Thursday, January 28, 2016

Random Barking: Stuff Out There

You Have Questions. Mongo Has Something Like Answers.

 (Hideous Mongo Stand-In Courtesy Buzsharer.com)

Q:  Does the continuing slide in crude oil prices pose a threat to the economies of nations dependent on oil transport and sales?  And, could that have a ripple effect through the world economy ending in greater financial instability?
A:  It may, and, not at this juncture. I was more interested in seeing that Chelsea Handler, who isn't strapped down real well under the best of circumstances, wants Muslims searched at airports. All of them. Because Freedom, presumably; and what the hell is it that Handler does? Isn't her claim to fame that she's someone's girlfriend? She has, what; 300-page books in 32-point type about her vagina? (Okay; maybe not.) And I hear she drinks.
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Q:  How about Trump and Megyn Kelly?
A:  No one with a particle of self-respect works for any organization owned and operated by Lil' Rupert and his issue, and Roger The Fat. They're not a "positive source" in society, they are factories of lies. It would be like working for Goebbels' Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda, or the "news" bureau of the People's Fun Republic of North Korea.

     This l'affaire Donnie is a Tempest In A Thimble. It isn't as if Kelly has any talent or real importance (Trump has it right when he refers to her as a 'third-grade reporter'); and it isn't as if Trump is a real 'politician' or an individual who adds to the sum of human kultur. It's a witless spat between a blowhard and a bimbot, and as a Dog I have better things to pay attention to, such as licking myself in public. And I hear she drinks.
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Q:  Is star KIC 8642862 circled by a gigantic alien construction, such as a Dyson Sphere?
A:  Hope so.  As the old joke goes, "I keep hoping they'll discover intelligent life in the universe, because I haven't observed any so far" (see comments on Fox and Kelly, above).

Q:  Bill Gates just sold the Corbis Photographic archive -- millions of images, some of them classics -- to "Unity Glory International", a division of Visual China Group. Commentators are curious: just what will happen with the thousands of images in Corbis' archives of the 1989 demonstrations (and subsequent brutal crackdown by the Chinese government) in Beijing's Tienanmen Square?
A:  So -- one Oligarch sells other Oligarchs a part of his art acquisitions. As a result, the new owners may not allow public access to some of it, a form of censorship and repression. They may even alter the art -- why not? Who will stop them? They own it.


      This is not news to WeiWei, and countless other human rights activists in the Land 'O Mao -- or to George Orwell, who noted that He who controls the past controls the future. It's situations like this which make me think the world becoming like Lucas' THX1138 is the best-case scenario our species can look forward to.
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Q:  Allegations have surfaced that the well-publicized Wounded Warriors Project, a charitable organization which has claimed to provide direct benefits to seriously wounded veterans of Lil' Boots' wars, spends lavishly for junkets, conventions and meetings, hotel rooms, travel, etc. for its leaders and staff -- over $26 million dollars in 2014 alone.
A:  The effort necessary to recover from even relatively simple combat injuries, and what we now understand to be PTSD, is significant.  You can spend a lifetime trying to overcome events which (for draftees, during my time in the barrel) lasted a year -- or less, if you were invalided out.  Iraqi and Afghan war veterans dealt with multiple rotations and unit reactivations, which were not part of the of the Vietnam war experience. The need is for care and support.
     Since WW2, the treatment of veterans has been, mostly, a scandal.  The VA was is disorganized, even criminally so (anyone remember the VA managers, conspiring to falsify official and patient records, covering the fact that vets were being forced to wait for critical medical appointments, sometimes for months, with men dying in the process?). So when the Wounded Warrior Project appeared, it seemed this isn't a bureaucracy; vets themselves are organizing it. They'll do right by their brothers and sisters. And the organization promoted itself as putting the veteran's needs first. It's organizers wouldn't commit the usual offense of so many charities by providing executives and staff with high salaries and perks -- money which could have been spent on the veterans. Unfortunately, that's what appears has happened; and, the usual culture of fear has kept potential whistleblowers in line -- until now.
     Call me cynical; another disappointing story of human nature seeking its lowest level. Only, this in an organization who had claimed to put first the quality of life for men and women who came when called, and did more than what was asked. A lot of people will be more than just disappointed if the allegations are true; I'll be one of them.
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Q: How do you feel about the 2016 U.S. Presidential race?  Who will run? Whom do you support?
A:  As a Dog, I'm not guaranteed the vote.  But if I show up at the polling station in my neighborhood for the Primaries and the General Elections and act cute -- tail wag, sit up and beg; roll over -- they usually let me cast a ballot.  Normally, I vote for other Dogs.
     Everyone assumed the contest would be   Hillary !  Jebby !  Eventually, it might be -- but at some time in the summer of last year, Jebbo began to slump in the polls, and Trump quickly moved to the front of the Rat Pack on the right, just as Bernie Sanders has begun to edge out Hillary !  on the left.
     In different ways, left and right in America feel disenfranchised, ignored, impotent -- that the system Clinton and Bush represent is organized to benefit wealth and influence. Traditional politics only exists to make sure that feeding at the swine trough continues uninterrupted. Neither current popular favorite represents Business-As-Usual America, as Hillary and Jebby do -- Trumpolina and Bernie thumb their noses at the System, and people have responded.
     It should be pointed out that while Sanders is an authentic New-Deal, Progressive politician who wants radical changes made to The System, Trump claims to be a rebel while actually representing that System. Donnyboy panders to Joe-Tea-Partei voter by being the candidate who 'tells it like it is ... outspoken' and 'not afraid to go there'. Once in office, Trump would provide a continuation of tax leniency and loopholes for billionaires -- while the rest of us would continue to see flat wages, rising prices, but plenty of Monday Night Football and a ceiling on the price of beer.
     The vast cloud of political commentators have been saying (and the Old Guard in the Rethug party have been hoping) for six months that Trump would tank.  He hasn't. Trump wants... well, he can't articulate it very well, but under a Trump presidency, America would somehow be "bigger" "better" -- Leftists, immigrants, bimbos and foreigners better watch out.  People may not take Trump seriously -- but if he polls the most support and wins the majority of Republican primaries, he could become the party's nominee by default.
     Bernie Sanders is very specific about what he wants and who would pay for it (whenever he mentions it in a speech, the Old Guard in the DNC have an anxiety attack): nothing less than New-Deal Era socialism for Wall Street and the Banksters, and the 20 billionaires who own 99% of the country's personal wealth.  Right now, no one in the "financial and investment community" takes him very seriously -- but, again: if Sanders wins the majority of Democratic primaries, and  Hillary ! doesn't... And I hear she drinks. 

Let's pray to whatever energy form in the Universe which appeals to you (as Mistah Charlie, ph.d, might say) for a Sanders candidacy.
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     But, hey; we'll all get to see what happens. Well, most of us will. There are new, "curvy" Barbie dolls now, and there will be obese Barbies at some point, I'm sure. A White Person will play Michael Jackson in an upcoming British television biopic being planned. And (thank somebody's god), women still think that a Dog putting their snout into the ladies' crotches is 'cute', and they will rub your ears. Nice.
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