he’s also obviously a crook, a liar, and a treasonously bad president.

The saddest part is that Trump doesn’t really matter—he’s just a foil for the morally-bankrupt Republican Party, which insults us by pretending there’s nothing wrong with Trump—and uses the Trump distraction to swiftly advance their fascist-leaning, de-humanizing vision of White Nationalism. Far worse than Trump’s ignorant opacity—is Republican leadership’s scheming pretense of sharing his delusions.

And the Republicans themselves—mere puppets of the super-wealthy—slaves to the big-dollar donors—are conspiring to make businesses not just equal to citizens—but superior to them. If an employer can keep you working, shorn of your constitutional rights, given barely enough to eat, doing whatever he says to do—then you, my friend, are not an employee—there’s another word for what they have made you. I think you know what it is.

The Nazis’ excuse was “I was only following orders.” The American fascists’ excuse is always “I need this job—I should let my family go hungry?” They are both narrow-minded excuses for failing to look past the immediate and the singular. Americans will tell you that they’d give their lives to defend their freedoms—but find one who will give up his job for them. Americans are full of knee-jerk sentiments: ‘Live free or die’, etc. But find yourself just one of these hot-house ‘patriots’ who will actually inconvenience themselves for the good of others.

The Federal government has ripped 1,500 children away from their parents (in the name of national security, no less) and then proceeded to misplace them. Really? How do we know they’re not buried in a mass grave somewhere? Are we just gonna watch CNN until the ‘child found’ episode comes on? Or are we gonna find out what happened to that ‘Children’s Crusade’ of missing minors, ourselves?

Impeach!

Friday, May 11, 2018


Friday, May 11, 2018                                       9:19 PM

Iran and North Korea have nuclear programs and missile programs—and, as some talking-head just reminded me, North Korea has developed missiles that could reach the United States. This is a sobering thought, as the 24-hour cable news show intended. I certainly hope the rest of the world can convince these two countries to stop wasting their riches pursuing WMDs.

Nukes certainly don’t give the superpowers anything but troubles. And, realistically, say either one of those nations were to lob a nuke at the USA—what possible scenario leaves the aggressor-nation as anything other than a smoking crater? We have thousands of those things—and when terrorists plane-bombed the twin towers, we went to war with two countries for almost twenty years. You do the math—I’d say they were in for return-fire.

Nuking the U.S. is an old pipe-dream that the Soviets started—even Dr. Evil, from the Austin Powers movies, would find it a rusty concept. We are the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon. We’ve been developing nukes since 1945. That’s quite a game of ‘catch-up’ ball those little countries are trying to play. And what’s the endgame—a radioactive Western Hemisphere? Is that the ‘safer’ future these countries are working towards?

How stupid are these people?

How stupid are we?

 

Sunday, May 13, 2018                                                       7:04 PM

 

Don’t let me wake up regretting yesterday

Don’t let me go to sleep fearing tomorrow

Let me live each day

Let me dress and eat and work and rest

Let my friends and family be near

Don’t let me be separated from life

By the artifacts of greed

 

I’m wondering today: if the ozone layer and the Van Allen Belt are evolved as part of our biosphere or if they are a chance occurence of our solar system? When we damage them, are we simply messing with a random artifact, or are we cracking the protective shell of the living Earth? Not that it matters—if we are foolish enough to heedlessly destroy our planetary radiation-shielding, we will die, either way. It is only the poetic aspect of the question that interests me.

The Ethically Vacant Administration (2018May10)


Thursday, May 10, 2018                                          2:08 PM

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We are closing in on the first anniversary of Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub, Jr. turning in his resignation. You may remember he quit over Trump’s refusal to divest his businesses and Trump’s refusal to disclose ethics waivers issued for White House staff.

I would say that Trump has vindicated Shaub’s decision by neglecting to fill the vacant post. (Trump did appoint the OGE’s counsel as acting director—but that person has issued one single press release in 2018—which I take as a sign of ‘agency hibernation’.) Trump has still not divested in full. And the Ethics Waivers issue took care of itself—most Trump staffers with questionable backgrounds have since resigned, been fired, have confessed to the FBI, or are currently under investigation.

The few ‘Ethics-Waivee’s who remain, such as KellyAnn Conway, have become caricatures of credibility—character actors in the tragic farce of today’s White House. Trump brought in Giuliani to be a fresh face of falsehood on the media stage—but Rudy seems to have ejaculated prematurely, outdoing KellyAnn’s two-years-of-hyperbole in a single weekend round of talk-shows.

I had naively hoped that General Flynn’s exposure as an Oligarch-gopher and Putin-plant within the National Security Council would be laid at Trump’s feet. I had hoped the same about Manafort and Gates. And about Stone and Papadopolis. Now, they are even trying to question whether Cohen’s activities were ‘in any way connected’ to the president. Gee, I donno!

We must eventually reach a point where his mouthpieces will be claiming that Trump’s mouth or Trump’s hands may have been involved, but not his heart and soul. And somehow, that not only makes Trump innocent of any reality—but makes the crimes themselves minor misdeeds that don’t deserve media discussion. It all works out very neatly—don’t you see?

Childish Giuliani   (2018May07)


Monday, May 07, 2018                                            2:27 PM

Childish Giuliani   (2018May07)

We already have a president who speaks in baby-talk—do we really need to give national attention to his latest henchman? Trump won the Electoral College, so we’re stuck with his ravings—but Giuliani has no mandate other than Trump’s retainer. And here is where the media becomes part of the problem.

Isn’t Giuliani entertaining? Are you not entertained? Plus, Giuliani’s random quotes sometimes seem as if they might place the president in greater legal jeopardy, rather than extricating him from his many scandals. Oh, how exciting!

But what value is found in the pompous pronouncements of a beady-eyed gas-bag? Are we better informed? No. Is he speaking freely about the truth, or is Giuliani just shot-gunning the public with carefully-curated, out-of-context agit-prop? Well, everyone is laughing at him—so, maybe, the later.

My main outrage is over his twisting the Justice Department’s investigation into something that ‘bad guys’ are trying to ‘do’ to Trump. Now, he may be a lawyer—but we don’t need to pass the bar to understand what it would mean for a president to take the Fifth. It would mean that Trump has something to hide—something incriminating.

His goon-squad also tries to make the investigation into some sort of ‘invasion of privacy’—as if people who break the law have the right to get away with it, rather than be searched by the FBI. Well, a president should have known that the office required more than a little invasion of privacy, above and beyond even what normal citizens must deal with. To think that ends—that the line for the president’s ‘fishbowl’ ends—at criminal investigation—well, like so many things with this president—that’s just silly.

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Intel   (2018May05)


 

Saturday, May 05, 2018                                           7:18 PM

Intel   (2018May05)

“They want everyone confused. Confusion is control.” – Mark Felt (aka Deep Throat)

Let’s rack’em up: The Trump camp is lying as if lying were an Olympic sport and they’re going for the gold. The Republicans are morally bankrupt from having created this arena of false outrage and false promises—the manure from which Trump first sprang. The Democrats are having a very hard time distinguishing ‘progressive’ from ‘push-over’. The voters are interested in their own lives—most of them don’t recognize how important political participation is for a healthy democracy—and don’t recognize how an unhealthy democracy can change their lives in very scary ways.

The media-verse wants to put on a show—not to perform public service. They make money by creating a compulsion to watch the ‘drama’. That’s why they persist in granting credibility to a president who wipes his ass with it. I mean, really, it’s been two years now that they’ve paraded on a bunch of wildly dishonest and serpentine spokesmen and spokeswomen for the Celebrity-Crook Administration.

Not a one of them answers a direct question. Not a one of them is capable of conceding a single point in any interview—that’s not stubborn—that’s stonewalling. When Trump is filmed in his out-and-out lies, they come on TV and say, “Get a sense of humor—of course he was joking.” I don’t know—would that be any less oily a defense, if Trump actually had a sense of humor? Not that it matters.

But by insisting on ‘fair and balanced’, the 24-hour-news businesses hammer these blatant scandals into some kind of sporting event, where they air first one side’s volley, then the other’s. It’s not journalism—it’s prestidigitation—keeping us mesmerized, so we don’t notice the whole thing has become a childish joke that the powers-that-be don’t have the humility to be ashamed of.

 

Friday, May 04, 2018 7:57 PM            Subject: Patience

I needed time to rein in my outrage at the election upset. I finally resigned myself to it being as case of too much of the electorate being conned. If the bad guys can learn a new way to hack democracy, the good guys will find a patch, right? I calmed down and settled in for hard times.

I’ve strained to be patient for more than a year now, waiting for public officials of good will to find some way to depose the useful idiot, before Putin gains more say in policy than any American (and I think it’s pretty clear now that Trump is no American).

Besides, how has this jackass avoided a war or a market crash, making an infamy of himself while he spits on the flag and all it stands for? One time, during the campaign, he embraced and dry-humped an on-stage flag at a rally–he’s such a dick!

Oh, you poor intelligentsia—all your lives, most everyone you meet will seem dull or foolish. That’s the price you pay for being smarter than average—mathematically, the majority of other people have to be less quick—otherwise you wouldn’t be smarter-than-average. Even the adult’s programs on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) will seem geared towards children, compared to how quickly you can absorb information on your own.

And if you are so unfortunate as to become interested in politics, you will marvel at its blatant perversion into a tool of the rich and violent. And the far greater marvel is the potential, the capacity, which our technology has to transform this pre-industrial wage-slavery into a society ruled by all of itself, for all of itself.

Obstacle one: the feral nature of the rich and violent. They only use words to lie. They know the rest of us use words sincerely, so they add their lies to the mix—knowing that people believe anything they hear repeated often enough. Hitler invented the idea of whipping a whole country into a mob—and that technology has not gone undeveloped in the half-century since.

The idea that European city streets were winding and impractical—because those streets began as goat-trails and such, and the cities grew up adapting that old system, instead of replacing it—that’s always struck me as wonderfully human. But there is a social-meme version of the same thing, ideas that make society more tangled and confrontational—that we inherit from parents, teachers, elders, religious leaders—and, yes, politicians.

When Trump says ‘Mexicans are rapists’, who knows how he justifies such hate speech, such stupidity? His brain is full of goat tracks—worn down by his Klan-member daddy and his gangstoychik friends—plus all the spoiled coke-heads he clubbed with in the eighties. This ‘president’ can’t say for sure who he’s fucked—talk to his lawyer—talk to his lawyer—yeah, Donny—we’ll ‘check in’ with Cohen.

I blame Francis Ford Coppola—both Trump and Giuliani think it’s cool to rub elbows with cold-blooded organized-crime figures. Or is it ultimately Mario Puzo’s fault? I don’t know. We didn’t used to embrace crime so warmly. Maybe it was “The Sopranos” on HBO—maybe that over-normalized people whose business-model includes mass homicides.

 

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I Could Go On Singing (2018May02)


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Wednesday, May 02, 2018                                               4:01 PM

I Could Go On Singing   (2018May02)

Kanye West talked sloppily recently and everyone jumped down his throat—and sure, he could have just said that Stockholm Syndrome played a role in the tragedy of American slavery—but Kanye West is a songwriter—he speaks impressionistically, not rationally.

The same for Trump—his whole career as a huckster, he’s always used sales-speak—he speaks impressionistically, not honestly. This is a core American problem—differentiating between reason and preference. Our First Amendment guarantees our right to voice our opinions—making our opinions sacred, to an extent. Factual, rational knowledge is a survival tool—making the hard Truth sacred, as well.

Therein lies the problem: yes, your opinion is sacred—and the truth is sacred—but (and this is very important) they are not the same thing. Mixing the two up is the go-to razzle-dazzle for every culture warrior and nationalist. Political platforms differ mostly in precisely how each ‘team’ decides to conflate opinion with truth.

Why do Americans have so much trouble classifying one from another? Faith. This country, at its bedrock, began as a place where people had the mental courage to confront the danger of theocratic government. We said from the outset—and with good reason, even in that tiny, nascent colony—that government and law must be kept separate from religion.

Before I continue, I apologize for seeming to equate faith with mere opinion.  That is not my intention. But men can and do have differences of faith even within a single congregation—and in this way, faith differs from scientific truth in a fundamental way. People can differ in their ideas about the source of creation, life, and beyond—and still agree on evidence and proof. Thus law and governance can only be righteous apart from religious vagaries.

Many Americans have always winked at this most important precept—assuming, naturally, that the majority religion (Christian Protestants) would still be given its due. Indeed, that is the case—‘Under God’ was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950’s by Red-Scare-panicked WASPs. “In God We Trust” is, inexplicably, on our money. (Then again, money itself is hard to explain—but I digress.) Mandatory school prayer wasn’t fought in court until the 1960s. Xmas, Halloween, Saints’ Days—many American traditions have a Protestant origin. Even Thanksgiving—while the quintessence of American traditions—was, is, and always will be, after all, for giving thanks to ‘God’.

This was—I emphasize ‘was’—an Anglican-populated colony for centuries before the Revolution—and so, for all the time before—and long after—the only usage for ‘separation of Church and State’ was to keep any of the Puritans, Quakers, Shakers, Episcopalians, et. al. from hijacking the law away from the whole. Catholics didn’t count—because everyone hated Catholics in England, where they’d all come from.

So, yeah, ‘separation of Church and State’ started out as something less than it is today—just like our Constitution, which originally intended to direct a mere thirteen colonies of farmers, sailors, and tradespeople, on how to govern themselves. ‘Separation of Church and State’ may have begun simply as way to stop the infighting among the first New England Puritans—but its genius and clarity are as much a part and parcel of our American Liberty as our Freedom of Speech. That used to be clear to all Americans.

And that reminds me of what I hate most about the Neo-Cons and Neo-Nazis. The evil these people represent was exposed and ridiculed out of the public eye, long, long ago—and with no small expenditure of civil disobedience, persecution, and even violence borne—and the bastards just re-issue it like some movie re-make.

The younger generations don’t have our memories—they don’t know the long story about how we should cherish every yard of social justice ever won by any good man or woman, over the centuries past. Thus, if some skinhead tells young people his holocaust-denial conspiracy theories, before a teacher has a chance to teach those kids the real history, in school—that’s irreversible—and it’s a crime against their minds.

That’s what I hate most about those evolution-denying, caravan-cowardly, money-grubbing…well, you know me—I could go on. But I’ve said what I had to say, for now.

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Improv – Green Dawn

 

Improv – An April Jigg