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!”
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.
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….
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
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?
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.
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?
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….
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, August 03, 2019 12:31 PM
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….
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.
Saturday, July 20, 2019 1:08 PM
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 Poem & Illustration:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
It finally comes back to you: The reason smart people are so annoying is because they’re always frickin right.
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?
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.
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?
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Democracy is about consensus. In a business meeting, an alpha-bully who flim-flams his way into overbearing all others present—that person is a valuable salesperson in some corporations. But putting that psycho in charge of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people—it sets the whole idea of consensus on its head.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:27 PM
American Snowflake (2019Jan12)
Scoffing at the Law
We have seen the celebration of all the above faults under a Trump administration. We have endured ridicule for being overly precious about our ethics and our sense of fairness. We hear our Media give the White Nationalists every exposure and legitimacy—as if they were simply another ‘side’ of the story. We see our Supreme Court packed with predators.
Now we can say: yes, it does matter. Not only do the above failings mark a person as ignorant and without conscience. These failings now present themselves as backdoors for America’s enemies.
Where we once tolerated bigots, mashers, and white-collar criminals—in the spirit of inclusion—we now see that we can’t afford the risk to our national security on anti-American sentiments. In a global society, rife with YouTube recruitment and state-run hacker-co-ops, Americans must be fully American.
When we see racist or sexist Facebook posts, we must assume the poster to be treasonous, probably Russian. When some bible-neck puts Jesus before our Constitution, we must assume they are a mole from some primitive theocracy, like Saudi Arabia. And when someone shuts down the entire government for no clear reason at all—that man is a traitor. He should be tried and hung, while we still have our flag flying.
Thursday, January 10, 2019 1:15 PM
Stray Thoughts (2019Jan10)
We are not the top. We are not the end. We are children without experience or context. This universe was near-infinitely ancient, prior to the appearance of the first strand of DNA that allowed the first mite of scum to reproduce. Life was less-infinitely ancient, prior to the appearance of recorded civilization—which, itself, lasted tens of thousands of years before the appearance of our ‘planetarily-carcinogenic’ addiction to fossil-fuel technology.
Yet we go on preparing ourselves to be literally boiled in our own waste. Worse—not even ourselves, but our grandchildren. We will all die in air-conditioned comfort—our heirs will be slowly tortured to death on a poisoned planet.
If it is a tragedy to be without wisdom, how much greater the tragedy, when we have wisdom and refuse to acknowledge it?
People debate the existence of extra-terrestrial life—like much media, this is infantile fodder for debating the obvious—a convenient Rorschach-card of a conversation topic. Of course there is life out there. There are only three real questions.
One: Is astronomical distance an impenetrable barrier? If so, ‘life’ is a parochial affair, insulated from us and from each other by distances that defy comprehension. Two: If ET’s could visit Earth, would they want to? And Three: If ET’s visited Earth, would they deign to communicate with humanity?
Outside of these three questions, debate is not just useless—it is an excuse to use UFOs as an analogy for xenophobia.
Humanity tends to conflate its present knowledge-base for the entirety of knowledge. We can laugh at ancient people who made this mistake—but we should remember not to make jokes of ourselves.
I miss the pre-Internet days—people like me (bookworms) were a thing. If anyone wanted to know how to spell a word, or how to calculate a percentage, or whether Bach came before Beethoven, or how to test the pool for pH levels—someone would say, “Ask Chris.” It was nice—being the know-it-all. It made up, a little, for being a nerd.
Back then, information wasn’t everywhere—you had to know where to look (which is still true, but not as literally). My name got passed around, just like a good car-mechanic’s, or a reliable pot-dealer’s. Of course, no one considered it my profession—because this was back when information was still ‘free’. People considered asking-me-a-question payment enough for the answer.
When I got carried away and started spouting more information than they wanted to hear, they’d say, “Stop. I don’t want to hear it.” And they’d walk away. I was the information-source—they’d turn me off, if they didn’t like the information. Nothing surprising there.
But they wouldn’t contradict me. They didn’t curate my information to suit their personal preferences—like trolls do now. Don’t take trolls personally, by the way—they are simply young people, glorying in the freedom to deny reality and social mores and common sense. It’s like a drug—taking away the constraints of gravity, for as long as one can stay at the keyboard.
But most of all, back when information still mattered, a madman like our current president—and the Senate goons supporting him—would have been justifiably laughed out-of-office. Hearings would have been unnecessary.
Somehow, the Right has taken ‘two sides to every story’ (which makes sense) and twisted it into ‘legitimacy for the self-serving side of a story’ (which is the opposite of sense). It sounds a lot like religion—something the secular do well to avoid in their business and government practices—hence the wise division between Church and State.
The Right has embraced the fact that propaganda works on a sizable percent of the governed—just as Fascists did in the Nineteen-Thirties—and chosen to abuse that knowledge, using today’s communications tools, rather than running “The More You Know” PSAs or some other, less malignant, more helpful, interaction with the people of the nation.
The most religion-like aspect of Trump-supporters is their eagerness to reject science, fact, evidence, and truth. This is where the tide of madness has risen highest. And the commercial media must share the indictment of their success—since the sensationalism-value of bat-shit-crazy gathers eyeballs better than a severed head rolling down the street, and executives are too greedy to factor in mental health concerns (or concerns for mass hysteria, come to that).
This eagerness to contradict school-book facts and sober science, though—we should probably take a look at where that comes from. We used to be one bad harvest from animals—we’ve evolved (like it or not) to live a simple life.
Yes we are clever apes, no doubt. But are we, as a species, adept enough to use the rules-of-the-road, our remote controls, our ATM cards, our on-line bill-paying, and our Twitter app? Police Blotters worldwide say no, not all of us, not every day. And that’s just the bare bones of modern life-skills.
If a Masters Degree becomes the default educational ‘job requirement’—where it used to be only for the unusually scholarly or dedicated—does that mean we are asking too much of ourselves, as a group? The trouble with Progress-as-defined-by-Capitalism is that we are hostages to it.
Progress doesn’t serve us—it conscripts us. And should we fall out of step, we get ripped to shreds by the cleverer apes, the greedier apes. Progress-as-defined–by-Liberals is less savage—we see a future where the robots take our jobs, yes, but we still get paid. Silly, I know—to a Capitalist. Those people can’t just take the Win and turn to a better way—and that’s going to bite us all in the ass.
The world is changing faster as technology explodes from yesterday’s successes to a thousand-times more successes tomorrow. But, as tech becomes more powerful, its failures become more dangerous. In fact, we should just pay everybody a nice salary, with benefits—and change our paradigm to shepherding our technology along safe pathways.
That is our new job, as a civilization. We have all earned a permanent retirement from hard labor—nobody does any large-scale farming or large-scale manufacturing by hand anymore. Our job now is to co-exist with each other, and maintain the global machinery of our economy, without a profit motive to screw things up.
If you still use the phrase ‘earning a living’, as if you were splitting fence-rails with Honest Abe, you’ve never seen a Dilbert cartoon. If you are more concerned with other peoples’ behavior than you are with examining yourself, you should be in politics (I’m not saying you’ll be good at—but your kind seem happy there).
And, yes, obviously, the underserved are far more eager to give up the current paradigm than the rich and powerful—and the rich and powerful are so damned selfish, they’d blow it all up in a war, rather than share any of it. So there’s that. I keep saying—it’s all about mental health.
Capitalism isolates people—discouraging cooperation—prioritizing individual ownership over use or fairness. As a nineteenth- and twentieth-century engine for change, Capitalism did its job. But its job is over. All done. But do we celebrate? No. It’s funny.
Sunday, January 06, 2019 2:36 PM
Mostly Democrats (2019Jan06)
If those who choose a career in civil service are mostly Democrats, as Trump suggests, that would be a stunning indictment of Republicans. Is the GOP completely devoid of interest in serving the people, except for elected or appointed positions of power and privilege? Does their party exist solely to disrupt and obfuscate our federal government?
Better question: Do the Republicans promote ‘smaller government’ because it is the road to ‘no government’? When has our government ever made a positive difference in peoples’ lives, while the Republicans weren’t fighting tooth and nail to hold back the changes?
Do the Republicans stand for anything other than evangelical fanaticism, wealth, and pop-guns-for-the-home? Their devotion to ignorance makes them natural recruits for authoritarian extremism. They don’t even represent the Conservatives anymore (whom I despised—but at least they clung, however tenuously, to coherency).
I think the Republican Party has embraced Corruption. After all, business is business—and the wealthy puppeteers behind the party see the U. S. Government as just another player—to be targeted for takeover. Most Americans are so money-crazy they’d express little alarm over the idea—but that’s because they fail to recognize the vital differences between business and democratic government.
For decades, the Republicans have claimed that government is too inept to be trusted, while pretending they were worthy of trust. Republicans have claimed that we can’t afford social programs, or even infrastructure, but slip billions to their rich buddies under the table. They are so blatantly dishonest and hypocritical that I’m awed by the dysfunction of it all—people actual fall for their bullshit!
Faith is a wonderful thing. But humanity is eternally plagued by those who would abuse the faith of others, without conscience or scruple. Trump is such, as is McConnell, Ryan, Cruz, Graham, Justice Thomas and that new fratboy Justice—all of them men without honor—in many ways, men without reason.
I’m on the side of the Congresswoman who wants to impeach the motherfucking pussy-grabber. (Pardon the raw language—I wanted to quote equal obscenity from both sides.)
It will take the next Democratic president years to undo all the damage and de-staffing of Trump’s conflagration of everything American. She or he will be lucky if, by the end of their first term, they’ve gotten us back to where Obama left us.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is moving on. The decapitation-traffic-accident of Trump’s presidency has put them all on notice—America has closed up shop. Look elsewhere for strength, justice, or decency.
my xmas ditty:
Monday, December 17, 2018 12:34 PM
Republicans Are Waiting For Christmas (2018Dec17)
What did Trump call his alleged felonies? ‘popcorn stuff’? ‘chicken feed’? ‘smock and mirrors’? Well—I guess that ‘lock her up’ guff is only one-way. (Or is it only one-gender?)
The Border Patrol Gestapo failed to save a 7-year-old refugee girl in distress—then excused their neglect by saying “she shouldn’t have been taken on a long trip without adequate food and water”. Turns out, the poor child had sepsis—something outside the assumptions of the prejudiced and, therefore, missed at the time.
Are we done yet? Can we admit that, annoying as they may be, those intelligent, educated people gave us a feeling of security and stability that no circus clown or reality-TV star can offer? When can the media go back to dismissing fools without giving them air-time? When can we all agree that this presidency is our lowest, most embarrassing moment for democracy—the day we found out it had its weaknesses?
The trouble being: democratic voters are not supposed to be selfish and uninterested—and candidates for democratically-elected office are not supposed to be poll-driven. They are supposed to lead us through the unpleasant but necessary solutions to injustice—not beg corporate lobbyists for money, and then conspire in corruption.
And let me point out, to all those who still support the concepts of ‘alternate news’ and ‘alternate facts’: if the country were blind to the truth, all this time, it could hardly have maintained its economy and military, such as they are.
That is to say, I have beef with our economic model and our current economic laws and policies—but no matter how I feel about it, America has the most stable, yet most robust economy (per capita) of any nation in the world. I think its paradigm is obsolete and its zeitgeist is cold-blooded, but it’s still doing it better than any other country.
Now, I hear you contradicting—but let me say this. Russia has a warlord economy. Or it could be updated—call it a mobster economy. It doesn’t respond to market pressure—or, rather, when it does, it is not an organic response, but imposed. And China—well, China has billions of people and half the world’s real estate. Even pre-industrial China had enough land and labor to compete in world markets—not that they ever wanted to, until recently.
If (to put it another way) all of China was run like New York State, the size and power of their economy would outshine all others, like the daylight the stars. But it has more to do with intent than with the specific laws and rules.
When America first rebelled, its new government had a very ‘we inmates are in charge of the asylum now’ feel to it. And the American culture matched that, with brash openness and a willingness to try new things that seemed very incautious to Old-World-ers.
Frontier living showed Americans the importance of mutual support and community—crooks were dealt with harshly, but honest businesses were points of pride for growing towns and counties. This attitude of a rising tide lifting all boats was not homogeneous or unanimous—but it was prevalent.
Europe’s, and the rest of the world’s, cultures evolved from the starting point of survival of families and tribes—and even at their most sophisticated, family ties and insular clubs remained the foci. American settlers struck out in large groups—and their survival was based on the good of the group, from the beginning of the first voyage.
But it is not so much the size of the larger coherency—it is the fact that even the least member had a job, an importance, on which everyone relied—and the reciprocal respect that came with that was the seed of individual liberty, as a cultural concept, rather than a broadsheet debate.
It is only now, centuries later, that elitism begins to creep back into America. Our goal-oriented ancestors would be mortified: People saying ‘I don’t care if Trump lies—I still support him’; Senators saying ‘I don’t care if Trump broke the law—I still support him’; Lawyers saying ‘Yes, I was dirty—but I had no concept of dirty until I worked for Trump’.
Unearned respect—this is something America never gave, until now. America has always been quick to knock down its idols—at the first sign of weakness. Now, they’ve raised an idol whose super-power is weakness: dishonesty, criminality—even treason. And greed. And lechery.
But the ones who are really getting away with murder are the Senate—the Republican-held Senate that denied Merrick Garland his due and then, for spite, gave it instead to a drunken frat-boy rapist. The GOP-majority Senate that has ‘pretended’ to investigate Trump for two years, found nothing, and made no comment on the eight indicted members of Trump’s circle who have already pled guilty, or been convicted.
These Senators believe in elitism—otherwise, they would feel shame.
Friday, November 30, 2018 12:59 AM
Emotional Difficulty (2018Nov30)
Do you use civilization, or do you participate in it? Civilization, like life itself, is not something we asked for, but something we have thrust upon us with the implied understanding that its pros outnumber its cons. And, as with life, that depends on who you talk to, after the fact—not that the dead are ‘questionnaired’, regularly, but if you could, I mean.
I’ve been thinking about how each year’s (or make it month’s) round of new science research, new real-world lab and tech developments, new enhanced coding in the cyberscape—all exciting, many awe-inspiring—are also, most of the time, a scythe wiping away employment, skill-sets, and their attendant sub-cultures.
When science makes convenient alternatives to human workers, it also erases their way of life. If you read an O. Henry story or Damon Runyon story today, you’d need a glossary for all the occupations and pastimes that have been swept away with the cyber era. And good riddance to some of those cultural norms and social iniquities—although I’d venture, at this point, that they are not gone, but hidden in new ways.
No, the evil abides—but the jobs and the salaries and benefits and, most importantly, the easy pace of life back then—those things are all gone. When I first began office work, in the early 70s, I began with a normal, manual typewriter, until later, when I used an IBM Selectric II. All the bookkeeping was done by hand in green-paper ledger books, using an adding machine.
Now, when we went to calculators, and soon after, PCs, we only stopped using the one adding machine. When the new mini-computer system came in, we only stopped using two Selectric typewriters. When faxes came out we only stopped seeing that one messenger-guy that stopped in once or twice a day on his round of clients. And when our computer-based work-style stopped us using traditional stationary supplies and equipment, the big, lovely-smelling, tradition-heavy stationary store in Mid-Town only lost one business account.
If you’ve ever seen “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” in its film incarnation, you might remember the scenes in that movie—surreally infinite ranks of typists and accountants, using the same typewriters and adding machines. But those scenes are puny compared to the actual hidden army of such people who made up a sizeable percentage of the people needed to run a big firm (up until that time).
The street-messenger army virtually disappeared in the same fiscal year that fax-machine sales exploded. Today’s messenger delivers only physical objects and legal documents—and nowadays, he or she hasn’t the leisure of strolling around Manhattan on foot.
You can’t imagine the unlimited amount of petty jobs that had been presented to a new Twentieth Century—the bigger businesses got, the bigger the crowd required to do all the millions of details. And amongst that milling mob, there was also exchange of ideas and emotions. We often call early Twentieth Century America a ‘melting pot’ (as if all the disparate ethnicities actually combined) when, really, it was a ‘mixing bowl’. The crowds of people going to and from factories and mines—the same people seeking out gathering spots for recreation—that’s where the cohesion came from, IMHO. That’s what made Central Park so fascinating and popular.
For awhile, the more machines appeared, the more jobs were created—factory jobs, repair jobs, retail jobs, office jobs, packing and shipping jobs—a rising tide, in commerce, used to lift all boats. Nowadays, in case you missed it, the job market has no connection to the economy—half of us could drop dead and the rich wouldn’t even notice. There is a dangerous disconnect.
Simultaneously, virtually every aspect of our parents’ way of life has disappeared. I don’t mean that in a political way. I mean that in the sociological, archeological sense. The milk-man, public school, trusted bank, security blanket America is gone—and without judging the ups and downs of that, I would merely observe that it is emotionally difficult to watch the world disappear, right or wrong, good or bad.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:23 PM
Clarity of Vision (2018Nov13)
One of our best States burnt up this past week-end. Climate Change is the kind of thing that takes a cooperative effort to respond to—and humanity has become too comfortable in a global culture of Capitalist competition. Our society’s every axiom tells us not to cooperate—and so we are doomed.
Or so I have heard people say. I think people have an urge to cooperate so strong that it can shoulder past the establishment’s limits. But it is much more difficult to recruit soldiers to a love-in of international cooperation than to say, a desert shoot-em-up that promises to bring all your gamer fantasies to life.
It’s always harder to build something than it is to tear something down. We have a fantastic planet. If we recognize that our present careless rapaciousness must inevitably destroy the entire eco-sphere—then we have a new mission on Earth.
We no longer need defend against alien invaders. We no longer need to vie for wealth, possessions, or power. We can be satisfied with the simple goal of leaving a viable planet for our grandchildren to start families in. Sounds easy, right? But we’ve been fucking off for way too long, as people do.
And we’re still stuck here—at the point of acceptance. Yes, you simple poopy-heads—we’re all gonna die from greenhouse gasses and ocean acidification and habitat destruction. Did you think the world was too big for us to make an impact? Well, it was—but that was two centuries ago.
Our leaders, our most powerful and prominent businesspeople, even our most pious ministers—are all in agreement: Don’t pay any attention to California burning—or Texas or Florida flooding—or thousands of Puerto Rican hurricane victims lost—blame it on God and keep laughing off the scientists—all the scientists.
The rest of the world sees it better—you have a few countries (sadly including the USA right now) too dis-informed to join Europe and the rest, all of whom are eager to get to work on climate-change solutions. Just another thing in which America has lost its preeminence—our clarity of vision.
Can we talk about the President? We’ve had presidents I didn’t like, presidents I got furious at—but never a president who made me ashamed. Trump makes me ashamed for him, for the government, for the country, and for myself (for being naïve enough to think this couldn’t happen). I’m ashamed of the entire Senate, because they have the power and the responsibility to react to Trump’s unfitness—and do nothing, and even say nothing. The whole farce is shameful. The Republicans have ceased to be a political party—they have lost all legitimacy. ‘Nuf said.
Sunday, October 28, 2018 8:02 AM
Trump’s Senate, However, Is Just Straight-Up Crooks & Pervs (2018Oct28)
We now have proof (if any further were wanted) that Trump’s ‘base’ are people who fail to understand the spirit behind America’s Founding Documents. It makes me sad to see these indoctrinated, but not educated, people worry the scraps of propaganda that the Right has fed them—self-righteous for the hell-of-it people, veins in their foreheads and finger-pointing like mad—more sure of their sureness than of their reasons.
Trump has taught them that words are meaningless—only bombs and guns have any real effect. He is wrong, mores the pity, but that is what he has taught them. He has also taught them that if they are pompous enough, it’s okay to disrespect women, gays, African-Americans, Native Americans, Muslims, Mexicans, Educators—you name it. Hate’s the new Love in Trumpland.
Trump’s Congressional Republicans, however, are just straight-up crooks and pervs—I couldn’t tell you how much understanding of American principles they have to bury down deep inside every day to continue as they are doing. It hardly matters. If these people had ethics, Trump would have made their heads explode long before now.
The Republicans’ constituencies are a marvel: They voted for Trump in 2016, yes—but they’ve been voting for these withered trolls as Senators and Representatives for decades. They vote this way in spite of clear proof that they are voting against their best interests—and voting in favor of blatant untruths and greed.
But I must add a caveat: If a person is smart enough to vote against the Republicans, but too lazy or stupid to do so, that’s actually worse. Democracy only works if you’re not a lazy sack of shit.
Sunday, October 21, 2018 2:30 PM
Clown Prince of Murder (2018Oct21)
I know—that title sounds like an old Angela Lansbury TV episode. But I feel it encapsulates both the horror and the farce of the present scandal. The murder of the journalist Khashoggi is his own fault—he should have known better than to set foot on the sovereign soil of the Saudi embassy.
But it serves to remind us of the Saudi culture—which strains mightily to contort its obsolescence into the 21st century mainstream—and which we turn a blind eye to, in hopes of one-hundred-billion dollars in arms sales.
This Crowny Prince liar starts with “Nope—didn’t happen” and ends, today, with “Yeah—dead—killed him—not my fault”. In his country, he can get away with that BS—and because our media reports even his lies, he may believe that we swallow it over here, too.
Personally, I can’t help thinking of the ‘Tom Cruise Paradox’: “If the captain gave orders that Santiago wasn’t to be touched—and the captain’s orders were always followed—then, why was Santiago in danger?” You know? I mean, these are the top aides to a guy who has people slaughtered and dismembered if they talk out of turn. Are we really supposed to believe that they acted autonomously? Ridiculous.
And everybody knows—has known—the truth for about a week now—well, since the day after the murder—whenever that was. And we’ve all known this Prince guy was lying—and that Trump was pretending to believe his obvious lie. And Americans aren’t worried about bone-saws. No, we’re just too greedy to let go of that sweet arms-deal money.
And all of it overlooks the questions of: Why any country needs a hunert-billion in arms?—or why the world, as a whole, needs a hunert-billion in arms?—or why the hell the manufacture of a hunert-billion in arms is a staple of the U.S. economy? And I’m sure some geek can spout the party line, about how fear and distrust force mankind to live this way—but I don’t buy it.
The people with the money and power want everything to stay just the way it is. The fact that it is impossible does not faze them. Holding back the tide of time is their main function—it’s how they maintain balance atop the pyramid, by keeping it from shaking too hard.
They smear change as disruption. They praise head-in-the-sand ignorance as security. According to scientists, these entitled farts are going to kill us all in about twenty years—by keeping us from doing what’s necessary, just because it’s too ‘expensive’. As if that word will maintain its meaning, once we all start frying.
And what they really fear is losing their death-grip on the status quo. Imagine the globe on an emergency footing, with all kinds of barriers and costs tossed aside in aid of the present crisis, with massive R&D projects focused on completely ‘non-profit’ aims. Heavens, the economic instability—survival isn’t worth it.
As we consume the natural bounty of the globe, we suppose that our comfort is part of our survival. That was the old way—comfort was the pinnacle. Now we see that health is the true pinnacle—that comfort without challenge leads to boredom and obesity—and is fatal in large doses. That is true for the Earth and for our bodies and for our societies—and we are running out of time to learn that.
But so what? Right? He’s the friggin’ Clown Prince of Sadly Arabia. What is it? MBS? Is that Mucho Bull S**t? I think it may be. Fuck that asshole.
Mr. Khashoggi –soldier of truth–may you rest in peace.
Monday, October 08, 2018 7:43 PM
Why Fascism? (2018Oct08)
Conservatives want to hold us back and freeze the future—they want everything to stay cozy and familiar. The faster and more disruptive the global rate of change becomes, the more dangerous Conservatism becomes to our country. Rather than embracing change (an American tradition, ironically) Conservatives want to go backwards, revisiting all the old issues they lost on, in the sixties and seventies.
But they know they lost—they know that they have to ‘hide’ their bigotry and sexism behind denials and rationales—so they double down. White supremacy is not suddenly rearing its ugly head because racism and misogyny have become popular again—no. These people are afraid of the future.
They fear the future because they are predominately uneducated, and conditioned to react negatively to adult-education and job-training. They fear the future because it’s harder to lie in a world with Google, it’s harder to exclude in a world with Facebook, and it’s harder to price-gouge rural folks who have Amazon (especially Prime).
Modern media and the Internet make it easier for them to spread rumors and conspiracy—but the same online-connection can give you the truth on multiple other websites. They can lead you to water, but they can’t make you stop drinking. The Fascists are shouting and angry—because they are peeing themselves with fear. Cowards and bullies always bluster to hide their terror—so, if someone invites you to join their hate club—tell them to grow a pair and embrace the future.
Thursday, October 04, 2018 10:55 PM
So I heard Dr. Ford’s testimony (and Kavanaugh’s rant) then I heard Trump at a rally. He apparently remembered that Dr. Ford testified her most searing memory was the laughter of the predatory, drunken boys that roughed her up—so Trump thought it would be nice to get an entire stadium full of people to laugh at Dr. Ford’s pain.
This dishonorable, deceitful pile of crap has never had any business in the White House—and he provides daily proof of this fact. The Republican leaders who back him are equally without honor, or any sense of what honor might be.
When I saw the flood of women inundating Washington D.C. today—each and every one, by their presence, announcing, “I have been physically disrespected by a man, or group of men”, many of them arriving from Maine—and Alaska —then I thought back to Trump’s disgraceful strutting the night before—I felt rage.
Do these entitled, precious pigs think that they are invisible? Do they think we don’t see them? It’s easy to fill a stadium with bored knuckleheads—did he have any Nobel scientists there—at his rally? There were a couple of Americans who just won the Chemistry Nobel (along with a Brit). They might have enjoyed a dinner at the White House. Trump is not wise, but he is slick—he would expect, if two people created life in a lab, they probably wouldn’t want to hang with a tasteless ignoramus.
A real president would have given those Nobelists a public nod. Real presidents have always done so in the past—with good reason, as any thinking person would explain. But under Trump we don’t suffer mere incompetence—we suffer a total denial of moral awareness. The only ethics Trump is familiar with are the mouthings he’s learned are required of someone pretending innocence.
We must accept it—that surprisingly large percentage—millions of Americans who cannot be trusted to use a toilet correctly, forget about them using their brains, or their mouths. These people consider themselves the other party—they say there are two sides to things. But nobody else has to hide behind that BS. Why is that? When I go to the store, I pay my money—me and the cashier are on the same side. Someone has to explain to me how Public Service became so nebulous that it can have ethical quandaries over whether or not women shouldn’t get raped on the regular. How did these puss-bags ever get near a position of responsibility?
I know, I know—it’s a democracy. Sure. With no voters—except the nut-bars and the worried parents.
But still—Trump. He disgusts me. —And that army of sexually-traumatized women marching around Washington—it haunts me. There’s a T.S. Eliot line (which he stole from Dante) :
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street…
(from “The Waste Land”)
I believe that a woman who is betrayed by a male friend or relative, or stranger—sees her previous life, her previous world, destroyed. She must evermore live in the new world—where men are predators without shame or conscience—where she is never again as safe as she was.
Women have the strength to endure these things—and to fight back—as today’s demonstrations proved. But, why the fuck should they have to? Do we really live in a country where more men are okay with this shit than are sickened by it? This has been a very disappointing and disheartening three years—the bottom ever recedes.
Having these farcically corrupt and hypocritical people be the leaders of our government—is proof that what makes a good campaigner does not make a good states-person. It’s unsupportable.
Tuesday, September 04, 2018 12:45 AM
Increasing Intensity (2018Sep04)
I’m always tempted to use the phrase ‘tsunami of bullsxxt’ when I think of the Republican party now. Mueller (and some helpful States’ Attorneys-General) are having success in uncovering a lot of corruption—and a lot of interaction—illegal interaction—with Russia (meaning Putin & Co.)—perpetrated by most of Trump’s entire ‘campaign cabinet’.
And now the Trump business and the Trump charitable foundation, and Eric, Ivanka, and Don Jr., are all looking down the barrel of tax-fraud and campaign-finance violations, especially surrounding the Inaugural Committee. Over $100 Million dollars in contributions (some contributed illegally by foreign entities—some stolen since). Cohen, for one, confessed to stealing some—but it appears unlikely his was the only wet beak.
Then there are the first two Congressmen to endorse Trump as a candidate—both facing indictments alleging corruption. This sect of the Republican Party is no Cub Scout Den—these folks have a very elastic understanding of ‘all men being created equal’, not to mention ‘public service’.
Now, when a floral horseshoe of charges, either convicted or confessed by a number of his circle, hangs around Trump’s neck—we are witnessing the unraveling of this manufactured ‘counter-culture’ of alternate-truth and non-facts and conspiracy theories like grains of sand. His so-called ‘base’ is about to be pushed back under the rocks it crawled out from—by the unison outrage of people who don’t yearn for an imagined past nearly as much as they do for a better tomorrow.
I use the word ‘tomorrow’ advisedly. I’m not talking about some ‘future’. We saw how quickly the Putin gang and the Alt-Right gang networked themselves into a de facto traitor-in-the-White-House—and with a host of avid cultists ready to excuse his every evil. If we are lucky enough to get a Blue Wave, we must use it to match their effectiveness—even if the truth is rarely as exciting as the dramatic lie, we must sell the truth with the same fervor as they hawk their ‘story’.
There was a time when we had sent astronauts to the Moon, long ago—and new Personal Computers were becoming something little children were playing with. Say the Eighties or thereabouts—when we started to think of ourselves as living in the future—‘George Jetson had nothing on us’.
And, of course, as in all transitional phases, we threw out a lot of babies with our old bathwater. The Sixties assassinations (highlighting public service and civil disobedience) were scarred over some—and the recent resignation of Nixon had soured many of us on the whole Authority thing. Not that we were surprised, really—no—but it was discomfiting to have it all spelled out and proved on tape.
Then Carter proved, in a way, that being a selfless, honest leader made easy prey for the jackals. And to twist the knife, the Republicans gave us a movie star—then overlooked Iran-Contra and his failing mental health, to christen him the ultra-Republican. And that is certainly true—flash over substance has been their business model, ever since Eisenhower left—and Reagan certainly personifies that credo.
The decades of hypocrisy—both in stealing oil from developing countries, and in defying the science behind the environmentalist movement, had made us ashamed of our American lifestyle—even though we (had we been asked) would have wanted things otherwise. The Ultra-Wealthy had a stake in the status quo—but the obstinance with which they shoved ethics aside to pursue profit has made the world what it is.
The hurricane season is something recent Republican presidents have not done well with—and that season is now upon us. When FEMA left Puerto Rico last year, they claimed great success and a very low mortality figure—double digits, I believe. But last week, Puerto Rico revised their mortality figures for Maria and concluded that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the loss of electricity and clear roads and medical treatment—and drinking water!
I can’t understand why no one much cares about this in Washington DC. Tomorrow may be an unusually strong hurricane near the mouth of the Mississippi—and it seems that ‘unusually strong’ will ironically be ‘the usual’ for several years to come. So we have a president (oh how I hate that goon having that title) who did a lousy job on last year’s storms—and—he won’t even admit why the storms have increased energy every year.
I will never understand a person being so loosely tied to reality that they would deny it for purely political purposes. Trump knows as well as I do that Climate Change is real—there are pictures. And if he doesn’t believe the photos, he’s the president—he can fly a rocket up to the ISS and look at the polar ice caps himself—or, better yet, send Eric (that poor kid is better off where he can’t be subpoenaed).
With so much electronic interconnectivity, with so many environmental challenges, with so much new science and technology, and with so much income inequality—this is a bad time to decide we should follow luddites and anti-intellectuals. It is an even more dire time to be allow Inclusion and Peaceful Coexistence to be threatened by retrograde Nazis. What Trump did to children at our southern border was a Crime Against Humanity—whatever party you support, you should realize that the whole rest of the world sees it that way—because it was.
We really do live in the future now—but, instead of dazzling us with bottomless charity and industrial miracles of recovery and renovation, I suspect this year’s hurricane season will be, sadly, just as bad as last year’s, or possibly worse. And I mourn in advance the dead which Trump’s incompetence and bigotry will cause.
Sunday, September 02, 2018 6:22 AM
Unwelcome, Even On Twitter (2018Sep02)
Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. He would not have been welcome.
Trump’s disrespect and rudeness to McCain bothered McCain much less than Trump’s incomprehension of what made this country great—something McCain had fought for and risked his life for and had paid for in torn flesh and broken bone.
McCain’s daughter was well within her rights to point out Trump’s idiocy in calling for America to be made ‘great again’—since Trump had never done a thing to serve his country (and still hasn’t—quite the contrary, in the minds of most).
Trump’s tweeting out “MAGA” soon after daughter McCain’s elegiac comment—is a perfect example of the childish self-absorption that our president suffers from. God forbid that overgrown brat should sit there and take it like a man!
This MAGA business has been a symbol all along—a rallying flag for anti-intellectualism. Anyone who respected and loved America would never say such a thing. Only someone with a self-serving agenda (and a tin ear for surreptitious treason) would ever say we should “Make America great Again”.
Only a businessman who saw the crash of 2008 as a great defeat to America could say ‘MAGA’—thus revealing total ignorance of what makes America truly great. Hey, Trump—here’s a hint: you recently swore to protect, preserve, and defend it—but you forgot to read it.
Friday, August 31, 2018 11:57 PM
We Must Judge For Ourselves (2018Aug31)
There are so many convictions, indictments, confessions, and plea-deal-cooperating witnesses that I feel secure in pointing out (to anyone who doesn’t get their cues exclusively from ‘alt-news’ sources) that I was right about Trump—insofar as it was a mistake to elect him. As far as whether Trump is the mastermind of this corrupt insurgency of betrayal—or simple its witless front-man—that is still an open question.
I think it progressed, from simple high-stakes, white-collar, international money-laundering (And, really, who doesn’t engage in that?), to collusion with Russian operatives and their American stooges. At no point was Trump prepared to become our president—there is doubt as to whether he ever wanted to be president, as opposed to the fun of running for president. So far, his incompetence has led to thousands of deaths in Puerto Rico, thousands of children being traumatized at our border, and an increase in hate groups, and in their activity.
Our national reputation is in shreds—our president is, in a word, laughable. His ignorance, whether calculated, real, or a combination of the two, may play well with his willfully-blind base, but that crap don’t fly, overseas. And I really think the worst of it is the hyper-partisan unwillingness of our Republican Congress to observe the finer points of politics (ethics, say, or occasional honesty). That deranged septuagenarian in the Oval is not acting alone—nor is he invulnerable to Congressional oversight.
In fact, the Republicans’ obvious discomfort at accommodating their pet gorilla makes the presidency that much more a laughingstock—while showing us that Republicans are, in truth, without a platform, except to beat the Democrats (and the majority of voters) and make their super-rich donors happy. They inspire their followers with a burning resentment that blinds them to facts, and they point out a target—whether it’s immigrants, African Americans, liberals, women, gays, or overly-honest public figures.
The extent of this new media-network supporting the alternate reality of these truly-disturbed people is immense. The only defense against it is truth and logic—but they are so much less entertaining than conspiracy-theories and personality-assassinations. Plus, the assholes such as InfoWars host watsisname are always so full of outrage and indignation—it must be sincere, right? We really are so basic—people, I mean—just shout real loud and everyone turns to listen. If only there were a process, between hearing and believing, where people judged for themselves….
O, and, apropos of nothing, here are some brief thoughts from earlier in the month:
Friday, August 10, 2018 4:09 PM
Trump attacks the NFL protests because the humility of the act horrifies him. He won’t bend the knee—even to the rule of law—his ego won’t let him.
Friday, August 24, 2018 2:34 PM
Abortion is a practical issue so intimate that we feel emboldened to make of it an issue of morality. Morality is just a debate tactic, however, as history shows.
The Eighteenth Amendment banned alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933, when it was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment. That thirteen-year period forced virtually every American to participate in the sub rosa criminality of the underworld. It did not change human nature, it merely complicated it.
But we did not learn from this episode. Drugs remain criminalized. The harm to society has been so obvious that any reasonable person would have long since changed drug abuse from a Crime to a Health Issue. As with so many societal ills, our impulse to punish wrong blinds us to the potential of helping those who have been led there.
Those who wish to ‘re-criminalize’ abortion must admit that their motive, far from saving hypothetical infants, is merely to punish. We know that abortions were performed, back while it was still a crime. We know that, for some young women, an unplanned child is a foregone tragedy for both. We know that many of such women will attempt to terminate. Forcing them to do so as an outlaw serves no purpose.
Morality cuts both ways—it is not exclusive to evangelists.
Tuesday, August 07, 2018 2:11 AM
Symptoms of Hate (2018Aug07)
It’s so weird that hatred is having a ‘comeback’ around the world—and in the United States, which has historically moved forward on this front—slowly enough, surely—but never before backward. I hope this ‘blue wave’ thing materializes—not because I’m a Democrat, but because it will show that most of us are not on board with this new ‘fad’.
I think the gleeful braggadocio of their chanting and rallying for Trump shows that they are as shocked as we were—when ignorance and attitude won out over substance. These neighbors of ours knew that their day had past—that no one in America was going to play the racism game in public anymore, because the fight was over. Obama’s two terms proved that.
They couldn’t believe their luck—no one ever expected the White Nationalists, the Republicans, and Russia to pull a popular criminal out of their collective ass and make him POTUS. He announced his candidacy with hate speech—if you remember (I think the news showed it a few times). And then he won the Electoral College—suddenly, someone as supposedly disgraceful in his ideas as they were—had gotten the biggest validation a person can get. And ‘Leader of the Free World’, no less.
So of course the hate clubs are not only revived—they see a lot of press attention—and there’s no such thing as bad press, when you have a bad president. (If it’s bad, it’s fake.) Now young people are reportedly being indoctrinated into hate online—hate in many flavors, fear in countless conspiracy theories—it’s an explosion of self-loathing.
Everyone knows that bullies are acting out because they are themselves being mistreated at home or elsewhere—that’s what makes all bullies cowards. It has also been pointed out that many of the most hysterically anti-gay Republicans, Conservatives, and Evangelists are often found, in time, to be confused gay people—taught to hate what they are—and driven slightly loony thereby.
Well, Hate is no different. It’s as obvious as if they had it written on their faces. People who insist on division and prejudice (of any kind) can only be so extremely exercised over this viewpoint—because they are full of self-loathing and need to insure that at-least-someone is beneath them. They have so many people in their lives that make them feel inadequate (or at least it seems so to them) they suspect that they may be just the least-worthwhile person, ever.
And, while it is nice and convenient to hate the Haters—just as it is to hate criminals—there is more to it than the end-result: a racist, an anti-Semite, a misogynist, an elitist, a criminal—or some horrific combo of all the above. If someone taught these people to hate from a very young age, then they also taught them that people can be hated without being met—they taught them that everybody is supposed to judge everybody else. You can’t teach children to ‘hate a group’ or ‘disrespect women’—and expect their minds to stop there. And those other, unintended lessons will mess with a kid’s head, I’d be willing to bet.
In closing, I would point out: People who are taught to love their neighbor without condition or exclusion—virtually never switch to a life of hate and bigotry. Conversely, many people who are raised in a culture of prejudice have grown to reject that tradition and embrace love. Trump or no Trump, racism has had its heyday—and will continue to fade away, occasional road-bumps notwithstanding.
Not for nothing: ‘Zero Tolerance’ is just a ‘spin’-onym for Intolerance.
Improv – Story Told (2018Jul25)
Improv – Virgin Press (2018Jul31)
Improv – Story Story Night (2018Aug03)
Sunday, August 05, 2018 3:32 PM
Things Change—And Stay That Way (2018Aug05)
New tools used to be the goal, not the threat. Population used to be the goal, not the threat. All-you-can-eat used to be the goal, not the threat.
We used to herald new inventions—concrete, steel, steam, civil engineering, cars & lightbulbs—now, we fear the AI singularity, the Higgs-Boson reaction, the super-flu, the stealth-nuke, the EMP apocalypse—and, what’s more, we find our old inventions are toxic—and we must restrain ourselves, or choke on our own waste.
We have already crossed the red-lines of prevention for global climate disruption. Now, we need to begin to ameliorate the damage and cut back our carbon emissions even more harshly than we would have had to, decades ago. Yet the wealthy and empowered continue to neglect this threat—because its solution requires not competition, but cooperation.
We used to treasure a bumper-crop of babies. Past nations would often call upon its females to reproduce profusely, for the good of the country. (And if that isn’t chauvinist enough, just remember that male children were the hoped-for result—to replace all the young men lost in some recent war, usually.) In a sense, I’d call the Baby Boom of post-WWII America the most prolific effusion of spontaneous nesting, post-war, the world has ever seen.
Now, we have an inflated global population that can only be sustained by the global economic machine that makes it possible. As feral human tribes, humans required acres of land per person for a sustainable diet. Later agricultural techniques would lower that land-per-person ratio. Only modern agricultural technologies and powered systems of transportation and storage make it possible for huge metro-areas to concentrate people by the millions.
If there were a catastrophic interruption of the global economic machine—say a war, perhaps—it would be game over for all the city people. Without a regular influx of food and water—without waste removal—even if the electricity stayed on and the elevators kept working—it wouldn’t matter.
But don’t worry—I’m not advocating population-control—only crazy people think they can do stuff like that. What I’m saying is, the global economic machine needs to be carefully adjusted.
We obviously need major changes in our social structure, now that we are all connected on the internet. Controlling access to the internet is self-limiting, because people’s productivity corresponds to their internet access.
But an open internet is an invitation to disaster—bad actors can tear the whole thing down, if not countervened by ‘good’ actors. I use the word ‘good’ advisedly.
Humans evolved with an instinct to eat as much as we can—because food used to be harder to get to. There’s even an interesting book or two about how early civilizations had different staples, which influenced their development based on their amounts-of-protein and the amount-of-work-to-get-the-food. Early mankind lived a video game called Get The Food. We never had full tanks, back then—except on rare occasions.
We still have holidays. We still try to celebrate by consuming with gusto—but it’s not the same, if a full belly is our nominal status 24-7-52. Human ingenuity has gotten itself tangled up with human nature. Our urges and instincts come from a very different lifestyle—long, long ago. For just one or two centuries, we’ve been playing with our new toys.
Uranium, Petroleum, Plastics, Combustion, and Explosives—they comprise our modern world, with all its blessings and miracles. While we hypnotize ourselves with I-Pads, I think we are avoiding facing the real issue.
We don’t need to hunt anymore. We don’t need to fight anymore. We don’t need to get sick anymore, practically (i.e., relatively). Our lives got soft. It’s good—I’m not knocking it. In fact, as a disabled person, I have a vested interest in a soft, secure civilization.
We need to be raised to function in our society. That involves a lot of teaching by example and correction—we need to learn to wait for the walk light, learn not to lick the sidewalk gum, learn to look at a tiger in a cage at the zoo, instead of running for our lives.
All of this goes against our instincts. So when people say ‘you can’t change human nature’—I don’t buy it. That’s all society does—constrain instinct. And it is long past time society recognized the present threat—we cannot throw out community, just because the wealthy spit out words like socialism or communism.
It wasn’t just our democratic government that held capitalism in check—it had behind it a sense of community. That bond came of the need to work together—which characterized all successful settlements in history. Go back far enough and there’s a point in history where being outcast from a community was virtually a death sentence. Even today, being unpopular in one’s community can be very uncomfortable, even if you don’t know most of them.
The hyper-capitalist fascism we face today is illustrated by two things: (1) Trump’s recent Intolerance Policy that kidnapped children without even keeping lists of contact info—and—(2) Trump’s quote from the other day—that “if gas costs more—people will drive less—and that will be safer”.
If we’re electing people who’ll just sit in Congress and do nothing—while that level of insanity is perpetrated—mustn’t we be electing the wrong people? This era has taken the community out of politics and turned the whole thing into a game show. It has placed politics at a remove from our actual lives. People are being pandered to, with hate speech, and they are lapping it up. What gives?
There’s a lot of atheists out there—I’ve been one since I was eleven. I think it is important to recognize the sense of community and morality that religion helped to channel—it strengthened communities. If we no longer concern ourselves with the religious minutia, and the repressive authoritarianism and misogyny, we should still seek to maintain that communal bond—because it is what makes normal the lack of anarchy.
Rule-breakers, like our current Prez, invite the anarchy. All the quick-buck grabbers are inviting the anarchy. We Americans are so fixed on our freedom—what the hell’s it worth, if it’s the freedom of falling off a cliff? Empathy and community are the only bedrock for society—when money ceases to be a part of that balance, and becomes opposed to it—money becomes a threat. We all used to want the money. Now the people with all the money are trying to kill us all—without meaning to, of course. But does that matter?
Friday, August 03, 2018 5:20 PM
The President Is A Loser (2018Aug03)
For those of us who weren’t fault-finding with intense scrutiny (though god knows there were plenty of those) President Obama’s eight years were rather legendary. His financial recovery efforts worked phenomenally—his Affordable Care Act passage was heroic. Oddly, those who would benefit the most were its most ardent opponents—and many Republican voters are now on record as supporting the ACA, but dead-set against ‘Obamacare’.
People will say that Obama didn’t stand tough enough—as if Bush-43 hadn’t already ‘toughed’ us into bankruptcy. All I can say is—he was tough enough to kill Bin Laden—and it’s a lot easier to defend a legacy as first black president who-didn’t-start-a-war, than as first black president who did.
My point, if I have one, is that Obama did a great job—and Hillary was the front runner in the last election because she promised more of the same. It wasn’t until the dog-whistling, lying Republicans teamed up with the lethal Russian GRU that people started chanting ‘Lock her up’ (as if they knew how their own damned emails worked).
Trump must concede the truth of Russian election meddling, because it is laid out in several indictments, literally step-by-step. But Trump and his Republican cadre can never admit that Trump’s election to office was the Russian’s victory—and a blow against the United States. Can you blame them?
Trump’s frighteningly-large number of followers—are people who cherish the United States’ traditional failings, and are uncomfortable with our historic, constitutional ideals. They wish to roll us all back to a less perfect union. Any change for the better is something they’ll embrace for themselves, but denounce for anyone else—their idea of a community is focused on the fence around it, not the heart at its center.
The founding fathers feared party and partisanship would quickly subvert the American Experiment into corruption and elitism. Scholars have questioned the dangers of our current two-party system—but, in the end, it seemed so perfect, like Yin and Yang. Conservatives and Progressives—one to hold on to the wisdom of the past and one to reach for the promise of the future—how, indeed, could we fail to have two parties?
But there’s trouble in this Eden—what if the Conservatives are not really conservative? What if they have had their paradigms swept away by a society and a culture changing at ‘ludicrous speed’? Have they been warped, even crushed, by the illogic of Conservatism in an age of vanishing industries, vanishing storefronts, even vanishing wires?
And what about Social Media and Conservatives? Has Conservatism been a false front for Elitism, all along? Does the transparency of a YouTube-world make it impossible for elitists to maintain their fictions of benign objectivity?
Hey, wouldn’t it be better to release a doctored video of Planned Parenthood doctors, trying to make women’s health care seem like a criminal enterprise? That’s conservative, right? When did they first jail Margaret Sanger? 1916, I think. The Conservatives of that time could arrest the woman. Those of our day are reduced to lying about her—so, that’s progress, I guess?
Anyway, Trump is a liar—to himself more than anyone else. Can you imagine the lack of self-awareness that allows him to think of himself as our president—without feeling any shame at all? Can you imagine being one of his supporting Republicans—pretending Trump is fit, Trump is innocent, Trump is sincere? When they know in their hearts that good people don’t have to lie that much. Yes, we are the victims—but we should thank heaven we aren’t the perpetrators.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 6:48 PM
I’m Back Again (2018Jul31)
Family and friends advised me to take a step away from the cable news-shows and give myself a break—after I wrote my last, deliriously-frustrated rant-post. I don’t post to blog every day—I try to post as seldom as possible (excepting the exceedingly rare inspiration for an up-beat subject). My political-backseat-driving is an obsession that even I have grown tired of.
As an example, I decided in May that I would try to post the word ‘Impeach’ on my Facebook Wall, every day. I knew I wouldn’t reach anyone besides my own friends and relatives, but I felt that Facebook, being at least nominally a Public Forum, made me responsible to treat it as such, inasmuch as a private nobody like myself was able.
Here are my almost-daily posts from that day to today—you’ll see that my style of posting evolved over time. In virtually all of these FB posts, I was constrained to just a line or two of characters—because I kept all of them short enough to allow the new-ish Facebook meme-background-style (it turns off, if you keep typing/editing your FB-update past a certain number of characters).
These are not meant to be wise or hilarious or great writing of any kind—they are simply the way I broke up the monotony of the task I had set myself. I hope (and I’m fairly sure of that hope, lately) that someday soon, that word ‘Impeach’ will be on everyone’s mind, every day:
Chris Dunn updated his status.
20 May 2018 14:13 :
Impeach – (pass it on)
Impeach ! (Yes, there ARE two sides: good vs. evil.)
23 May 2018 13:27 :
Impeach ! (GOP = Band of Traitors)
Impeach ! (We don’t look good in swastikas)
Impeach ! (President? More like Putin’s puppet)
Impeach ! (It’s enough already)
Impeach the PO(TU)S !
Impeach ! (grant a Pardon to the voters for being so gullible)
Impeach ! (His lawyers are sure he’ll commit perjury)
Impeach ! (Claims ALL the power, NONE of the responsibility)
Impeach ! (mental illness is not a political platform)
Impeach ! (I’m not wrong…)
Impeach ! (how long does ‘unfortunate’ remain acceptable in a president?)
Impeach ! (Or at least ask Putin to send someone else)
10 June 2018 01:05 :
[People keep talking about ‘what Trump said’, as if someday it’s going to be right, or true, or wise–but I believe that life is too short to waste that kind of time. So, instead, I have my own one-word statement which, as far as I can tell, is the only thing left to say: “Impeach!”]
10 June 2018 14:14 :
Impeach ! (he’s unfit, dishonest, and he’s got a screw loose)
Impeach ! (He’s not a president–he’s a wanna-be strongman)
Impeach ! (Nice try–woulda been nice–shoulda studied?)
15 June 2018 17:28 :
Impeach ! (Could be YOUR kids, next–how would that be?)
Impeach ! (The president is a criminal)
Impeach ! (You STILL think he’s a Good Guy?)
Impeach ! (Unfit is one thing, Monstrous quite another)
Impeach ! (I miss being proud I’m American)
Impeach ! (because, Yes–we do fuckin Care)
Impeach ! (Who needs a compulsive liar?)
Impeach ! (Or maybe a crooked, perv bully DOES represent US?)
Impeach ! (make the world a better place)
Impeach ! (Muslim Ban is Un-American)
30 June 2018 15:27 :
Impeach ! (I’m so tired of all this winning)
Impeach ! (or just keep on lyin’ to me, baby)
Impeach ! (he said ‘elite’, I think he meant ‘illiterate’)
Impeach ! (then, news-media can stop being his baby-monitor)
4 July 2018 11:24 :
Impeach ! (or shove an M-80 up his ass–I don’t care anymore)
Impeach ! (or explain why you side with a criminal)
Impeach ! (before the kidnapped, crying children are Yours)
Impeach ! (Congress, UR famous 4 doin 0, but now, 4 doin Wrong!)
Impeach ! (Lock him up—and free Reality Leigh Winner!)
Impeach ! (irresponsible + president = disaster)
11 July 2018 13:57 :
Impeach ! (he breaks his oath of office every damn day)
Impeach ! (Let Putin have him)
Impeach ! (go ahead, wait til after today’s secret meeting with Putin)
Impeach ! (at this point, claiming ‘innocence’ is confessing to blindness)
Impeach ! Impeach ! Impeach !
Impeach the Traitor !
Impeach ! (next time, let’s go with a public servant instead of a monster)
Impeach the Traitor! (he’s created a ‘safe space’ for stupidity and racism)
Impeach ! We need a Real president
Impeach ! (We don’t need no ‘useful idiot’)
Impeach ! (Yes, I’m repeating–but at least I’m not repeating lies)
Impeach ! (He can tweet us into war, but he can’t tweet us back out)
Impeach ! (The Liar edited his Summit transcript–and the video!)
Impeach ! (He won’t correct the WH transcript or video of the Summit–unwelcome reality bites)
Impeach ! (The Racist decided to keep over 900 of the kidnapped children–that’s over 2 in 10)
Impeach ! (In today’s speech, the Idiot ridiculed the press for paying too close attention to everything he says)
Impeach the Traitor ! – (or be one yourselves)
Impeach ! (while we wait for decency to return, indecency is redecorating the house)
Impeach ! (Let’s not be led around by our Dick)
Now, that last one—I actually posted today. After I posted it, I thought to myself, ‘It would have been better to say “(Let’s stop being led around by our Dick)” .’ but that just goes to show. I spend too much time thinking of public statements to make against Trump—and too little time remembering that my media platform (that is, my personal FB page) is only nominally a public forum—it isn’t really seen by the public, it is only available to be seen.
So I have added a Quixotic element to my online activity—I’ve been tilting at the windmills of my Facebook friends-circle, while the real monster is far away elsewhere, untouched by my efforts, no matter how I phrase them.
This past weekend has been a restful step back from all the political/media chaos—that stuff deserves far less room inside my head. It’s all so childish and not-smart—these politicians really expect a lot of ‘cover’ from a dark suit and a red tie.
Sure, it looks professional—but at some point, those expensive suits morph from lamb’s-clothing into exclamation-points of corruption. Part of the ‘suit’ image is the expectation of knowledgeability—and when the words coming out of their mouths are so bereft of intelligence, they expose themselves as being ‘empty suits’.
That is just one item from the long list of things that beggars my belief—how can people go on taking this stuff seriously? Our president is mentally unstable, compulsively dishonest, and has the mind-set of a career criminal (though not necessarily a successful one). Trump approaches governing as a megalomaniacal CEO would—he approaches the Justice Dept. the same way a criminal does. He blames the cops, he claims he was framed, he claims the other guy did it, he claims he wasn’t there—and even if he was, it’s not a crime to be part of a crime.
I knew that son-of-a-bitch was a criminal when he wouldn’t let go of the birther BS—before he even declared. I have watched in traumatized puzzlement as the stupidest people in this country ran to the voting booths—and the supposedly more-intelligent people sat at home, or voted for Berny, or even joined the cattle—voting for Trump despite their glimmers of consciousness. And don’t tell me ‘She won the popular’—yes, she did—but that psychotic moron should have been outvoted by a landslide.
It’s been a long series of disappointments—finally realizing that the Congress is so partisan, it wouldn’t impeach Trump no matter the madness and danger. I’m still waiting for sanity to be restored. And I am doing my best to hang on to what’s left of my own.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 3:23 AM
Should We Meet Again (2018Jul24)
Our president is lacking in some key areas. He’s without experience, without education, without fitness, without aptitude, and generally without understanding of the meaning of the presidency. He’s without honor, without honesty, without ethics, without morality, without impulse-control, without responsibility, and deeply neurotic.
Furthermore, he can’t spell, can’t admit to a mistake, can’t apologize, can’t empathize, can’t be faithful, can’t be trusted, and, for the most part, can’t be understood—in tweets or while speaking. All he’s got is that big fat mouth of his and the big mobs of embittered scum who enjoy his live hate-fests. (Let’s not call them Klan rallies—Yet.)
Now we have proof that the Republican whores in Congress will ignore all of the above, and continue to chow down on their sh*t-sandwich and call it filet mignon, as long as they get tax-breaks for the rich, and deregulation for the environment-rapers and the greedy, soulless bankers.
Those insubstantial excuses for men (and some confused women) will never admit that a public servant should serve one term, and let the results do the campaigning for anything more than one term. Hell, they even go to court to get unmonitored campaign funding, a rollback of the Voter Rights act, and race-based gerrymandering. They don’t even pretend to believe in democracy.
So, the president’s a traitorous con-man, the Republican party is a bunch of corrupt weasels, the Democratic party is just embarrassing (and just different corruption waiting its turn, really). Damn, I used to be proud of this country—even though I knew there was some corruption and some hatred—I still thought my principles were shared by a significant part of the country.
But no more Mr. Proud Patriot. This place is a shithole now.
Babies get locked in cages.
Industries are encouraged to go back to dumping shit wherever.
Medals of Honor, and the bereaved families of the recipients, aren’t worth a damn anymore.
Every effort to avoid WWIII, since WWII, has been discarded as ‘unprofitable business’ by the big ‘deal-maker’ who never wore a uniform.
There’s no mystery to why Putin wanted to help Trump become president. There’s no mystery to why the Republicans keep pretending he’s not dangerous, refusing to impeach in spite of unhinged episodes on the daily. And that jumpy, can’t-stay-long-enough-to-look-you-in-the-eye Press Secretary—how do you figure she rationalizes her little daily tap-dances, huh? There’s not even a mystery as to why people voted for him—people are fucking stupid as hell.
Media, you can stop now. You’ve made your pile off of helping flush us all down the shitter—and the mystery is gone, the spark has dimmed. There are no more surprises. Yes, Trump will do and say this or that—but we already know. He’ll be lying. He’ll be doing something un-American, cruel, and unproductive. He’s a liar and a traitor. What else can we expect? The sideshow has become a repulsive banality that won’t even get clicks anymore—so fuck along off.
The Republicans aren’t threatening the American way anymore—they’ve strangled it. They’ve killed our country, what most of us believed was our country. If I ever meet a person who votes Republican, ever again, I’m just gonna haul off and belt’em—fuckin’ deplorables. Do they deserve a random punch in the face, out of the blue? Maybe not, but I didn’t deserve theirs, either.
Monday, July 23, 2018 1:29 PM
Bulls**t Walking (2018Jul23)
The Earth’s surface is lush with a profusion of life—not as lush, not as profuse as a century ago, but still. If some wildlife is endangered, it’s not in my backyard’s biome, so why should I care? The Earth attempts to provide oxygenated, non-toxic atmosphere and drinkable fresh water—and so what if we sprinkle in a few toxins or carcinogens or hormones? It’s still good—you’re still breathing, aren’t you? Don’t be a wuss—it’s all good until we literally start to choke—and die of thirst—then will be plenty of time to deal with all this.
Money talks, BS walks. The Money says ‘full steam ahead’—and if that turns our atmosphere literally to steam, so be it. Money does a lot of stuff these days. It entertains you. Twenty-four hour news, websites tailored to your paranoia—are you not entertained? Ain’t it dramatic?
Money has a close, personal friendship with Carbon Dioxide. Maybe you’ve heard?—CO2, the by-product of Power and Energy. Well, that’s the ‘story’—actually, it’s the by-product of burning fuel. There are other ways to acquire Power and Energy—but Money made its first million with CO2, so we’re gonna call everything else ‘alternative energy’, just so no one forgets how inferior it is to petroleum. Hey, shut up—Money does the talking here.
Money is kind enough to govern us, as well. You didn’t think all those Republicans in both Houses of Congress just naturally turned out to be faithless whores, did you? No, no—Money pays them to be this way—the same Money that broadcasts all the rationales, that voters must swallow, to vote for those whores.
The truth is that Money is killing us, but it still speaks loud enough to keep us from hating it. It’s funny—originally, money was a great invention—portable assets, liquid assets—it was the first ‘internet’, in its way. But no invention of humanity has ever evaded our worst impulses, or our worst representatives—hell, we’re lucky we’re not all radioactive already. Money has become a weapon—and it’s pointed straight at our whole planet. So tote that barge and lift that bale—‘cause you don’t want to be poor when the grass starts burning.
Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:46 PM
Republicans: How Embarrassing! (2018Jul22)
I see similarities between the McCarthy Red-Scare era and the Amoral Republican era. You’d expect it to be called the ‘Trump era’, I know—but it’s more accurately described as the Amoral Republican era. It began with Reagan’s shameless pandering to the rich and his marginalizing of the low-income population.
The bankruptcy of the Soviets, which we all hail as our victory in the Cold War, led to a revolt won by the Russian people—and the independence of the satellite states was a simple fact forced by that bankruptcy.
The US failed to secure their nuclear arsenal—which outlived the state that built it—and those nukes sit, still today, littered about the globe and under the sea. The US failed to provide a ‘Marshall plan’, after we finished slapping each other on the back for defeating the Soviets without the use of American lives lost. We turned our backs on the people who did the dying for us—and that led to Al-Qeada, Boko Haram, and ISIS.
Then came 9/11—which had many heroes and martyrs amongst the common men and women, of uncommon bravery— ever since which the Republicans have used the tragedy. They used it to lionize an inept President and his mistaken wars. They used it to lionize an elitist, bigoted mayor who just happened to hold office while real New Yorkers did all the hero-ing.
The Republicans have used 9/11 to promote cowardice and Islamophobia, panic and inhumanity. They’ve revived racism, in a country that seemed only years ago, to be headed in the proper direction. And they have done all this out of obedience to their paymasters—they laugh at the phrase ‘public service’.
Everyone knows one can’t do the people any good if you don’t get elected—and thus it follows that nothing you do to get elected can be wrong. This part of their amorality is the part that is opposite from the McCarthy era—McCarthy’s amoral egotism was exposed by the televising of the HUAC hearings—and by Edward R. Murrow’s reporting.
Today’s Republicans have hacked mass-media—and hijacked all of it as a megaphone for their misinformation campaign. They did the impossible—convincing Americans to worry about a great female candidate with no real scandals (but endless imagined ones) and not to worry about a blatantly, embarrassingly unfit male candidate. Even more embarrassing—the Russians were helping them the whole time. How’s that for an endorsement?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a do-over election? Too late—y’all had yer chance—and now Putin’s in charge. Ha- ha! The Republicans are doing a great job—a perfect impersonation of the band on the deck of the Titanic.
Thursday, July 19, 2018 1:32 PM
My darling, my sweetest one!
Water-cool joy flows through
My body, turned to aether,
Quintessence of love
And like a drug, it soothes me.
My ever-loved, my only star!
Fire consumes my chest,
Which bellows with yearning,
Throat parched with a longing
Only your kiss can slake.
Don’t tell me both sides hate.
What I feel is outrage—righteous wrath against enemies of the United States of America (even if they live next door).
I bridle at the hate, the destruction, the loss of hard-won yardage towards a more perfect union—I can’t deal with ignorance so sweeping as to equal treason, against a nation dedicated to enlightened humanity.
What you’re feeling is hate—what I’m feeling is outrage.
There’s a difference.
Friday, July 20, 2018 3:58 PM
I can’t imagine what Trump supporters must be going through—now that there is clear proof and common knowledge of the con they’ve fallen for. Lied to by dishonest Republican leaders, stirred up by an army of Russian spies, tricked into voting for a sorry excuse of a man—a man who made them laugh when he said, “You’re fired!” on TV—these people will eventually be furious. I just hope they’ve learned enough to redirect their anger in the proper direction.
People didn’t see the harm in reality TV. It was cheaper than hiring writers and actors—it was silly and raw—what could be the harm, right? The harm is that their ‘reality’ was and is heavily edited, to tell whatever story the producers decided to show. Producers knew that bad behavior attracts more attention—thus, bad behavior was promoted as ‘reality’ and still is.
Young people who watch TV are taught that idiocy and selfishness are the standard of behavior—so of course they see nothing wrong with a selfish idiot running for president. Especially one of their favorite stars. If they’d grown up watching The West Wing instead of Big Brother, this never could’ve happened.
But imagine the naked shame—of all that full-throated support of a crook who conned them—of all the lies they swallowed like scripture—of thinking they knew better than the pencil-necked geeks. I’d hate to be a Trump-supporter right now. Or that lone woman who sat behind Trump at rallies with the ‘Women for Trump” sign—or that lone man with the “Blacks for Trump” sign (so sad that neither could find enough people to justify the plurals).
Be gentle with them all, bless their hearts.
This nightmare will end.
The New York Times came under fire for asking, “Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?” A lot of outlets already knew.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 7:21 PM
The Russia-publicans (2018Jul18)
I’m disappointed that no one publicly asks why the agendas of Russia and the Republicans were so conveniently aligned during the 2016 election. Personally, I believe it has to do with Russia becoming a gangster-state with a mob boss for a leader, concerned with nothing but money and power. The Republicans are of the same mind, but feel hindered by having to pose as public servants.
The Republicans can’t overtly threaten their voters—they have to settle for disinformation campaigns that only do violence to the national consciousness. The Russian people have been at this longer—they know their leaders lie to them. They know this because it is against the law to question what they are told.
It’s not that Republicans are inherently bad (though that’s true enough for most of the elected Republicans) it is only that Republicans are the party of the rich. Cutting taxes and blocking regulations has always been their battle cry. (Ah, remember the days—Republicans used to tie themselves in knots to deny their link to wealth.)
Recent studies suggest a link between personality-type and political party. Thus, when I call Republicans the party of the rich, that would include those who are rich, those who are approaching rich, and those who dream of becoming rich—but use magical thinking to get there. The Republican party also attracts those who dislike change and those who avoid making waves.
As near as I can see, that makes about half the country. Elections, until recently, were not forgone conclusions in any race. However, if you have a charismatic candidate with a spoiled, pervy, quasi-criminal life-style, the Republican’s 50% drops down to 30-40%—which, sadly due to the Electoral College, is enough to win by.
I digress, but with a purpose—there is a syntactical quandary here. Whenever I lambast the Republicans, I can expect some Republican voter to take offense at my aspersions—as if I specifically meant him or her. Likewise, when I reach out to Republican voters, I cede undeserved humanity, even humanitarianism, to Republican politicians who have left their consciences far, far behind.
In the past, Democrats and Republicans went head-to-head—arguing the issues, not the candidate that represented their point of view. What could be said of the candidate (barring scandal—which used to matter) could be said of his or her voters.
But today we have Republican politicians and Republican voters—two entirely separate groups. If we try to damn the politicians, the voters take offense. If we try to tell the voters that they’re being duped (and, admittedly, it is bizarre) by both the Republican Party and the Russians—they get on their high horse and tell us that they are just as smart as we are. And contradicting them, at that point, is a waste of breath.
The fact is the Republican party, by being the party of the rich, has become the instrument of the rich—huge corporations and fabulously wealthy donors govern Republicans far more than Republicans govern the country. Money is all that matters to that power base—just as it is with Putin’s empire. So, the lack of connection to The People, and the obsessive greed, make Republicans and Russian Oligarchs a natural alliance.
And this is where the panic sets in—our very way of life is threatened, yet the threat stems from the dull wits of the next-door neighbor who hated Obama. We can’t make ourselves intelligent—and we have not made any provisions for the hurt feelings of slow people in a world under constant acceleration. Our Free Speech becomes a weapon on the Internet—and Trump has knee-capped America’s digital counter-intelligence forces (while waving the Space Cadet Force at us with his other hand).
This disgusting turncoat should have been impeached already. Continuing to give him the respect due to a serious president has gone past the point of farcical hypocrisy, into the area of ‘clear and present danger’. Thus, Trump and his family and goons are no longer the problem—he has given them ammunition for a hundred impeachments. The Republicans are the problem, here at the end, just as their unprincipled tactics created the opening for this era of mindless, hate-filled disgrace to our history.
The only thing more dangerous to our children’s futures than Climate Change—is being too stupid to worry about Climate Change, or the people it will kill. In a world where that is beside the point, you know something is terribly wrong.