Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I don't know any Russians

This is "Eclipse" built in 2009 for Roman Abromovich, a Russian oligarch and apparently an associate, or associate wannabe of our pretend president. Perhaps it's just that Trump owes him half a billion - you never know.
I took this while docked at Sint Maarten in 2012 from the neighboring slip. It's only the front half, of course. At 533 feet I couldn't get far enough away to get it all in the picture. Yes, it's that big and carries two helicopters, a submarine, three smaller yachts and has 24 staterooms. Yes, it's an ocean liner with a crew of 94 and it's now using the usual berth of another ocean liner now in Puerto Rico.
The Eclipse has just turned up in Palm beach so that the owner can have Thanksgiving dinner with our own oligarchs at Trump's Mierda-a-Lago. It costs the county about $70,000 a day when his dead beat Highness is in town, which expense, as is customary with Trump, he never pays. He now has a tab of about 3 and a half million with Palm Beach County. Good luck collecting. 
It costs something like a quarter million to join that elite club and about $7600 a month to belong. That's nothing for many of the members who enjoy the financial benefits of being close enough to the Thief in Chief to smell his farts. It's money well spent for those who thrive on the patronage of the president they own.
And Trump of course, learns a lot of things by having friends like that. Little tricks like registering your megayacht as a charter vessel even though you can't charter it to avoid property taxes. People at this level don't pay any, which is something to remember when your taxes go up next year while Trump eats caviar you pay for.
But we may never know the nature or the extent of Trump's association with the Russian mafia or oligarchy or with Putin himself. We're going to pay for it though. We're going to pay for it big time and if you were thinking at this point of telling me to give him a chance because he's "draining the swamp" Don't. You're the swamp.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Crime and Punishment

Public attention, at least amongst those of us who identify with what one loosely calls "the Left" sometimes like a game of spin the bottle. One day it's rampage shooting, the next day it's police brutality and the next sexual assault. That isn't really a prescription for a cure although it keeps the ratings and emotions high.

Too bad, because these things are serious and real and deserve long term attention instead of the snap judgments, generalizations and hyperbole resulting from our national attention deficit and rage addiction.  The dethronement of disgusting Harvey Weinstein seems to have spurred a journalistic hunger for more similar stories and perhaps the desire to get attention by people who make a living from getting attention.

I admit that reading that George Bush Sr. had apologized for a sexual assault occurring 4 years ago, I was shocked, but reading the story changed that to irritation because to my "insensitive" mind sexual assault implies sex or at least something closer to it than telling a dirty joke or a collision with a 90 year old man confined to a wheelchair -- and both while the man's wife watched.  Rude? Perhaps. A lack of social graces understandable in someone of that age? Perhaps. A hyperbolic, opportunistic accusation? I think so and irritating because it will feed more arguments that all such accusations are false or exaggerated.   

Certainly they are not all or mostly false, even if demands that people be protected from insult, or any disturbing sights, sounds or comments have become common. Perhaps Heather Lind had a right to take offense, but calling something tasteless "assault" is damaging to a legitimate cause. That attention is being given to this while the real transgressors can admit to it and get away with it is tragic.

Monday, October 23, 2017

All Roads Lead To. . .

"By Diverse means we arrive at the same end." Thus begin the essays of Michel de Montaigne.
It's both hopeful and ominous and also a warning against the intolerance that seeps through the capillaries of Facebook like rising damp. When it comes to any of the jihads or crusades or popular causes, there's the the way, and only the way, the vocabulary, the rules and strictures of whatever group seeks or has seized power and those singing from a different hymnal are the enemy.Such groups themselves have become the cause they purport to represent.
Certainly it would be more productive to have alliances with which common goals can be approached. None the less denominations increase and draw apart, to the advantage of Chaos. Do we, of presumably good will and worthy ends, ever arrive elsewhere when we treasure our words and our power to promote them more than our goals?
Indeed Montaigne's motto was "what do I know?" and he warned us not to accept our reasoning so readily. We don't normally control our thoughts, we just feel and buttress our feelings, and the contradictions and challenges we encounter only enrage us. We fabricate our certainties and defend them and hide behind them and create entities to shore them up and invest those entities with more certainty. And as allies are portrayed as enemies, our perceived enemies proliferate and the world goes to war. Shall I hand it over to Hobbes at this point? Is there another way to see it: perhaps in the literal sense that doctrine itself impedes progress? 
What do I know?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


 In the 18th century, the first self-operating Atmospheric engine was invented, according to legend, by an employee who got tired of sitting there turning valves to make the piston on a Newcomen engine pumping water out of a mine go up and down. He rigged up a system of ropes and pulleys to do it unassisted. It was a huge improvement, but there's a good chance he was chastised for laziness, employers being what they always have been.

An insurance company I used to work for was very late in adopting mechanical calculators when they first came out.  It would surely make the clerks lazy.

You run across the meme in one form or another, if you read social history. Serfs, the unemployed, the recipients of charity or  government aid, the lame and the blind and the poor are lazy. The employee you exploit unfairly is lazy, the addict, the drunk, the mentally ill, the sick and injured. Easier to call them lazy than provide help.

Poor old Bob Cratchet was lazy for wanting Christmas off from work and the straw man ( or woman) of the lazy welfare recipient is so ingrained in conservative thought that Americans hardly questioned the Great Communicator when he made up his own lazy Welfare Queen.

It's a way of assuaging conscience for those who have one. It's a way of forgiving oneself for failures.  It was once a way of showing that black people in the American south needed to be enslaved - because they wouldn't be able to take care of themselves, being lazy and stupid. Had to be whipped because they were lazy. Had to be whipped so that the industrious boss with his work effort didn't have to pay them.

We're all liberals and people of conscience, so we all despise slavery and exploitation and so our objectives really put us above question, at least in our own minds. When we catch Mr. Trump calling Hispanic American storm victims lazy, he insinuates that Texans and Floridians are not and are worthy of help and we demonstrate our fury - in words anyway. Words don't require much work after all, not like voting, but I digress.

Like so many other liberals I go on the blogs and social media and I let everyone know how angry I am and how bad are those who see things differently.  Imagine how offended I am and how you might also be if because you mentioned that calling someone lazy for your own financial gain was not the exclusive habit of ante-bellum plantation owners, but a habit of  unscrupulous exploiters since the beginning of time, you are declared, in rather irate terms to be a racist. I'm already white so I must be, I have information and ideas that differ from the official talking points, so I must be and by the power vested in the righteous by Facebook I am condemned.

Look at where this long struggle has landed us, like pit bulls in the ring while injustice runs rampant.

Dies Irae

"I'd hate to think there's a national discussion going on that I'm not part of" 

says the man in pajamas with a laptop, in bed next to his sleepy wife. It's a cartoon in the New Yorker but it could be you, it could be me, obsessively Facebooking and thinking that it really was a place of  national discussion and we really were part of it.  But it isn't. It's a place designed to seem like the real thing: perhaps like Westworld where the people around you are not what they seem.  Indeed, some are just software. Some are paid to influence you. Some just want an audience they couldn't otherwise have or the feeling of having one as they shout into the void or shoot at people who don't actually die. 

In any event, the people who will read the comments you make, see the pictures and political messages you share and post are mostly selected for the purpose and so are your contributions that appear to a selected audience.  We preach mostly to the converted and they to us and so the challenges and questions and contrary observations rarely force us to explain or question ourselves. If such things do appear the various "safe spaces" often erupt into a stacatto of bump stock accusations, poorly aimed but deadly.

It's not a national discussion but a vast group of warring states, whose internal stability (if not quite the peace) is regulated by witch hunts, ritual condemnations, excoriations and maledictions --  and the phatic bleating of  self-congratulatory sheep. "We alone know the truth, for are we not men?" (or Women or gun lovers or gun haters or black or white or gender fluid Druids.)

Woe betide he who wanders in from the outside, for should he perhaps share the passion for the group's position, yet not bleat with the same accent, yet make an observation that is not congruent with the call and response ritual of the group, and he becomes the scapegoat, the enemy, the witch. It's necessary to use the scripted arguments, no matter how inaccurate. It's necessary to stick to the generalizations and to avoid specifics. It's necessary not to amend, update, clarify or question doctrine. It's necessary to run the gantlet, giving the right responses to the right gods lest your soul be cast down. If the goal is "sensible" don't ever say the word effective or you're the beast.  Entropy increases and inevitably, the problem is to keep the group together and anonymous rather than to achieve any goal and have the group disperse.

Deliberately or inadvertently, that becomes more and more likely as the hermetic groups drift inwardly and inevitably toward zealotry or anger mongering, with all the sophistry, misrepresentation and passionate oversimplification attendant thereto. 

One may not offer any new proposal or question any old statistics, offer new data or seek old data. If you suggest, for instance, banning some device, you're a "gun grabber" and expect to be slandered. if you spell guns correctly you're suspect in another group and God help you if you suggest that the numbers are wrong by a factor of two, even if they are. It doesn't matter how much you hate racism, despise wanton violence, plutocracy or unregulated capitalism.   One is not saved by good works or deeds. Salvation comes only from the grace of the group. Believe in the sanctity and brotherhood of all life and you're not only racist, but approve of police brutality.

Hyperbole, like entropy, increases. A statistically supported observation soon spreads out like ripples in a pond or radiation in space, but no faster or more slowly than a bogus one. If  white southern males over 70 have a higher proportion of  some property, it's inevitable that the problem is caused by and exclusively by all white males, be they 17 and living in Lapland or an American Attorney General and god help you if you disagree even though the property in question is disliked by all present. You may hate racism with all your heart and soul and all your might, but just as Lon Chany Jr could become a wolf under the full moon, in a Facebook group one becomes what the group hates. It's dog eat dog while the bowl of Alpo goes untouched.

The speed with which  Harvey Weinstein became the straw everyman would puzzle Einstein. You may agree about his villainy, but disagree that all men share it and you're suddenly part of the problem and a misogynist. Say he's that way because he's a Jew and many will applaud and few will defend.  You click "like" on a cartoon of Kim Jun Un and you're a racist, not an enemy of Kim or tyranny.

Facebook seems often to have become the problem itself: a petri dish for every pathogen, a pyre for every perceived witch and a battleground for the universal war with no end: every element within evolving toward greater isolation and animosity and where the most narrow-minded and furious predominate, where all the days are days of rage, where friends become enemies, where debate dies and  nothing is ever achieved. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Death in Vegas

Expecting yet another round of amorphous generalities and off-the-shelf solutions to the problem of determining in advance just which solid citizen will become a psychotic citizen, I tuned into Rachel Maddow last night. Much to my surprise she seemed to know what she was talking about and got right to points that needed to be heard through the clamor and frenzy.

How do I know these were important points? Because I've been trying to make them, that's how. And wouldn't you know the worst and most angry attacks against some simple ideas have come from our young Liberal friends who see any departure from dogma as anathema. Background checks would have been useless here. the weapons weren't bought at a gun show nor would registration have made a difference. Other things might have. Can we talk?

The first thing that occurred to me Monday morning and to Maddow on Monday evening was the strange fact that a man could bring at least ten rifles into a hotel room, along with tripods and cases of ammunition without anyone taking notice or bothering to have a hotel security person or even housekeeping take a look. The hotel didn't know where to find the shooter because nobody took notice.  Locating him minutes sooner would have saved lives.  So far only Ms Maddow has suggested such a small thing might have allowed this horror to have been averted. "Customers will kindly check rifles at the front desk." Hotels already have the right to do this. Anyone can refuse to allow guns on their property.  Why don't they? Little by little, step by step we can get to a better place.

But of course the degree of mayhem was so high because in some fashion some legal guns had been converted whether legally or illegally (we still don't know how) to something like fully automatic weapons. To the layman, that means machine gun or a smaller caliber submachine gun. This might involve drilling some holes and replacing some parts, or it could involve gadgets added to the trigger or the stock. Some of these are legal in Nevada and elsewhere, some are prohibited by Federal Law which heavily regulates gas or recoil operated automatic weapons, but ignores other forms.  Suggest that and the reaction is anger and mistrust. "We don't want that, we want sensible gun control."

Instead of the same old and vague cries for gun control, would some good Congressman suggest an effective way to get these devices off the market? Can we start there and not drown the idea in ad hominem attacks or raging about the NRA?

Such high rates of fire, it can be and has been well argued, are too dangerous for private ownership and perhaps those 100 round or 75 round magazines I see for sale aren't much less so. I'm not naive enough to think banning them would get rid of them any time soon, but it would be more effective to argue for such specific action than to blather endlessly about demanding things which demonstrably don't work and pretending they do.  Weapons that are not "military style" can also be modified of course. I've seen kits to combine ordinary hunting rifles to make perfectly legal multiple-barrel "Gattling" guns.  Let's add them to the list of things: destructive weapons, the Feds have successfully kept off the streets for many, many years. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Volunteers of Amerika

 Alex Jones and Michael Savage - two Gentlemen of Bologna - or do we pronounce it Baloney? They're both talking about civil war and not the one you're thinking of. And though both have an audience, neither can be compared to Nathan Hale or Patrick Henry or for that matter, Robert E Lee. They remind me more of jackals egging on the lions so they can feast on the leftovers.

"Like the radio DJs in Rwanda, Jones has been egging on his conservative listeners and viewers—an estimated 2.7 million people monthly—to kill more liberal fellow citizens over their political differences. " says Newsweek.

Michael Savage, whose real name is Weiner, told us the day before the congressional baseball game shooting there's going to be a bloody revolution. I'm sure he's hoping, although seeing that he's Jewish and sucking up to apocalyptic Christian Supremicists -- and seeing as I just saw a Storm Front post that reads " I desperately need to know if he is a Jew," perhaps he'd rethink his long career in rabble rousing before the glass starts breaking.

Can we compare him to the equally pathetic but less scary Anthony Weiner posing as "Carlos Danger?" What is it with Weiners anyway? Michael could settle the penile comparison with a picture, but please don't send it to me. All I really want to know is how close you can get to advocating armed insurrection before they lock you up or hang you.  I like to picture these tin horns sharing a cell with the skinheads they emulate, don't you? 

Newt has been howling at the moon himself of late but phrasing in in more metaphorical terms. He calls on Trump to "burn down the Bastille" as though we locked up their  sort instead of giving them jobs on Fox News and in the Cabinet. There were only 7 people imprisoned there on July 14, 1789 you know. There are far more blogging and bullshiting in America today,  behind microphones and keyboards not bars, but these vermin need to put on airs as though it could whitewash the shit stains or cover up the stink of their foul and criminal behavior. 

So rave on, you fake patriots, you vapid and vatic vermin. All the rednecks with all the shotguns wearing all the camo pants and homemade militia uniforms in the world won't help you when it all falls down.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two Good Men

You don't generalize from small samples as anyone should be willing to confirm -- but not everyone does. Our president, for instance loves to make it look like our biggest crime problem is the presence of undocumented Hispanics, although it isn't. It only takes a handful of examples to make us think "typical" A handful of examples and a lie.

But we're not going to see that at work today in the case of the Christian killer in Portland:  Christian in faith, Christian in name. As you know when two good men stood up and attempted to intervene with Mr. Christian who was assaulting an apparently Muslim woman, they had their throats slit. According to a witness, one was black and the other apparently Muslim. Both were young. Both make me proud.

Should I say "typical Christian" and blame all murderers on Christians? After all, they commit most of them in the US. 

It isn't Islam or Christianity or knives or guns, it's hate. Hate is a religion and it's preached everywhere radio, TV, the Internet and yes, sometimes the pulpit are available. We even have governors of states  suggesting reporters who ask questions be killed.  Will the real Americans please stand up, speak up, act up.  Lady Liberty wants you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

He's a Big Boy Now

"I did it and I'm glad," a high school friend used to say as an act of high school bravado against the unsympathetic faculty attitude toward our antics.  We long since grew up and perhaps are no longer so proud of certain deeds of what we saw as the resistance.  Our "business man" in chief seems to be similarly proud not only of his flaunting of  prior norms and practices, but of his ability to get away with things otherwise criminal because of  his Presidential status.

Donald Trump is 70 and not 17 and his pranks don't involve eggs or rolls of toilet paper or even detergent in the town fountain, but Armies and rockets and nuclear weapons.  Loose lips sink ships and so do loose cannons. Loose commitments to truth brag about sending armadas North and order them to steam South: they brag about reducing debt while borrowing trillions and about achieving greatness for us while achieving immense wealth for himself.  Loose lips screech and rant about leaks and secrets and serve them up with Beluga on toast and vodka on ice to our enemies.

Trump used to tell us the world was laughing at us under Obama, who had much respect around the world and doesn't seem to know or acknowledge that they've now stopped laughing at him and started building fallout shelters. The most chilling laughs I've seen were those of the Russian spymasters  mocking the US reporters as they and Tass film crews entered the closed door meeting with the swaggering, boasting buffoon. Lavrov's smile was the Russian Bear remembering a hundred years of pent up frustration and hate and anticipating long-awaited revenge.

I did it and I can get away with it, thinks Trump. Look at me, I'm the president now.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

God, Guns and Lies

"Be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures,"
said Trump to graduating students at a university that shares the dubious provenance of many other things that include Liberty, Freedom and Patriotism in the title. Like Trump University, it was founded by another megalomaniac with a narcissistic personality disorder and an angry, vindictive and graceless nature. I should say humorless as well, or at least immune to irony, as entrenched interests and failed power structures are in fact the notable characteristics of Trump and his efforts to bring us back to the age of Corruption and coal and a culture of every man for himself.  The Trump administration is literally packed with representatives of established power and authority and yes, failed power structures and failed ideas. He's pandering to future representatives of  a power structure based on undemocratic un-elected authority over our lives.  It's fraught with punishment and persecution and they're selling it with fraudulent and fallacious claims of  victimhood.  
"In America, we don’t worship government, We worship God,"
 He goes on, giving a dishonest and unconstitutional hurrah to the biggest entrenched interest in Western History and fallaciously implying a binary choice between God and Government: offering the absurd proposition that anyone has been or has even suggested worshiping government. What he means is the choice between religious authority and our secular laws and what he's arguing is dishonest.  Of course the question isn't worship, it's Trump's use of presidential authority to give support for religious worship and for a presumably Christian God.

It's another typical Trumpish example of "tell 'em what they want to hear" and it is, after all, an institution as devoid of challenge to religious authority as the space between galaxies or, at the moment, the Oval Office. It's been argued and argued well that it really isn't a University, it's a Church and a place where if you don't agree that the Earth is new and  Biblical cosmology and history isn't real, you flunk out or are expelled.  An institution dedicated to supporting ancient and un-sourced authority against objective and demonstrable fact doesn't deserve the title of University, regardless of what the Liberty University brochure might say.

In America we don't have to worship your  God in fact, nor do  all of us.  That's not meant to be offensive to those who do worship or acknowledge or pray to a virtually infinite number of gods, it's just a statement of religious freedom,  and of course that's a cornerstone of what used to be our secular Republic.  A president who insinuates, at least to that particular audience, that "worship" is an essential and necessary qualification for citizenship is not a real president; nor is he as he suggests, an "outsider" or one to challenge tradition or authority, but a fake, a phony, a panderer and an enemy of the Constitution he swore and pretends to protect.

But you know that. You may support him, believe him and in him and disregard the virtual Niagara of lies and misrepresentations, but in your heart, you know it's all dust and ashes and ego and cupidity and bigotry and indecency and fear and disregard for morality or ethics. You can lie to yourself, and say it's true when he lies to you, but all of this will eventually need to be answered for. There will be nothing left to say  and no ears to listen when it all falls down.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Slow Train Coming

But it's speeding up fast!

Frankly I thought it would take longer, but the Comey firing and Lester Holt's interview have suddenly accelerated the disintegration of Donald J. Trump.

It has gained wide acceptance and indeed Trump actually admitted it on network TV that the FBI Director was fired for refusing to stop the investigation and that Trump called him to choose between his job and his integrity and patriotism -- a test Comey apparently passed. Say what you like about him, he's not one to put loyalty to Trump ahead of his oath of office or to swear a loyalty oath that contradicted it. Will anyone pledge loyalty to this vindictive, childish madman after this?  

Trump once again has been caught in the middle of a lie he's changed several times even while he was telling it. It appears,  as of this morning's twitter excretions that Trump has openly threatened Comey by saying he'd better hope there are no "tapes" of their conversations before he "leaks" further. Yes, that Nixon smell is getting rather strong and no it's not a leak Mr. President. There's nothing classified here. 

As we know, the use of quotes means Trump can say he didn't mean tapes -- and he should say it soon, since recording Comey would have been one more illegality to throw on the bonfire of Trump's vanities when he comes to trial. It's already beyond credibility that Comey would be lying and Trump isn't. Same goes for Sessions and his bogus "recusal" which wasn't actually a recusal. The water around him is warming up rapidly as well.
We're getting into impeachment country now and we've already pulled into the Obstruction of Justice Station and moved beyond this week. Illinois Senator Dick Durban called Trump dangerous on MSNBC this morning and many like me think it's an understatement. Witnessing his escalating fits of rage and meltdowns and the panicked way he's been changing his stories so fast his mouthpieces can't keep up is simply scary, since the tried and true method of thwarting adversities and avoiding consequences is starting a war and declaring special powers. Ask Erdogan and of course -- his mention being predictable -- Hitler.

Even if he doesn't, he's doing damage every day; demanding as he did recently that the electric catapults on all new aircraft carriers be removed and replaced with steam. Perhaps he thinks they'll go back to coal power as well. It's because, as he says, you have to be Albert Einstein to understand "digital." Truly stunning, isn't it? He knows war and he knows nuclear engineering better than the engineers and generals and Admirals and historians, but he hasn't heard of the work of Michael Faraday in electromagnetism in the 1830's and thinks it's "digital."

History repeats itself. The phantom caravan, as Omar sang, returns to the nothing it set out from. The Bible tells us Nebuchadnezzar went mad and grazed the fields like a beast. George III went nuts in his time and we're watching the man with the launch codes grow increasingly confused and desperate and manic.

Give him a chance, say the dwindling but tenacious supporters. I gotta advise them to ask themselves: Do ya feel lucky? Well do ya America?

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Killa from Manilla

Sarah Palin could probably smell Trump's new tower in the Philippines all the way from Alaska if it weren't for all the rotting carcasses of bear cubs and wolf puppies littering her place in the Spring thaw, but for some reason one more opaque Trump overseas real estate deal with a murderous genocidal tyrant is nearing completion and nobody cares about our fake president's name emblazoned on it because of his non-existent "achievements" and his position as the symbol of ignorant rabble status in America. 

"I give him an A+" says the man in the Barber shop, the supermarket, the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart.

"The architecture is exquisite, the interior design is flawless," says Ivanka in the ads, "and just look at my breasts. Buy my Jewelry!" The developer is getting around $750,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in a city where the average worker takes home less than $10 a day.

Is there anything immoral about expensive housing in  a poor city? Not really, but is there something stinky about the Philippine Idi Amin appointing the guy who's building it as a special trade envoy in the US? Anything wrong with inviting the killa from Manilla to have lunch at the Palm Beach Pleasure Dome?   Hmmm. maybe send out for another case of Febreze for the White House, 'cause I don't think the windows will open.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Last Laugh

I can't remember who said it on MSNBC this morning, but it's been bothering me all day. To paraphrase:  "The entertainment value of Donald Trump's Circus is as dangerous as the policies we laugh at."  Yes, I confess I delight in his gaffes and his outrageous tweets, jaw-dropping deeds and pronouncements, to the point where I look forward to my morning laugh of outrage as much as my morning coffee. I'm not alone, and of course laughing at someone feels good. It means we're smarter, better informed and rational and someone else is not. That's the cheapest form of humor, of course, akin to vaudevillian slapstick and plain old mockery.

Why is this dangerous? I think it creates a demand for more. It's a demand that nature and the Trump organization doesn't always fill. When demand exceeds supply, the market will provide. Are we the market? The Networks, the Newspapers, the late night comedians? Are we addicted to outrage?

Case in point:  after Trump or his daughter or some equally unqualified person ordered a missile strike on the Syrian airbase we were unconsciously waiting for the drummer to give us the rim shot a burlesque comedian punctuates his one liners with. Trump didn't give us one so when the Pentagon and Army Gen. John "Mick" Nicholson commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan who took office under Barack Obama a year ago called in an airstrike to end a growing problem with the recrudescence of terrorist fighters in striking distance of Kabul, we jumped on it. It must have been TrumpIt must have been a distraction because without it our outrage balloon deflates and we have nothing to laugh or scold or be outraged about.

Remember when Bill Clinton's cruise missile attacks on Al Qaeda were laughed away as a distraction? An outrage? Remember the accusations of Monica Missiles? We found it disgusting, stupid, irresponsible and the denials that there was anything like Al Qaeda downright dangerous. Change the names and the joke is on us.

The Big Bomb likely saved lives - American and Afghani. The attack created no collateral damage and no American casualties. In a time when terrorists are gaining ground in this 15 year old theater of operations, when Afghani forces are taking huge casualties and civilians are being killed and the pathway to victory seems invisible,  why are we making a joke out of a rare success? ISIS may not affect us here at home, but in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria and elsewhere they are already apocalyptic and huge numbers of people have been killed horribly. There are now 100 fewer of them and their fortress is rubble no one will use again for a while.

Not long ago I watched a video of a soldier being slowly burned alive by ISIS. I listened to him cry like a child while trying to brush the flames out of his eyes with his burning hands. It will play over and over in my mind until I die. They are not imaginary. They are not a joke. We have no option but to destroy ISIS utterly in any way possible and anything our government does to further this preempts my desire to see Trump make an ass of himself.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pants on Fire

It was ages ago, during the Gore Vs Bush contest that Al Gore quoted some figure - lets say it was 4.5%. After the debate the Bush people sprang up to tell us "Gore Lied! He Lied" the figure was closer to 4.6% apparently. Such is the joy in finding error in an opponent, all sense of proportion evaporates along with the ability to see how ridiculous you are. In politics degree doesn't matter. A mistaken prediction of insurance cost is right there with selling missiles to Iran and conducting a secret illegal war and training death squads to kill nuns. All that matters is Who, not what.

This joy sings loudest in the hearts of liars. Barack Obama once said there were more black males in prison than in university. Not quite true, but didn't the headlines howl with outrage. It's happening now that Obama has left the building. It's important to portray him as the purveyor of frequent and grievous lies. Books and articles are appearing to distract from Trumps Treasons and felonies, rapes, thefts and frauds by telling you Obama is a liar. He's just as bad so don't criticize Trump

It's hard for me to understand that people think they're not being clowns by comparing the insignificant with the felonious, that Obama saying he thought you could keep your doctor makes him the same kind of liar as saying Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons ready to land on us in 45 minutes. The lives of millions and the expense of trillions are equal to  having your insurance force you to see a different doctor.

But that's how people think: political people that is. We hate to be wrong, foolishly wrong so much we will twist time and space to make it seem like we were really right all along. Endless articles have been written showing just how much of a liar Obama is and it's memorized by Obamahaters all over America to be taken out and waved in your face.
Johnson, Nixon, Clinton and Reagan to begin with - they were caught in lies of some sort. Some changed the world and cost many lives. But Gore lied too. He was 0.1% off in some meaningless figure. Gore lied.

It's only my opinion but we may at the moment have the most profound liar in our history in the oval office. If you don't realize that you're not worth talking to, and I'm not wasting words on you, but the worse he gets, the more felonies, conflicts of interest, secret illegal deals add up the more that's true. You're hopeless in fact. Please realize that I consider you a mortal enemy of everything I hold dear and will act accordingly.

So Whether we find bank records of illegal deals, illegal transactions, tax fraud or pictures of Trump with underage girls and piss whores or signed contracts to yield sovereignty to Putin and invite attacks, you're going to tell me all about crooked Hillary and lying Obama and if you're lucky you might get away unscathed. I'm nowhere near as fast as I used to be you know.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Hope Springs Infernal

 Certum est, quia impossibile.

Tertullian - De Carne Christi

It's been too easy to hope, to tempting to giggle as the President makes a bloody fool of himself with tantrums and childish lies like the spoiled brat he is who just can't understand why things don't automatically go his way.  I still look forward to enjoying his further humiliations and embarrassments even if all we'll be able to get from him is increasingly irrational accusations of  the WTF kind.  But it's not about Trump really, any more that it's the Flying Lady hood ornament that makes a Rolls what it is.

The gates to hell don't say "abandon all hope" they tell you to keep the faith. That way the disappointment will be eternal. 
Total, absolute and utterly conclusive proof that there was no wiretapping by Obama or Alexander Graham Bell for that matter will not do one thing to tarnish the myth that it did happen, just as Obama always will have been born in Kenya or Malaysia or both even with a birth certificate notarized by 9 Supreme Court Justices and filmed in wide screen Technicolor.

Absurdity is traditionally a cornerstone and a buttress for belief, not an argument against it.  We're dealing with a religion in the Trump movement, a bit of a new religion. It has its own prophets and preachers and all the other trappings.  I can't give it a name but it constitutes legions and it's growing.  Its sacraments are phrased in hate and anger and scorn and numberless acts of denial. Denial of science, technology, mathematics and the more absurd the denial, the more tenaciously held.  What you see isn't true and what doesn't exist is dogma and everything that argues against us is proof of this.

Many of us, our culture being as compartmentalized as it is today aren't aware  of the disciples, the writers of gospels. By now we know about Limbaugh and the Sons of Fox, but Alex Jones, Mark Levin, Steve Bannon and Breitbart are all deeply immersed in fantastical Armageddons and mystical transformations as well as the end times for the Administrative State and the structures of the Republic. It all needs to wither away or be destroyed and don't ask why or how. It's a mystery,  and just as no major religion and few minor ones ever are defeated by being disproved or by being reduced to absurdity, this one won't either.  Denial denies all.

Economic recovery is collapse. Dramatic reductions in crime are "carnage" Crime is caused by Immigrants and we are in more danger from all things than we ever have been. The lizard people are everywhere and they're all Jewish and the Illuminati and the Elders of Zion are all in charge of the invisible "deep state" which is "leftist" with it's contradictory Leninist capitalism and fake news.  Come inside friend. No matter how ignorant, stupid or degraded you may be.  We will make you feel smart. We will make you important and powerful and give you the tools to bring it all down.

Species don't evolve but the truth does. In time Obama will truly have staged some silent invisible coup and started a police state with marshal law and sharia law and armed gangs dressed like Pancho Villa will have been dumping megatons of drugs and raping millions and putting millions out of work.  In time Hillary will have murdered more than any serial killer, her husband will have bankrupted the economy and she will have made ten billion dollars in some mysterious fashion by being "in" with Wall Street, whatever that means. The giggling masses will believe and even when the story changes, it will always have been true.

We don't stand a chance and it will all be ushered in by the nicest people who will turn you in to the inquisition without hesitation for saying the wrong thing and god bless the troops for protecting our freedoms.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Enigma of Arrival

They jump up, they sit down. They jump up again, blank expressions on their face as though listening intensely to instructions or some inaudible tune. Marionettes in dark suits, they jump up, they sit down.

The mind recalls scenes from Korea, the dark clad people grovelling in tears at the loss of a leader who owns their lives and their families and who must be impressed with their devotion lest he kill them on the spot. In the big room the Republicans jump up, they sit down. The other half slump in their seats, dark rags not able really to sit. Not reacting, looking at their hands: failed men in a homeless shelter, waiting. Refugees and a packed train station, waiting; cattle in the chutes. All people caught up in a huge drama and no longer the people we knew only moments ago with motives, and positions and goals and explanations and narratives. They all jump up, they all sit down.

He inherited, lies the man at the podium, a chaotic mess. He's the last US president since James Madison to wear a wig, although it's died and not powdered. He lies outright about it, making up figures, contradicting himself when he mentions a recovery albeit slow, he says, neglecting to mention that it was a recovery from the biggest recession in nearly 90 years and caused by policies he again proposes. We've had a rarely equaled economic expansion, rarely achieved employment levels and wage growth is accelerating, but that's fake news. The real news is bad. He needs it to be.  The real news comes from me and none else. And you will believe.

It wouldn't be appropriate to comment as a reporter or columnist. We have to pretend not to be "fake." No, let's just watch. Just stand here like refugees in shabby clothes and our things in cheap suitcases waiting in a public place for the trains.
"As we speak," says the big ugly man who looks so much like an ugly little man on camera:
"as we speak, they're rounding up bad guys."

I can picture men and women and children running through dark alleys, sneaking out of back doors, hiding in culverts and under abandoned cars in the uncaring conservative night, the wind of American hate blowing like a stink from a slaughterhouse. In the big room, they jump up, they sit down and we watch, stunned.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Not so long ago in a neglected 1974 Ford Galaxie not so far away and parked toward the back of Donny’s Mira-Lago motors in Pahokee, Florida, Donald Trumbow finished off the last roach in the tin Altoids box with little more than ashes left in it, slid it back in his pocket and his oversized self back into the seat and sighed. A  four door ’74 with the base 351 certainly wasn’t going to attract the resto-mod builder who might have a marginal interest in something like a ’68 with the 427 and a four speed or even a 2 door ’72 with the 429, and besides it needed much more  work than it was worth in mint condition. He could see gravel through the floor.  The guy in the Gas Monkey T shirt had taken about a minute to look it over and walk away before Donny had even begun the story of how many people were lined up for this car if he didn’t take it fast. He didn’t have the energy to pursue him.

Trumbow, or Dumbo as his wife called him behind his back, was going to need some cash right away. Some wise-ass with a paintbrush had changed the L in Lago to a C last night.  Mira-Lago had been his wife’s idea and was supposed to mean ‘Lake View’ if you could trust Google Translator, and that might, she thought, give the seedy enterprise a more impressive air, at least with the non Spanish speakers, which they both would have preferred. But Mira was her name and Mira-lago said the cheap looking sign  -- until now.

Mira Cago, he was pretty sure meant “looks like Shit.”  It would really look like shit if he tried to fix the sign himself and to get anyone to do it, he was going to need cash, things being as they were. Nothing was selling and the last person he could ask for a loan (and the only one he hadn’t lately) was Mira herself, although her Tarot and fortune telling business was making money and taking up a good part of their double-wide up by J&J fish camp.  It had no more of a view of the lake than the car lot did, but only of the Hoover dike keeping the Southern end of Okeechobee a lake and not a swamp, and the ditch that surrounds it. Mira had begun to appear double-wide herself in recent years, but that didn’t noticeably interfere with her accurate predictions of 10 minutes of oral sex following the transfer of 20 bucks to the ornate box she kept the cards in.

Donny closed the squeaky door gingerly, the door skin on the ancient Ford being barely attached, and went over to the trailer “office.”  It was starting to get hot. “Looks like shit” he said to himself, thinking of his life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yes, friends, I'm getting tired of the daily hate too, although the choice of words between hate and anger or perhaps outrage I hear gives a hint, a whiff of tendentiousness, if I'm not being oversensitive.

"Hate" reflects poorly on the person who is against something, while outrage brings in the possibility of the feeling being justified. I'm also tired of the situation, the outrage, even the horror of the Trump "Putsch" just as you are,  although I can't avoid thinking it's the biggest disaster since the Civil War and perhaps the beginning of the end of anything about the USA we could honestly call great.

So I have to sympathize. I'm also already sick of turning on the TV or going to the newspaper websites every morning with the usually fulfilled expectation of some new horror, some new crime to be explained away by some ministry of disinformation and to be accepted by the nodding heads and nitwits of America.

Yes, sure, call me a hater for hating hate, for hating corruption, for hating the murder of things I hold fundamental, self-evident: for hating the summary destruction of the infrastructure of our former Republic and you're right, I hate Donald Trump and I hate the people who support his outrages and I hate them to the point where the word itself is strained to the point of breaking. It may be your right to withdraw, to close your eyes and wait for the end times and whatever they may bring. Just understand that to me it's the patriot's duty, the citizen's burden and the obligation of the honest man to oppose and to be seen to be opposing the rise of tyrannical corruption and the acts of treason we will have to endure if you do.

 It's up to us and only to us and there so one, no country, no army, no miracle to save us while there are so many who will profit obscenely when we sink into the pit that's being dug for us.

 “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” ― Samuel Adams

Monday, December 26, 2016

He's the King of the World!

"Merry Christmas to all!"
Blurts the RNC official Christmas message. and the expanding ripples of unanswered questions expand outward. Is this the kind of message that an inclusive political party about to take over the reigns of the USA should be sending or is this a somehow mislabeled missive from the Vatican?

"Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends."

Questions and more questions: Are we talking about a king of the United States? Why do we have a political party making historically unfounded statements of faith, supporting sectarian mythology as truth and a mythology that does not represent American citizens as a whole? 

I'm sorry, you've been calling an unfulfilled ancient myth "good news" for longer than CNN hangs on to "breaking news" and there has been no new king of a united Hebrew Nation since Solomon and there is and never has been a king of the world. Sorry Leo and sorry for the rest of us: those who don't celebrate a holiday Christians have often banned and which has it's roots in pagan mythologies and department store lobbies are Americans and voters too and our rights protected under a Constitution that forbids kings as well as State religions.

And sorry RNC, a party worthy of the name would wish good tidings to all Americans not just those who celebrate a dressed up pagan holiday. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and not claiming you're comparing Trump to Jesus although a clarification and assurance is in order. Isn't it funny though, how often the things you say and do have to be explained away like the contradictions in the Bible? Contradictions such as the fact there is no mention of Three wise men?

As a literate person, should I be further insulted by a Sunday School, Bible Stories for Children version of the story?  No matter, the horror of watching the first secular democratic republic become the first to fall to barbarians overwhelms all else.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Jeff BlindWe're just starting to see some lip service paid to the cornucopia of fake news, libel and fraud that we call social media. The first I encountered this morning was a picture of a table in the shape of a swastika in a article that made it look like it came from The Daily Mail. It tells us it's something new from Ikea. Of course it's not and it apparently has appeared in other countries made to look like other legitimate newspapers printed it.  The picture is of a work of art done by a Berlin artist in 2011 and intended to be a cynical look at the false promises of Fascism, but someone doesn't like Ikea and goodness knows, in our lawless cyber world, anything goes.

There's a real observation called Gresham's law which says the good currency is driven off the market by bad currency.  Likewise, real news is driven off the market by fake news. There are no longer constraints on or impediments to the libel and slander of fake information. 

There is no bottom and even the notorious National Enquirer seems encouraged by the anarchy as you can see in the current issue smearing Malia Obama:

I'm sure Ikea is outraged and hot to punish whomever
did this and the Obama family should also be, but they really have no recourse because the legacy of the Web is chaos, lawlessness and loss of civilization.  Efforts to control it, as Facebook has claimed will be made are likely to be useless given the volume and the viciousness and the appetite for hate now warming up faster than the Arctic latitudes.

As you probably know, I'm an atheist. gods, spirits and a universe that has purpose and sentience are completely absurd to me, but that doesn't mean I don't wish there were an Enlil to drown mankind once again. If only he could do it and leave the innocent animals alone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

l'etat c'est Donald

Memory is a funny thing when it applies to the world of politics. I wonder how many remember Dick Cheney's statement that the actions of a president are ipso facto legal.  That would sound very strange coming from the Republican machine that has been trumpeting the opposite for 8 years: that everything Obama does is illegal, scandalous and unconstitutional.

Truth, legality and morality apparently are time dependent, are time specific and situational. but don't look for anyone to confirm the obvious, because the core value is, that it's not illegal (fascist, racist, unconstitutional or deplorable) when we do it.

Donald Trump told us, his soon to be subjects, in an interview in the New York Times yesterday that profiting in business using your presidency is legal because there is no such thing as a conflict of interest when one is president, or should we say El Presidente.

“The law's totally on my side, meaning, the president can't have a conflict of interest.”
Is that true?  I'm not a lawyer, but Title 18 Section 208 of the U.S. code seems to exempt presidents from the requirement to, for instance, not steer the country for his own profit.  Maybe it's a new era coming. Maybe all that shall be changed, or maybe not. Congress has yet to challenge Trump's declaration that l'etat c'est moi as Louis IV the Sun King once told the world.  We shall see. We shall see how congruent the rule of law and the will of Trump shall be in our boisterous, sheet wearing, cross burning, minority deporting, religiously conformist, all white and all great America.  We shall see what we have done.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I'm the Captain Now.

Remember the scene where the scrawny Somalian kid says to Captain Phillips: "I'm the Captain now?" I think you will. I think you will remember it well. We're all hostages now and as for all those snarky, snotty, superior Hillary haters, I blame you for selling out my country. You're dead to me and when I see you bagging groceries at the Winn-Dixie in a year or two, don't expect a tip and besides, I'll probably be jealous of anyone with such a good job when America is Great again.

No, she's "crooked" she lies and then there are the thrice examined emails of no discernible importance. There's the thrice examined Benghazi debacle which didn't rise to the level of the 12 previous embassy attacks we little note or care to remember. You're hypocrites, you're snark addicts, trying to give import to your insignificant opinions with your zingers and snarky epithets. You're willingly gullible, having too much fun piling on to stop and think. You're my enemy and the enemy of my country and I shall never forgive you.

Go ahead and wait for the crook and liar to make it great. The demise of American prestige and respect leaves a hole that will soon be filled by those who have no intention of making America anything but a third world economic colony.  You wrote the death warrant.  You and no other and when it comes time to regret it, and all your piety and wit won't  wash out a line of it, nor all your tears a line, don't look for me.

Been here and gone.


Sunday, November 06, 2016

Another Republican collapse?

Huffington Post has never seemed an extremist publication, except perhaps to extremists, but today's article about the historic drop in the markets coincident with the recent rise of Trump's prospects is full of flashing lights, klaxon horns and a voice from Das Boot shouting "Dive, Dive!"

We have, if you've been watching markets as closely as I do, the most prolonged sell-off since the financial crisis even though the odds are he will lose. Is that ironic with so many of his lower education level supporters extolling his talents as a business man who will end our "debt problem?" You betcha! as another lowbrow Republican pundit said. It seems like yesterday.

Financial experts and leaders around the world are expecting little short of total world collapse under a Trump administration. "Inconceivable" is the nearly universal reaction to the prospect of President Trump.   Moody’s says Trump’s policies would throw the U.S. economy into the longest recession since the Great Depression. Citigroup thinks a Trump win could cause a global depression.British research firm Oxford Economics thinks Trump in the White House would cause the American economy to shrink by $1 trillion over five years. Is the Nixon Gambit going to work to dismiss the fears of  the most informed conservatives in the Capitalist world by reciting the "Liberal Media" formula?  It will for some; for many in the Denialist/Conspiracy community. But it won't matter. For them it will still be all about emails and Benghazi and Crooked Hillary and if  (please) she manages to win she'll be straightjacketed by investigations and inquiries and impeachment hearings and filibusters and budget crises and shutdowns and the inability to appoint anyone to anything.

Are we damned either way?  Who knows, The best I can hope for is survival. Greatness may have to wait. An out of office Trump is not a dead trump and like Dead Cthulhu in his home beneath the sea, he'll be dreaming of revenge.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Nothing worth saving here

Fuck it all.  I'm done. And no it's not just because the Republicans have instigated an idiot revolution, a Biblical flood of lies, libels and treason, it's because there is no other side with any interest other than promoting something by insulting, slandering and lying about someone else. A million eager buffoons on a million soapboxes, shouting.  Fuck it all.

Some self righteous turd from Black Lives Matter just told me in a TV ad that I'm an "educated racist," without knowing who or what I am or what I think or can argue for or demonstrate or defend. "My dogma, my words, or you're the Devil.

This gives me license to say all kinds of invented things about him, and so here goes. He's an uneducated, smug, self righteous, lying son of bitch slandering good people with a farrago of fallacies a smart fifth grader could eviscerate.  It's an insult to my intelligence and if you doubt it, I doubt your honesty and cognitive powers.

All Buddhists, all Humanists are educated racists,by his estimation  but this cesspool of decomposing egotism and hate and lust for justifying retribution isn't?  How many millions of self appointed authorities are going to demand that I think their way or I'm a racist, communist, fascist, blasphemer or whatever.  Fuck it all, fuck America, Fuck Trump, I'm done.

Let it all fall down. I'll be here to piss on the ashes.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

No Exit

Hell is other people, said Jean-Paul Sartre. in No Exit, (Huis closand so is Democracy as I was reminded today in the New Yorker.  A third of Americans can't name one branch of government and examples of  the massive failure of education to integrate the population into the process are more than abundant.

Perhaps it's my prejudice speaking but I would guess, in the absence of further data, that this proportion is even higher among supporters of Donald Trump, many of whom seem to think that a president can do almost anything he wants, from "fixing the schools" to changing the ties in the affairs of men and rebuilding the world of the 1950's within our walled borders. All of course without help or hindrance from  the legislature or the Judicial Branch.

The requirements of Democracy include an informed, intelligent, rational electorate and I know I didn't have to tell you that, and I didn't have to tell the Founding Fathers that; seeing that they attempted to follow a sort of hierarchy of decision making that we call a Republic to protect us from the passions, the rages and the foolishness of the people.

I don't think it's working and not only because fewer and fewer potential voters are informed enough to rise above the level required to get on the carnival ride we call our electoral process, and more and more are intentionally and effectively misinformed, propagandized and enraged beyond the point of caring.  The days of hand set and hand printed newspapers ended over a century ago along with the disappearance of a population with the time and inclination to read them. Ten thousand, ten million flowers have bloomed as the tyrant Mao would have said and there is much confusion about who is or isn't likely to be telling the truth.  Every truth, every lie, every observation is buried in an accretion of commentary and although so much information is available, few bother to do more than seek out confirmation of what feels good to believe and scream it loudly in the street. 

Perhaps there truly is no exit and perhaps there are no limits. A candidate we associate with "those" people is soon divorced from his own history and ours and becomes indistinguishable from the Satan who was long ago invented to enable the demonizing process -- while the devil himself can become a hero. There is no damping factor as an engineer might term it and the system flies apart as we see today - right now. 

Is the secret to stall the rush to authoritarianism and a government of men to introduce some authority of information: some referee of last resort?  We can't know because even though it's so easy to check facts, checkers who we don't trust because they tell us we're wrong, become the demons themselves and we trust no one but the anonymous voices of agreeable rage on the web, in our emails, in our minds and on the 24 hour news. We sink into paranoia and into faith at the same time: into separate hermetic universes. Nothing in one can be proved to be true or false in any other frame of reference. Whether or not Hassan really said it, in our world and in his, nothing is true and anything can happen.

Is there really no exit?  How do you say "No Chance" in French?

Behind the screen

I was a Cub Scout.  I was a Boy Scout, I've considered myself to be an outdoorsman and I have a lot of pocket knives, many sheath knives and a few machetes/ I have knives I use for gardening, cooking and once upon a time whittling. I got my first pocket knife - an official BSA model at age 8 and my dad taught me how to take care of it and use it. I may have nicked myself a couple of times over the years, but never thought of it as anything but a tool to allow the Boy Scout to "Be Prepared."

I never go out without one, usually small - the sort of thing they used to call a "gentleman's knife" or pen knife because it so often comes in handy. I once used a Swiss Army knife to repair a carburetor linkage well enough to get the car home.  I'm as likely to turn around and go home for having forgotten a pocket knife as I am for forgetting my phone or even my wallet. You never know.

A 13 year old kid here faces a felony charge for having a pocket knife. His life may well be ruined. This is no longer my country, my civilization, my culture.

We look around at tools and see weapons. We look at cars and we see death. We look at falling crime and tremble in fear. Nothing is safe enough. We're afraid of our food, our water, our government. Teach your kid to build a fire, make a shelter?  DANGER! Let him walk to school? You're going to jail.

Drive a car on the interstate, the safest roads we have -- hell no. It's too dangerous. Remember kitchen "Strike anywhere" matches?  Some states ban them.  I mean you could burn your finger.

Paranoia strikes deep. Starts when you're always afraid, as the song goes. We're terrified of our phones, our electric meters. We're afraid of freedom and so we let them sell us subjugation wrapped up in a flag and complete with air bags and radar brakes and we build walls to hide behind and the fat men in wigs smile, the lawyers get richer while we watch people have adventures in the only world we aren't afraid to participate in: teh one behind the screen.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Abandon all Faith.

I can hardly condemn people for getting much if not most of their news from the Internet. It's efficient, you can read many sources quickly and you don't have to sit through all those TV commercials or deal with all that newsprint. That's why you're here, right?  The problem is, obviously, that for every legitimate news report there are uncountable sources of propaganda, slanted news and totally fabricated lies. Unless you're just looking for laughs you tend to believe them because you want to. We all want our prejudices, or as we like to call them, our principles, to be confirmed. Indeed far too many of us log on first thing in the morning desperately seeking outrage, scandal and condemnation. It's like a strong cup of coffee to get us going, and as with all things, where there is a demand, there arises a supply. It's called the Internet.
There are web pages that closely mimic the major outlets and unless you look closely you may think you've logged in to CNN.com or a legitimate newspaper. There are all sorts of web sources attached as supporting links on the things you get on Facebook or in email demonstrating that whatever it is you don't like is a fraud, fake or a harbinger of doom. Many are just more propaganda, many don't even exist.
But there are all sorts, put up by all sorts of organizations or individuals or political parties. My opening delight this morning was labeled as World News Politics.com and in the wildest of hysterical terms proves that Hillary Clinton hates and wants to persecute Christians:


Screeches the headline. a misquoted menu of quotes mrom Mrs. Clinton proving this premise follows. Why this found its way to me, I don't know, being a cynical and fairly well informed atheist, but the claimed 277,000 "shares" means others welcomed the chance to feed the addiction, to feed the Hillaryhate, that newest branch of the Clintonhate religion that dates to Bill's first campaign. Of course none of those predictions or maledictions came true and Bill may have been the most successful president in our history, but faith never dies, nor do lies  and they're still predicting all sorts of horrors that never happened then and won't happen now. One of those things is the persecution of Christians.
The writers of News World Politics may or may not believe this idiocy, but they know you desperately need it as a vampire needs blood and the people who pay them make their living from your fear and hate and other psychological problems you like to call Christianity. What you may depend on for your identity and self respect along with your Confederate pretense, your sense of biological superiority and your guns.
It's not going to die, it's not going to go away and it will continue like a cancer in America no matter that it's fake and like the "tax and spend" meme, the Gun Grabber meme, the "spread the wealth" calumny, it's designed to make you abandon your faith in America. Can you imagine what kind of people with what kind of motivation are behind this? That's not too hard, is it?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

America and Its Fears

What are we so afraid of, we Americans?  Everything it seems. Everything is too dangerous, nothing is nearly safe enough now that life is safer in America than it ever has been. We live longer than Americans ever have. We're less likely do be murdered, to die in a car accident or shot in a robbery. Sure, the progress isn't smooth and it affects us erratically, but the things certain to kill us are heart disease, Cancer, organ failure and complications of Diabetes. We're making progress on those things, but yet we have Americans terrified of  the very remote chance of  a pressure cooker bomb but who smoke, text while driving and are 150 pounds overweight.  We are now and always have been irrational creatures, reluctant and even afraid to base our actions and opinions on objectivity. On that fact are our political passions based.

A survey by Chapman University results in a list of what Americans fear most and by far, the largest concern is corrupt government officials. Nearly 61% tagged this as their biggest fear.  Is government so much more trustworthy than it was in my childhood when nearly everyone trusted the government?  Does it correlate to any actual increase in corruption over the days of Nixon and Agnew?  It's easy to dredge up lists of the worst presidents using Google, but basically any premise can be supported with Google searches and any president shown to be corrupt, but so much of it is motivated by political objectives.  Near the top of the list of the search I just did is titled Obama: The Most Corrupt and America-Hating President in US History  That's seriously untrue and there also seems to be an odd correlation between popularity and the reality of a president's term in office. What you blame them for or credit them with says more about your prejudices than their principles.

But next on the fear list is "terrorist attack," fear of which seems loosely linked to risk statistics. more than 40% of are afraid of swarthy invaders with bombs. Should I suspect that people a hundred years ago were just as afraid of Bolsheviks  and Wobblies and Anarchists with just as little reason? But of course nearly as many are afraid or very afraid of Obamacare. 38 1/2% are afraid of gun control. 37 1/2 % are very afraid of economic collapse.

Not all fears are unwarranted at all, more than a third of us are afraid of losing a loved one, of not having enough money in the future. These are real possibilities, but fear of irrecoverable economic collapse seems less so and our record of predicting such things seems laughable. We've had 8 years of panic about the imminent collapse and before that 8 years of denial of the probability and at present, we can't agree whether we're in a bull or bear market even if the Dow has gone from 7000 to over 18000 in 92 months of increase.

To fear is human and animal too, for that matter, and evolution has predisposed us to worry too much than too little, but so much of what we fear and the degree to which we fear it is the result of deliberate action and the actions of opinion makers and fear mongers; scam artists and profiteers. On the internet we find as much support for a flat earth, a 7 day creation and the fraud behind the Pythagorean Theorem as we do for   Obama: The Most Corrupt and America-Hating President in US History or for Hillary Clinton as liar, thief and murderer and like the cowards we are and are trained to be, we select the scariest, not the most plausible or the most supported by facts. We do the same with the promises of politicians.  Ask yourself whether you really believe your candidate can hope to do more than give lip service to the Utopian visions he describes or whether in fact anyone could given the complexities of government. Do you really?  Do you think your 4 door Nissan sedan is a race car like the commercial says it is or whether women will swoon over your "crossover?"  And if we elect politicians on such a basis and we look at or overlook their performance with the same selective eye, whose fault is it?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Locker Room Talk, misogyny and cover ups.

It's evidently difficult for Americans to tell an unsupported assertion from a hypothesis based on evidence. That's more true than it ever has been because we have the Internet to support anything no matter how insupportable.  All it takes to launch a cult is a plausible assertion and an anecdote, neither of which has to have any basis in reality at all as long as it satisfies that old human passion for conspiracy, bigotry and the hunting of witches.

Normally I avoid dressing conjecture up as a campaign, but the gloves have been off for quite a while and it's hard to take too much more of Hillary-Killary-Shillary who flies around on a broom and has been making all major policy decisions for the Federal government for 30 years. The search for things to attack her with is so desperate that when the supply wanes, the demand for fiction will bring creative results. No exoneration no matter how rigorous or lengthy or hostile can overcome the certainty of her universal guilt of something and everything.

So here it is: Donald J. Trump has gender issues and he's afraid you'll find out.. What he calls his love of beauty and what he calls "Locker Room" talk are ego defenses covering up the inner Donald who is afraid of and perhaps even disgusted by women.  He seems horrified by the fact that women need toilet facilities, that they menstruate. If he is indeed attracted to women, or if he just uses them as props, they must be young and beautiful in the extreme so as not to allow any question as to his machismo and of course to flatter his fragile narcissistic ego. I've never heard such exaggerated raunchiness in a locker room unless it's by 14 year old boys full of fear and lust and sexual frustration but eager to seem like men. Real men don't talk that way. Real men don't call their daughters "pieces of ass." Donald is not a real man.

Trump needs to think you see him as an icon of manhood and to him that means demonstrating dominance and control over women while asserting that women can't resist him and not just for his money. If they do, it's because they're fat and ugly and crooked and disgusting and have no judgement.  How could they if they're not fawning all over them as he gropes and grabs.  Feeling like the man for Donald means bragging and the right to feel contemptuous. It means arrogance and I suspect the roots of arrogance lie in a hidden sense of humiliation. How can I not suspect that like Hitler, a fulfilling relationship with a woman was impossible.

And speaking of Hitler- that's right, I said the gloves were off, didn't I?

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The Greater Groper

Back when America was great, or at least when Humpty Trumpty suggests it was, America was about free trade and open borders, the business of America was business and laissez faire Capitalism was King. That's sort of the message I get from Clinton's "secret" speeches, you know the ones that show she's in league with the minions of free market Capitalism. How the hell did it come about that a truly rapacious freebooter who wants to destroy banks and financial institutions like a Bolshevic's wet dream, who thinks he has the right to grope your wife for sport, who doesn't believe in paying his bills and has cheated his way to the top is the champion not only of the GOP but of the people he routinely screws? So she suggests that bankers and brokers and the like know best how "Wall Street" should be regulated, that's not saying they should be given the power to self-regulate. It's saying that they know what's going on better than congress or you for that matter. The Trumpshevics hope you think so, but then they just assume you're dumb and uneducated, mad as hell and half drunk. Go ahead, scream about Killary, you idiots, you'll be first on the bread line.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

I've Fallen into a Madhouse and I Can't Get Out

There's no denying that this election has brought out the worst in all of us. Listening to man-on-the-street interviews with Trump supporters makes me want to run for the border: to some place not populated by armed and enraged thugs far more dangerous than the Zombies in any of the popular movies and TV series. But the Hillary, Killary, Shillary Billary idiots who are helping with their irrational perceptions and their cultivated ignorance are only making it more possible for the neo-nazis and atavistic ape-men (and women) shit-face drunk on slogans and murderous memes and animal rage to destroy our country as fast and as thoroughly as any nuclear exchange, although it would be foolish to rule that out too.

How do you argue with people who would choke to death rather than relinquish the false comparisons, false equivalences like comparing the not-even-legal Trump foundation to the Clinton Foundation and dismissing both candidates as "Proven liars."  No one can truly that stupid and I can only explain it as being pathological.

That's not to say Americans aren't living in their hermetic little worlds, giving equal weight to matters of student loans and modes of address as against Nuclear brinksmanship and the likely failure of  Western civilization. We sound like 300 million birds on a very long wire, tweeting memememememememe.  Selfishness, narrow mindedness and the blindness of rage: Ignorance is strength.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Which Trump Do You Love?

Viruses like HIV that have an extremely high mutation rate, like moving targets in general,  are hard to fight.  The same thing seems to be true of Donald Trump.  Not only a moving target, he's one that jumps from quantum state to quantum state and can be at two places at one time.

Many people seem to have trouble understanding how he can make a fool of himself over and over again and suffer no adverse consequences. Trump himself has commented, with no small degree of smugness, that he can get away with anything, and indeed discussing one day's outrageous statement or act is difficult because it's so soon swamped by today's outrageous and sometimes contradictory statement. One day he's going to put millions in boxcars and send them to camps, the next day he's going to be compassionate. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, fade away like smoke.

My estimation of Charles Krauthammer has never included objectivity, so it's still surprising to read this morning's column saying essentially the same thing: that there is a constant stream of new Trumps emerging and evolving from the original strain. Never the Same Trump Twice.  All those expensive Clinton ads showing people being grossly insulted by Donald's angry ravings make his opponents glad at heart, but do they work on those so desperately clinging to the delusion that he's not a thug and a bully and an ignoramus and a liar pandering to the worst of the worst?  He can tell us that Hillary Clinton quite literally founded ISIS and the next day deny it and the following day repeat it and America with it's heads spinning simply forgets the details and only remembers to associate any Clinton supporter with apocalyptic disaster and the darkest of evil. He knows better than the Generals?  He's going to "carpet bomb" ISIS? He's going to change the prime rate, take direct control of the troops, invoade the Middle East and take the oil home ina bucket? He's going to fix the schools?  He's going to make the US look like some walled Sumerian city-state from 3000 BC? Is there time to mention that he can't, that no president would have the power or the funds or the time or the support from Congress or the Court?  Before you can drum that into the many-headed beast of America, he's elsewhere telling us about his heroic sacrifice for our country which consists of sleazy and illegal business deals.

Can anyone get Americans to consider the enormity of refusing to divest himself from hundreds of offshore business relationships, some in strategic countries like Turkey? Refusing to show us his sources of income, his debts and to whom he owes millions.  Can anyone get Trumpers to care that he steals from a charity with his name on it to pay his lawyers to shield him from punishment? Hell no, they're too busy braying like asses about Crooked Hillary.

The Democratic ads and essays might as well be written on water. The Trump of ten minutes ago is no more, yet the Trump goes marching on.