Showing posts with label I'll Whistle Up Some Luck For Ya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label I'll Whistle Up Some Luck For Ya. Show all posts

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Deepness Of The Sea Washes Up To Your Door

Random Barking In Multiple-Atmospheric Pressures

Last Week, In The Roundy Room Of Trump House
(Presidential Finland Guy Looks On: Whuz Up Wit' You, Man?)
Trump’s Defiance of Oversight Challenges Congress’s Ability To Rein In The Executive Branch: Experts and lawmakers worry the president’s hostile stance toward congressional oversight and Democrats’ flailing response are undermining the separation of powers and could have long-term implications for the democracy.
-- Washington Post, October 7, 2019; Headline and Sub-
It's fair to say America has never experienced the particular combination of political circumstances we're in now. It's a Constitutional crisis. It's the ugliest contest of power between the Executive and Legislative branches -- fueled on the Right by a witless, corrosive, ideological hatred. On the Left, Democrats can't seem to remember that they once were allegedly the party of People, and not of Corporations As People.

Meanwhile -- in case you forgot -- the Office of President* is held by a person who will sacrifice anything: lives (of immigrants, of Americans drinking tap water or breathing our air; of Yemeni civilians, or Kurdish troops), or fortunes (yours, or mine), or honor (manipulating others with lies) -- to feed his apparently bottomless appetite for satiety, validation, stimulation and revenge.

This is a defining moment in the future of our country. Are we (nominally) a nation of laws, a representative government that has some power, some checks and balances? Or are we more clearly an authoritarian political state where the only obvious use of a Legislative body is to rubber-stamp the will of The Leader?
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After two weeks of whistleblowers and Rudy and threats and "BULLSHIT!" -- Impeachment is apparently the next stop on this Funhouse Highway. I'm not repeating details of the previous few weeks; things change, get worse; some new astounding revelation appears, almost by the day. One thing is constant -- the situation between Trump and his Base, and everyone else, will get almost inconceivably uglier.

I've already said: Articles of Impeachment will undoubtedly pass in the House. The votes are there. It will be referred to the Senate -- where the votes are not. A two-thirds majority is required to convict a President, but it doesn't appear likely the Senate will even vote on any Article from the House.

Republicans are so focused on beating the hated Liberals that they will continue to overlook whatever The Leader does. There may be a breaking point -- but after everything Trump has already done, what does that even mean?  Beating the Left, just to kick someone else into the dirt, has become more important to these persons than life, fortune, or the honor of all of us as citizens.  Nothing new there.

Yertle The Turtle has already saturated Kentucky with commercials, stating flatly that a Senate under his leadership and Republican control will protect the president*.  It's exciting to live in a country where you not only know the fix is in -- but where the Goons in charge actually crow about it, openly, in advance. That's a breathtaking example of exactly how broken, politically, things are.

Perversely, Trump will continue feeding on a 24-by-7 news cycle focused almost exclusively on him. He will bellow, preen, strut, and when his Toadies in the Senate quash the Impeachment, he'll celebrate with an all-night party at More-Lego, where he will be filmed having sex with goats and kitchen appliances -- and mention in the State Of The Union that real Americans should buy an exclusive boxed DVD set of the spectacle, through Trump Enterprises, at an 800 number.

Then, we will have an election.
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Some believe representative government was created so that larger, poorer masses, with great effort over hundreds of years, might force the smaller number of Owners and their institutions to give concessions in their control of -- well, everything.

If you're one of them, then the 2020 election is less about overthrowing a tyrant, and more about casting your vote for a government which won't further erode what rights and protections we've fought for -- an erosion every president since LBJ seems to have contributed to.  The choices seem drawn in relief -- a path forward is about more collectivism, mutual dependence and regard. The reverse ends in demands for loyalty at the point of a gun, poverty, states of emergency; mass graves.

It seems strange to hope the result of elections in 2020 is only for less erosion, rather than progress. That, too, tells you how broken politically things are. But it isn't a surprise. And please, don't make any mistake about it: Impeachment is not the most important thing on the table.

This election, and any other we participate in for at least the next few generations, is about ensuring that bloated clowns and demagogues do not have any lasting place in our culture or politics. We can't afford them any longer.

The most important thing on the table is survival of our species -- and understanding that how we do that is as critical to our future as survival itself.
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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Random Barking: Duck And Vortex

In The Grip Of The Tentacle 

Oh-Dark-Thirty and down to the Bart:  Walking up to the Caffeine Dispensary Station on Tuesday, I passed a man in his mid-thirties, apparently well-dressed -- decent shoes (with a shine); newish Patagonia jacket with its hood pulled up; retro-fashion framed glasses, and carrying a black daypack.

I'd gone a few steps past him when I heard his voice explode ("How can you be so CONFIDENT!?! Don't you SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?"), and in two seconds had to undo all the unconscious, five a.m., pedestrian assumptions I'd made after glancing at his clothes. Apparently, Kleider Nicht Machen Leute.

One hand on the door of Coffee Station, I turn; he's four feet from me, hugging the daypack to his chest like a life preserver, his right hand extended into that space between us to display his third finger in the fabled Bird.

"You monsterfucker; Die!!!," he almost literally growled, hunched slightly forward and continuing to flip me off. "DIIIIE!!"

The intensity in the space between us was -- well, intense.  My instant response was to match his intensity level and unload on him -- but then thought: Hey; that's what stupid primates do. Never been called a 'monsterfucker' before; that was pretty creative. Let's try something else with the energy, here. I looked at him, continued opening the door, smiled and said, "Well; have a nice day!"

Still hunched over, Bird extended, he didn't move. "Diiiiiie," he whispered, as if expecting me to keel over, right there, as a result of an act of sheer will on his part. "Diiiiiiie!!"

Inside the Caffeine Station, two SFPD patrolmen (whom I hadn't seen) had watched this exchange through the coffeeshop windows. So long as neither of us had touched the other, no property damage had occurred, and I wasn't some pissed-off Citizen hotly demanding they do something about the Nutball, the police weren't going to get in a twist.

We nodded at each other ("How's it goin'?" "Ah; it's early"). "What'd he want?" Asked patrolman A, lifting his chin toward The Guy, still standing in the same spot and having rotated to continue flipping me off .

"Oh; yeah," I said, waving a hand. "He just wants me to die."

Patrolman B considered this and nodded. "What'd you say?"

I shrugged; "Told him I was working on it."

The Patrolmen (as Robert Graves once wrote in another context) thought this a great joke. Outside, The Guy walked past the windows, displaying his middle finger to patrons, policemen, and Caffeine purveyors alike before disappearing up Market Street.
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Cute Small Animal Dies -- World Mourns, Or At Least Notices

RIP: Trevor, The Mallard, Near The Puddle
(2018: Rae Finlay / Agence France-Presse)

In January, 2018, a particularly bad storm in the southwestern Pacific carried a duck -- a male, standard Mallard -- to the tiny coral island of Niue, roughly 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand and not far from Fiji.

The 1,600 people living on the island had never seen a duck, had no idea what it would eat or how it preferred to live. Through trial and error, they found the duck liked oats, and corn, and preferred to stay near a large puddle left by the storm. The sudden appearance of food also attracted a local rooster, and a smaller chicken, which the duck tolerated.

The duck was a big hit with the island's children, and seemed content with the minor hubub he caused. As time went on, island residents and municipal authorities had to constantly add water to the puddle to make it viable for the duck -- which was finally named Trevor, after a New Zealand politician, Trevor Mallard (catchy!).  The islanders thought of sending Trevor to another island, such as N.Z., where he might have more Duck options, but didn't reach a consensus.

News about the arrival of what, for locals, was an unusual species began to circulate outside the little island. By the autumn (in the northern hemisphere), Trevor had achieved international status as "The World's Loneliest Duck" -- not entirely accurate, as Niue's residents paid a great deal of attention to the little creature: part pet, part tourist attraction. He became a landmark: it was apparently common to include the Mallard in directions to those visiting the island if appropriate ("go past the duck and turn right").

Sadly, it was reported last week that Trevor was attacked and killed by a local dog. His passing has been reported around the world -- which is more exposure than most ducks get (except this one, of course), and more than many humans can expect in These Times, and certainly more than all the species humanity has recently forced into extinction will receive.
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The Salmon Moose Tolls For Thee

Obligatory Cute Large Animal Photo At Opening Of Blog Filler

HOWARD: ... Don't see it that way, Jeff. Let me tell you what I think we're dealing with here -- a potentially positive learning experience, that --
DEATH:  SHUT UP!! Shut UP, you American! You always talk, you Americans! You talk, and you talk;  you say, "Lemme tell ya something!", and, "I just wanna say this!" Well, you're dead now -- so SHUT UP!
DEBBIE:  ... Can I ask you a question?
DEATH:  (Exasperated) What?!
DEBBIE:  How can we all have died at the same time?
DEATH:  (Looks around the table, then points) The -- Salmon -- Mousse.
[ ** Cue Snippet Of Dramatic Music ** ]
HOST:  Dear -- you didn't use the canned salmon?
HOSTESS:  I'm so dreadfully embarrassed. 

   -- Monty Python, The Meaning Of Life (1983): "Part IV -- Death"
      Graham Chapman (Host); Terry Gilliam (Howard);
      Michael Palin (Debbie); Terry Jones (Hostess);
      John Cleese (as The Grim Ree-pah)

Obligatory Photo Of Current Polar Vortex (New York Times.
Position Of Moose Is Approximate and Not To Scale.)
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The Leader Gets Larger

The Leader has signed many Executive decrees since his arrival as the Great Orange. I thought a quick review of his handwritten signatures  (specifically, a comparison of their size over time) might direct additional light upon his sociopathology, but as usual others had gotten to it first.


Click To Enlarge -- Easy and Fun!!
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What's Goin' On

Today Everyone Votes


Today's election will not result in peace at home or abroad. There will be no immediate universal, empathetic connection with our human kin. Poverty will not be erased. Hatred and fear of The Other will not go away. Our Fabled Wealthy will not suddenly find themselves Regular Joes and Janes, living in rented digs, expected to do a day's work for a day's pay and treated fairly so long as they don't act like jackasses. The climate of the Great Planet will not suddenly calm itself and give us temperate skies and balanced seasons; the vanished animals will not appear again. Our beloved dead will not rise, whole and smiling. The sicknesses of body and spirit will not dwindle and vanish, never to return. There will not be Enough For All, and the children of the world will not all go to warm beds feeling safe, and loved, and excited about what will come on the morrow. 

Today's election will not result in any of this. But all the same -- show up and exercise the franchise, while we can.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I Am A Marxist

Though Harpoism Works For Me Too

I'm not having good times these days. Few people I know are very far from the oppressive weight of (Today's) New Normal, soon to be replaced by (Even More New) Normal.

To paraphrase something: I believe with a perfect faith in all the history I remember, and I've been in some truly frightening places in life. But current events we're living through frighten me in a way I didn't think was possible.

At The Place 'O Witless Labor, I stumbled across an interview with my favorite Marxist, courtesy of TPM. (I am so old I remember seeing it on TeeVee when it was broadcast new, in that long-ago 1969, before that trip to long-ago Southeast Asia). I offer it as an antidote to everything currently occurring, and a protective screen to anything I might say afterwards:


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Each day, the American Right crawls further along a metamorphosis into an active Paranoid Raving Loon I Kill You! political movement.  One which could allow or sanction serious physical harm and imprisonment of not only minorities and the underclass, but anyone they declare an ideological "enemy".

Trump is an insane old man, a bully; a liar; a tormentor; one who exhorts others to do harm -- and the GOP is fully his party. Its candidates, representatives and organizers are taking his lead and saying that the Left is "evil". Just as he says the media (except Murdoch's media) is "the enemy of the people".

The political Right is saying that 'they' (meaning anyone who disagrees with or opposes Trump -- that is to say, everything perfect and right and good) are a "Mob".  The new strategy to incite 'The Base' around the midterms is to increase The Base's level of fear -- that they are personally "at war"... personally "in danger" of being attacked by a Leftist Mob.

Obligatory Cute Small Animal Photo
In Middle Of Blog Thing

Go and sample rhetoric captured by Media Matters. Fox in particular is pushing the line that anyone who is "a Trump supporter... an average citizen" is in danger -- that "anyone who's a Trump supporter [are] all targets". America is in danger from a mob that will act like "genocidal Hutus in Rawanda". The Murdoch machine is working overtime to spew that Party Line.

It's a lowest-common-denominator appeal. It is calculated to divide the country even further towards some bad fork in the road. If it doesn't sound like inciting behavior which can only culminate in violent acts, martial law; civil war; or just incredibly high levels of road rage and in-your-face responses over the most trivial events, I don't know what does.

The only thing that's missing is a(n overt, public) statement by Good Ol' megachurch leaders that the "evil" of the Left is also "in league with satan", "in rebellion against god". But I'm sure they'll come to that, in time.
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Okay; that's it, until something else happens. Fuck; I need another antidote. Enjoy.

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Oh, and, yeah; I am a member of the Cohen Front also.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Begin Again In The Off-World Colonies

Depressive Weimar Monday Ranting
Well, you were warned.


All Elected Officials Began Their Careers In This Way.

America -- soft 'n fluffy but with drones, Lil' Tay, fattish Archbishops, pasty Whiteboy judicial nominees and scumbag catfights -- made it through another week without collectively quitting our jobs and moving in a mass exodus to Canada. I don't know how, but we succeeded! USA! USA! Have an entire cheesecake as a reward for whatever it is you did. Or a few Big Macs. G'head.

You wanted the cheesecake. You wanted the Big Macs; you know that -- just like you wanted that neck tattoo (And that worked out, didn't it? Sure it did). Each bite helped pass the time on the weekend. Didn't it? Yeah, pal.

Creepy Cute Toy Used To Instruct Dental Assistants
In Dealing With Child Patients. Okay; Maybe Not.

But now it's Monday, and it's creepy out there. I don't know about you, but America was not really ever as creepy as it is now. Why? Because comfortable illusions about our society which have been accepted without question -- Jesus saves (or He at least invested wisely); white superiority and democracy; girls just want to have fun; work hard and play by the rules; Toonces The Cat can actually drive -- have all been proven wrong.
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Here goes a rant:  I may be wrong, but Rod Rosenstein, who has been the only thing between (as the Irish would say) Us and the Devil, will resign. Jeffy Sessions may or may not follow, may or may not be the next contestant in the reality-TV government to be told You're Fired. And after that, Robert Mueller.

Why not? Congressional Republicans are staring at a possible loss of the House in six weeks; why not double down? Why not do things while they still have the power? They're untouchable!

There will be a grand Kabuki theatre of Dr. Ford's testimony, and the eleven Republican men will tread very carefully to avoid the appearance of a lynching, where an uppity woman will be seen to attempt to keep Biffy from assuming his Rightful Place.

On one level, part of me thinks: This is a story of a pasty, privileged white man being accused, and defended, by a bunch of other privileged people. It's America's elite, slap-fighting with each other.

Dr. Ford did what she believed was the right thing. But at the end of the day some people will make serious money on the back of her decision, and she'll receive the Anita Hill Special on national television. And Biffy will still get his seat, will ensure that Roe dies, and that Citizens United was just the beginning. And the privileged jackasses who primly defended their good friend Biffy will still be just as privileged, and still jackasses.

Meanwhile, two in five children in America will still wake up hungry tomorrow. Our Leader wants his war with Iran. Or with Somebody. And there are so many lies he has yet to tell.

There will be a little hue 'n cry; there always is. There may even be people in the streets -- for a while. The Punditi will do their complicated dances and smirk at each other; they'll compare Rosenstein's resignation and Mueller's firing to Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre. They'll spend a week speculating on Biffy's move, and the heart-warming moment when he greets RBG with 'real humility'.

But, eventually everyone has to go to work. Right? And there's always beer, and a Big Game on TV.  Calm down. It's not worth getting in a twist over. Democrats in Congress will fume, but the Republicans still run the show. The Leader is still there, still the Teflon Don. No one is going to invoke the 25th of anything. This is what I'm afraid of.

And in November, even with the vaunted Blue Wave -- what, substantively, will have changed? Seriously; what?
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Let me repeat: This is what I'm afraid of. America has progressed through time, and on one level we've only been getting progressively more strange.

The only thing which seems even stranger is that there has been enough slack in the culture, enough space created by time and wealth and military power; weak north-south neighbors; two big oceans; to allow us to go forward without destroying ourselves before now. But History takes a long time to play out.

We Heart The Deep State. Don't We?
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Monday, September 17, 2018

Your Weak Under Way

Entertainment


As a result of his recent appearances, Paul Manafort will be crooning in the Metro D.C. area for your pleasure through the rest of this year, with an option for a series of public recitals during 2019.

His recent hit single of the old Ukrainian ballad, "Fix My Heart", has been remixed by DJ Roddy; even The Leader, taking time away from thinking about the plight of The Little People, has taken notice.

Accompanied closely by the Bob Mueller DOJ Orchestra, Paul's special brand of Family entertainment is keenly anticipated to please millions of Americans, and the Superintelligent Parakeet. Rumors are Paul may be joined by fellow singers Micky Flynn, Pinky Gates, and Michael Cohen; if true, these performances promise to be spellbinding in their warmth and cheer. Watch your local news broadcasts for dates and times!
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Whither The Weather Channel


Insult to Injury: A Weather Channel on-the-spot-weatherperson in the Carolinas, seen rocking back and forth in "high winds" while delivering a live report about the impact of Hurricane Florence making landfall, unaware of the two casually-strolling Dudes in the background. This has been flogged all over the Intertubes and needs no further description here.

The Weather Channel defended its weatherperson by saying they were exhausted, under stress, and had recently been painted blue. Or remodeled. Or had a head gasket replacement. And anyway, how can viewers expect things to function under such circumstances?

The two men in the background, walking along and apparently not affected in any serious way by wind, were part of a -- different space-time continuum! Yeah, that's it, hot damn; Science To The Rescue!!

If Deepak Chopra were here, he would tell us Quantum Mechanics explains that the two Dudes exist in all states of motion, inaction, and being, at the same time. The camera, as part of the observer paradox, simply pushed The Waveform to collapse when the men were thinking about a decent, balanced breakfast. Yeah. That has to be right.


But, consider: The Weather Channel deals with -- wait for it -- The Weather. They don't discuss politics, report on the effect of Betsy DeVos forcing children to work in sweatshops, the purchase of a third chin for Mikey Pompeo, or report on the latest Tweets of The Leader. The Weather Channel reports on The Weather, a set of science-based, factual occurrences.

It's one of the few things that are reported on that can't really be lied about, unless Fox gets into the weather-reporting business. We don't expect those people reporting the weather to be 100% accurate (the joke is that they rarely are), but we don't expect them to fake the effect of the weather they do report on. Sad!
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Biffy Wants His Balloon


Priviledged, pudgy Brett 'Biff' Kavanaugh has been reported as allegedly attempting to "force himself" on a girl while he was attending an exclusive, all-male Prep School in Potomactown back in the day.

Apparently, Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, had been made aware of the allegation through a letter sent to her by Biffy's alleged victim. Senator Dianne held on to the letter and did not raise the issue, or question Kavanaugh about it during his hearings before the Committee, when he promised to be a team player, but would not reveal which team he was referring to. Biffy was clear that only he can fill the tiny, stretchy shoes left by the tubby, angry, maleficent "Fat Tony" Scalia.

Biffy vociferously denied that any such alleged thing had ever happened. He was outraged, and squidgy, and pressed his lips together firmly in a display of putting up with the politics of the peasants. He wanted his candy and his balloon and his seat on the Biggest Court In The Land, because it is owed to me.

The Leader told him so, even if The Leader is an odious little puffed-up poseur and not Biffy's sort at all. He can give Biffy what is so rightfully his -- ergo, Biffy loves The Leader.

A letter was produced, signed by sixty-five women whom Biffy went to high school with, essentially saying he was a perfect gentleman and never ever conducted himself in any way that did not involve copper wiring or optical-fiber cabling.

How these women could have attended Prep school with him at an all-male institution, or how Kavanaugh could have used optical fiber cabling before it became available, was not addressed.

Senator Dianne's late revelation of Biffy's alleged conduct was seen by some as an attempt to delay what had been Biffy's de facto appointment to the Supremes by the Committee's Giant Slug Republican majority. It might even cause Biffy to be sent home without a copy of the Home Game.

But Senator 'Chuck' Grassley (who is even older than Senator Dianne and barely able to remember what year it is), Republican Chair Man of the Judiciary Committee, is determined this will not stand.

"I have pants," Grassley said when he believed he was alone in the Lois B. Lane Senate Maintenance Trailer, "Pants no one can fill. Judge Kavanaugh fills the pants of Tony, and all America can see they are filled. And goddamn it, I'm not going anywhere until those pants encompass all America. We will breathe and think and find our way through those pants.

"Thank you, and good night. Where's my damn check? I want to get paid and go drinking."
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MEHR, MIT "WER, ICH??" :  Apparently, in July of this year, both Grassley and Feinstein were contacted by an attorney who indicated that Federal employees in the United States Courts had specific information about Kavanaugh they were willing to impart, but were concerned about possible retaliation.  

The information came from an attorney who had helped to blow the whistle on Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, who resigned after accusations by several women of improper workplace conduct -- including holding pornographic material on his work hard drive and making employees in his office view it, and sending unsolicited emails to others, including employees, with contents of a sexual nature. 

The attorney, writing to Grassley and Feinstein, stressed that any claims by Kavanaugh that he was unaware of Kozinski's behavior at the time it occurred would not be credible. Testimony by the former Federal employees' would support that.

It was also in July that Feinstein alone was made aware of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault by the woman who advised she had experienced it.

Kavanaugh had clerked for Kozinski in the 1990's. Kozinski recommended him as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and that clerkship began Kavanaugh's career -- from the Supreme Court, to Ken Starr's investigation of the Clintons, to his appointment as  a Federal Judge.  And, when announcing his retirement earlier this year, Anthony Kennedy recommended Biffy to The Leader as his replacement.

Biffy testified to the Judiciary Committee that he was unaware of Kozinski's past behavior -- and that his old mentor's resignation was a shock, a "gut punch". However, the Federal employees mentioned to Senators Chuck and Dianne in July might have been able to refute that, if they had been contacted and allowed to give testimony. They weren't.
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MEHR, MIT "ER IST DER GUTES FÜHRER":  The Leader's Twitter feed has been effectively free of whining and bile and invective since Monday, September 17. It is very very quiet.


The Leader.  (Tom Brennan / New York Times)

And, he has appeared recently, and said efforts to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing morons things with Biffy Kavanaugh's confirmation are "very sad" and that the judge is "very nice", and has a very nice wife. "It's a very unfair thing, what's going on," said Leader -- and that was all he said.

He has gone before the cameras and said that "nothing will be left undone" for North Carolina (as opposed to Puerto Rico, nicht so?), and even travelled a short ways from DeeCee to the area, and to be seen to appear and be photographed while saying nice things. Supportive things.
Trump then visited a church in New Bern, a town of 30,000 located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers that was hit especially hard by flooding, and joined volunteers in passing out boxed meals to locals in a drive-through line. He also walked through a neighborhood lined with discarded wet furniture, hugging residents and posing for pictures.
Stormy Daniels' book will be appearing soon, but The Leader has said nothing. Even when excerpts refer to her experience of The Donny as 3.5 on a scale of 10, to his raging insecurity, that he "didn't expect to be president", and the fact that he was having carnal relations with women not his wife ... The Leader has refrained from commentary.

You see, this is the Good Leader. The Kind Leader. The one who does not Tweet incendiary things and who hands out meals to persons he will never think about again. It's true -- he did talk to The Hill and say bad things about Ol' Jeffy 'Kiss-My-Sink' Sessions ("I don't have an attorney general; it's very sad") -- but otherwise The Leader has been quiet. Very very quiet.

This is the Leader who has been told by someone that he must be Soft and Kind and Good, a Leader who "is seen to care" until after a Republican majority can shove Kavanaugh down the throats of the country. Until after the mid-terms. 

He must be seen to be the one who cares about you (unless you live in Puerto Rico, Yemen, Syria, California, or other 'shithole countries'). And must be seen as Kind. And Good. He's the reincarnation of FDR. He's your Pal.

And so shall he be -- now, and until November 7th. Unless, of course, someone close to him is indicted, or he is accused of High Crimes and Misdemeanors, before then. In which case you will see Wonderboy, A Man In Full, come roaring back ahead of schedule.  Because he is not gone away. 
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mad As Hell And, Y' Know, Mad As Hell

Unless Of Course There's Free Cable In It For Us 

When I'm alone, and things are getting me down, I can always suffer weight gain, gross disfigurement, have urges to Make Time with girls, engage in cross-dressing, and dance with pom-poms. Just so you know. This is Murrika, after all, where our ability to debase ourselves is the crowning glory of our civilization.


Yes, it changes nothing. That Other Pig is Murrikan Leader. He says he is Not Racist. He says not crazy but stable. He says all is Fake, and my head goes into its Third Reel.  I mean, it's not like he's Alan Watts or something. The earth is facing an unthinkable series of environmental catastrophes, the dying species don't even get they're being taken out of the Big Parade, and Our Wealthy are doing everything to keep their soft lives and privilege as long as possible -- at the expense of everyone else, of course.

And when It Is Too Much and we come to this crazy-place in our Dog brain, we sit down and refuse to move -- until our request, that everyone will now please to dance the Rhumba Charleston until we can get a grip, is granted.  So, everyone get with it. Shake that thing. Thank you.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Random Barking: Our Weak In Review

Fanaticism

Kim Jong FatBoy Demands Additional Helping Of Foreshortening With His Dessert

In The Boom Boom Room
The military might of a country represents its national strength. Want pizza?
-- Kim Jong FatBoy, That Guy of Korea
On July 29, Kim Jong Un, Happy Killer of the Korean peninsula and starver-in-chief, rejoiced at the launch of (yet another) version of intercontinental ballistic missile -- the second in less than a month, and claiming this one has the capability of striking a target anywhere in the mainland United States.

There's no doubt that Kimmy is Bad, even if he hangs out with Dennis Rodman (okay; maybe because too, also, he hangs out with Rodman). He starves his population, is a despot, has a friggin' wacky haircut, and likes to execute his potential enemies with antiaircraft guns or have them torn apart by dogs. And he has nuclear weapons. And now ICBMs.

It appears to be an even chance that the U.S. could choose to launch a strike against North Korean infrastructure and its military in the near future, and if that happens it's anyone's guess where it would all end.

And, of course, the most important thing in these circumstances is to lower tensions as much as possible. So the U.S. response was to hold joint military exercises with South Korea, around the Korean peninsula, which in the past has driven the North Koreans bugshit.

But, I'm curious: while he is undoubtedly a despot and his rule over North Korea is brutal... has it occurred to anyone that the characterizations of Kim Jong-Un and reports on the state of his regime sound almost identical to those in the western media about Saddam Hussein, in the year or so leading up to the PNAC-sponsored invasion of Iraq? Or, is it just me?
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Da Mooch: Race You To The Bottom

I'm not Steve Bannon. I'm not trying to suck my own [redacted].
--  Da Mooch, To New Yorker Journalist Ryan Lizza
Just when you thought Be No More Weird, This, it got even stranger.

Two weeks ago, Little Seany Spicer, nine years old, was forced out of his position as Mr. PotatoHead at the Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda, and replaced by that peevish Middle School teacher in a Wal-Mart sack dress, Miss Sarah. Then, we were introduced to the new White House Communications Director.

Anthony Scaramucci was already a curious figure in American business: a hedge-fund manager who built his own trading house, a known GOP fund-raiser (who once called Trump "a hack" and "a mouth") who sold his stake in his company to a Chinese consortium, expecting he would aber natürlich be brought into the new administration -- after all, he was The Mooch. That didn't happen, and Tiny Tony was at loose ends. 

I'm not the first person to use this turn of phrase to describe the man -- but from the moment Scaramucci appeared in the White House Press Room, he seemed the personification of the Trump regime -- baseless self-confidence; foul-mouthed, bullying; not a person adding clarity to our experience of life, but an obfuscator -- a person who tells lies or half-lies to hold an advantage.

The Mooch (a Nick that encapsulated him, both alliteratively and specifically) was another despicable, tiny, tiny, tiny man -- like his good buddy, who got him that gig. This was the public face of Trumplandia -- this figure out of a Renaissance Commedia del arte?

It's taken just seven months for this Clown Car government to drag most Americans down to a level of cynicism which past presidencies have taken well over a year to achieve. Even Trump's supporters expect that cronyism and nepotism is normal, here in Trumplandia -- as in any corporate Oligarchia.

Then, Reince ("Nancy") Priebus was out the door. The Mooch claimed he was behind it, of course, hinting that he believed Priebus was a "leaker" within the administration. After a dinner with Trump at the White House, The Mooch made an evening phone call to New Yorker journalist Ryan Lizza, whom Mooch believed used Priebus as a White House source.

It was a foul-mouthed, bullying conversation, full of threats and grandiosity. However, Da Mooch neglected to advise Lizza that his excess of Self was all Off The Record -- and so the following day, the New Yorker ran an online article by Lizza, to share the Plaint Of Tiny Tony, a man in full (and later, releasing an audio recording of the call).

In short order, Trump announced he had chosen current Homeland Security Director and former Marine Corps General James Kelly as his new Chief of Staff. One of Kelly's first acts was to demand Tiny Tony be fired; as reported by CNN, Tony was escorted from the White House. At almost the same time, his wife of three years filed for divorce, having just given birth to their child.

If Past is indeed Prologue, I'm expecting Kim Kardashian to become our first female president in 2020. And, given the general tone and tenor of these United States, she'll probably win -- on a platform of "Gettin' that, you know -- good stuff" for all Americans.

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Und Sie, Meine Deutscher Jugend

My German youth.
-- Hitler, Speaking To Mass Hitlerjugend, 1938 Nuremberg Rally
The day before Da Mooch was frog-marched from the building, Trump appeared at the annual National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America.

(1)  During the 2016 election season, Trump had appeared at the traditional Al Smith dinner, "where presidential candidates roast their rivals and themselves every four years", per the Atlantic Monthly -- an opportunity to show graciousness and humor even in the middle of tough and even dirty political campaigning. While Clinton sat and watched him, Trump called the U.S. media "Hillary's team", referred to her questioning by the FBI over the then-present Emailgate -- then said with a trademark Hey-Whadya-Whadya shrug, "Hillary is so... corrupt!" The audience was stunned. In retrospect, they shouldn't have been.

( 2 )  Within days after his election, and after publicly railing against America's intelligence community during the campaign, Trump appeared at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and -- standing in the building's lobby before the marble Memorial Wall, marked by 125 incised stars, representing intelligence agents killed in the line of duty -- "stunned CIA employees by delivering a campaign-style speech".

( 3 )  Two days before his appearance at the Boy Scouts' conclave, Trump appeared at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford, and surprised -- well, some people, I suppose -- by asking the crowd of soldiers and sailors to support his agenda, which increases defense spending at the expense of other domestic priorities. “I don’t mind getting a little hand," Trump said, "so call that congressman and call that senator and make sure you get it." Then he added, “And by the way, you can also call those senators to make sure you get health care.”

( 4 )  Appearing before a crowd of police and other law enforcement officials in Brentwood, New York on July 28, Trump spoke about the brutal reality of a specific Latino gang, MS-13, and urged police to go ahead and "treat 'em rough... Don't be too nice... Like when you guys put somebody in the car? And you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put [your] hand over [the top of their heads]. Like, 'don't hit their head' -- and they've just killed somebody... I said, 'you can take the hand away;' OK?"

So when Our Oligarch appeared at the Jamboree, everyone should have seen it coming. In a rambling, disjointed, 38-minute speech, he spoke little of community service or the scouting tradition; instead, Trump referred to that favored topic -- himself.

Washington is "a cesspool... a sewer," Trump told the Scouts. He recalled the "beautiful date" of November 8: "Do we remember that date?" he asked, to applause. Reporting the progress of the election that evening, Trump described television network "maps were so red [for Republican victories in various states]... it was unbelievable."

Trump told the assembled Scouts his election was "an unbelievable tribute" to those who voted for him "to 'Make America Great Again'." He referred to his secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, and said that if the secretary couldn't obtain the votes to kill "this horrible thing known as Obamacare," that perhaps he would fire him.

Trump also mentioned the Republican Senator from West Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito, who had openly criticized previous versions of the GOP healthcare legislation. Reflecting on the word 'loyal' in reference to the Scouts, Trump quipped, "We could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that." 

The first National Jamboree was held in 1937. It was attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who told the assembled scouts, "When you go out into life, you come to understand that the individual in your community ... who by inaction or opposition slows up honest, practical, far-seeing community effort, is the fellow who is holding back civilization and holding back the objectives of the Constitution of the United States."

The remark absolutely had a political reference. Despite an easy reelection in 1936, FDR found his New Deal stymied by Republicans and declared unconstitutional by a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives, and he was deeply frustrated. But his comment was an oblique reference -- FDR's speech that day was about public service, and the values Scouting was supposed to foster. It wasn't a self-referential rant by a low-class, narcissistic opportunist. Trump's speech could just as easily have been delivered by Recep ('Kiki') Erdogan.
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 Song Of The Volga Boatmen

...Why won't you go away?
-- Randy Newman, "I'm Dead But I Don't Know It"; Bad Love (1999)
The Trump - Russia connection will not fade away. Even former CIA officers, old Russia hands, believe that based on the evidence and their own experience of how Russian intelligence runs an operation, there is some kind of fire beneath all the smoke.

This past week, Reuters broke the story that Trump Jr.'s initial statement about his 2016 meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya had ben dictated by his father, aboard Air Force One while returning to the U.S. from the G20 summit when the initial story was reported in the New York Times on July 10.  Missy Sarah, when asked about this by the hated fake media, did not deny it, saying only that Trump Sr. had done "what any father would do."

The statement dictated by Trump Sr. claimed the meeting with the Russians was "short", that Trump Jr. had "asked Jared [Kushner] and Paul [Manafort] to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.

"I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance," Trump Sr. dictated while in flight, "but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand."

This initial statement was so vague, and contradicted by other reported details, that Trump Jr. was forced to issue a 'clarification' which amounted to a contradiction. Additional details to come out after that second statement even threw its accuracy into doubt. All any one could say was, there's a great deal of smoke.

The immediate view by a number of opinion commentators and news journalists was, even if Trump Sr. were responding as a father, crafting an inaccurate and/or incomplete statement about l'affaire Veselnitskaya, from an investigative perspective at least, gives the appearance of an act in furtherance of covering up a crime, an obstruction of justice. Unless he already knew about the meeting (which raises additional questions), Trump Sr. could not write even an inaccurate statement without talking to others who did know what happened, when, and why.

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More important, it was revealed yesterday to the public (not a surprise for the Trump legal team, surely) that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had been dealing with not one but two Federal Grand Juries to hear evidence in two separate matters.

Trump characterizes this kind of activity as a "witch hunt," that it's all about Democrats being sore losers. Most news commentators have said grand juries are a normal occurrence, not anything particularly notable -- but as an ex-investigative Dog at the Federal level, let me observe: that's not entirely true.

Federal Grand Juries aren't empaneled unless sufficient grounds exist to suspect a breach of Federal law. While they have a large amount of power to direct the inquiries themselves, through their Forepersons, Grand Juries rarely do so -- the old adage about a Grand Jury being something a District Attorney or United States Attorney can play like a piano is often the case  Their members are primarily retirees who have the kind of free time needed to sit on a jury and hear evidence, often for months. 

Grand Juries exist to compel production of documents, and the testimony of witnesses. And, Grand Juries cost money. There is no guarantee they'll find in favor of handing down a criminal indictment -- but they aren't convened for no reason. And Robert Mueller has apparently been managing two separate juries, dealing with two separate lines of inquiry. 

But it's early days; many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, and all that. Still, small wonder everyone on Team Trump is lawyering up, including the Vice President.
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Public Trump = Private Trump, And No One Is Surprised

Yesterday, transcripts prepared by the White House but not released were published by The Washington Post of telephone conversations between Trump and the Australian Prime Minister, and the President of Mexico, shortly after his inauguration.

With the Mexican President, Pena Nieto -- whom he kept calling 'Enrique' -- Trump alternately threatened and flattered him, and then said Mexico had to pay for construction of a border wall with the United States. Because. 

>> TRUMP:  The only thing I will ask you though is on the wall ... I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to. I have been talking about it for a two year period, and the reason I say they are going to pay for the wall is because Mexico has made a fortune out of the stupidity of U.S. trade representatives. They are beating us at trade and they are beating us at the border, and they are killing us with drugs... 

>> NIETO:  ...But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall. 

>> TRUMP:  But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that...

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (whom he insisted on calling Malcom) had reached an agreement with President Obama to resettle 1,250 Syrian refugees in the U.S., initially taken in by the Aussies. Trump was on record as saying the deal was bad, and used a blend of self-pity and begging to get Turnbull to agree not to send the refugees, to no avail. 

>> TRUMP:  Malcom [sic]... This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week. 

>> TURNBULL:  With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000... The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting... 

>> TRUMP:  Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible... 
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Finally, in a related item, Federal prosecutors in New York are issuing subpoenas, looking into the propriety of a Kushner family project -- selling EB5 visas, allowing immigration into the U.S. for (principally Chinese) investors who pay $500K to support real estate projects which claim to hire construction crews from the neighborhoods where the building takes place. This, at the same time his father-in-law supports restricting any legal immigration to half of its current annual level.

Woof.
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But I feel like a stranger
Feel like a stranger
You know it keeps getting stranger and stranger
If it's love then how would I know?

Yes and it's gonna get stranger
Some things you just know

If this were love then how would I know
(Feel like a stranger)
(Feel like a stranger)
Feel like a stranger
(Feel like a stranger)
It's gonna be a long hot crazy night
It's gonna be a long long crazy crazy night
Yeah crazy night
Silky silky, crazy crazy night
--  Grateful Dead (Weir/Barlow), "Feel Like A Stranger"; Go To Heaven (1980)
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

2, 4, 6, 8

Stop The War / Smash The State

(Mongo / Machine)
An exceptionally large number of people participated in the Women's March yesterday. A worldwide event, it was initially organized to focus on women's rights but expanded as a generalized protest against any aspect of the incoming pack of bourgeois lickspittle revanchist trash administration.

(Mongo / Machine)
In San Francisco, a very large number of people attended. I'm not good at estimating crowd sizes; as part of an anti-Vietnam War march in The City in the spring of 1972, when Tricky up-tempoed his bombing campaign of North Vietnam, over 300,000 were supposed to have attended -- but all I could have told you, then or now, was that there were a hell of a lot of people on Market Street.

(Mongo / Machine)
Several luxury buses -- the sort used to ferry Genentech or Google's tech workers to their jobs, a ubiquitous sight in San Francisco -- dropped people off near Civic Center Plaza; no idea who these people were, or why they deserved such treatment. Back in the day, even the organizers and speakers didn't appear at the Demonstration in a chartered vehicle.

There was a hefty police presence all day as well, but (despite the Tac helmets and riot batons you can see in the photo) I guarantee you these officers were thinking primarily about containing the crowd to the area agreed between the city and the march organizers, traffic reroutes, making sure nothing starts that gets out of hand, and keeping people from doing eight bazillion things to hurt themselves.

Of course, if Anarchists (back in the day, it would have been Trots or PL Maoists) executed an action, it would be a different story;  helmets and batons would be more than contingency. San Francisco, alleged bastion of Wingnut Liberals, has had several highly-publicized officer shootings in just the past year.

It was a good crowd, demographically -- Kiddies, Olds; families with younger children, mothers in their fifties with daughters in their teens and twenties; Gay, straight -- and while there were people of color in the crowd, it seemed predominately white.

(Mongo / Machine)
And there were a number of Hipster men and women for whom going to the demonstration appeared to be an art project, a chance to sport fashionable clothing and professionally-printed signs displaying a "Sixties Psychedelic" typeface (The woman above appeared to be posing for two professional photographers: a photo shoot with an actual demonstration as 'background').

The rain began to come down steadily -- more than a shower; less than a deluge -- from about 4:30 on. With the rain, I watched as Hipsters quickly walked away from the Plaza, smart phones up, headed for side streets; the Uber or Lyft drivers pulled up and took them -- away.  No great loss.

Meanwhile, the vast bulk of the crowd, with umbrellas or none, finally moved out of the Plaza and headed east up Market street towards Justin Herman Plaza, across from the Ferry Building at the bay.  I took no pictures of the actual march; a Dog can only do so much.


Weirdly, streetlight poles all along Market had banners advertising an anti-abortion 'walk for life - west coast', scheduled for January 21st ... plainly, the Women's March had, uh, trumped the Phyllis Schafly brigade.

And, please note the slogan: abortion hurts women. Those who support a woman's right to choose, are, according to the individuals behind that particular march, murderers. And worse. All part of the Culture War, brought to you by the same people who now have a seat at Trump's table.

'Death Dance' - Illustration By Mr. Fish - In Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 21st
 ___________________________
"Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election ! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly."
--  Il Duce ! / Twitter; January 21, 2017.

In talk show interviews Sunday, advisers defended Trump's anger at journalists for correctly reporting that his inauguration drew a smaller crowd [than] President Barack Obama did eight years ago... [that] the Trump administration was supplying "alternative facts."

Kellyann, With Cleavage, About To Appear On Sunday's Meet The Press
"There's no way to really quantify crowds. We all know that. You can laugh at me all you want," Kellyanne Conway told NBC's Meet The Press.  "I think it's actually symbolic of the way we're treated by the press."

Aides also made clear that Trump will not release his tax returns now that he's taken office, breaking with a decades-long tradition of transparency. "He's not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care," Conway said on ABC's This Week.
-- Newsday, January 22, 2017
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Berlin Bleibt Berlin



Berlin is a good town; in the arts, there's a great deal happening that's amazing -- and now yet another terrorist attack in Europe appears to have been carried out there, in the Charlottenburg district, near the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. At least twelve are dead and over fifty injured; the brainless coward perpetrator ran off is still at large.

Germans I've spoken to in the past few years have been very matter-of-fact in saying that they expected terrorist events to occur in their own country; and they have. This one happened against a backdrop of a million migrants seeking asylum in Germany, and a resurgence of rightist, nationalist politics which smacks of the nazis organizing before 1933 -- and no one thinks this attack will be the last.

Still, Berlin is a good town. Let's keep the people there in our thoughts.

Obligatory Cute Street Art Pooch: Jeder Deutscher Ein Tierfreund.
Berlin has more street art than any other capital city in Europe.
(Clicky = Bigger)

Friederichstrasse; The Checkpoint Charlie Museum
(Click -- Nett u. Spass !)

Night In a Restored Section Of Neukölln
(You Know The Drill)
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Monday, December 12, 2016

I Got Nothin'

Our Nadir Which Art At Nadir

Obligatory Seasonal Food-Related Cute Small Animal Photo

I don't want to talk about anything. The space I'm in is what forty-seven years ago my brother, standing outside a hotel now long gone from the main drag of Nah Trang, referred to as being down far enough that "you're slugging rats in the gutter".

... except to mention the CSAP, a bit o' fluff from the currents of the Intergalactic Tubes, which might otherwise seem a dichotomy.  How it be here? Well, if you're reading this, you're not doing anything more important. So come along; let's go back in the Stacks. Just over here.

The picture of The Kitty With Thumbs was found here -- a website that supports some kind of regional Clothing For Da Kiddies -- which initially I'd found here, where it graced a website dealing with politics and statistics -- which I'd jumped to from the original link on The Soul Of America (where today's title was "Is That Grasp Alone").

Now we consult the Googlegerät -- put your quarters in the slot, there; pump up the bellows until these lights come on; recite a famous poem (your choice); turn around three times and spit. Sing the final song from 'The Lord Of The Rings', and you may find the actual origin of this photo -- which apparently has been around since 2010.

A handsome photo. It has more of my attention for now than tales of a disintegrating Earth, the sound of the steady drummer; the squeal of fascism; and the deterioration of consciousness in the place of my birth.

Cute Kitty, though. Happy Holidays.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wear It

I Am You


After the German invasion and occupation of Holland in  May of 1940, people suddenly started wearing orange ribbons or clothing items -- the color of the House Of Orange, the royal family of the Netherlands, which had escaped to England. It was a visible show of patriotism in the face of what would become the longest occupation by the nazis of any country in Western Europe.

In America in 2016, there will be more practical or direct activities in the days ahead. But -- the crowds of people who have come out in the aftermath of the election have appeared to be uniformly The Youth; and it's important to see that same desire to act is shared across many different demographics. That so many feel, Not My President; it's important to visibly represent an identity and solidarity.

Pin It.

This Is Not My Beautiful House

Revolution Not Be On The Netflix



The Bush years began with his appointment to the Presidency and ended with hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq, the worst economic disaster since 1929; government-sanctioned communications surveillance; a dozen dump trucks carting away shredded documents from Dick Cheney's residence; and Wee Georgie leaving town after Obama's first Inaugural address with a sour look on his face. For eight years, it was a wasteland of mediocrity, greed, mendacity, and death. Not to put too fine a point on it or anything.

On the lighter side, for six of those eight years, Democrats and Other liberals could tune in every week to watch The West Wing on NBC. Developed by lead writer / producer Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball; Charlie Wilson's War; Steve Jobs), TWW ran from September 22, 1999 -- while the Clinton administration was still in office and before Bush v. Gore --  to May 14, 2006.

The story follows the administration of a fictional President, Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen), his family and staff, through two terms in office. Sorkin was only involved for the first few seasons but the program was moderately popular over its full seven seasons. The cast (in particular, Stockard Channing, Allison Janney; Dulé Hill; James Spencer, Richard Schiff; Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney; Rob Lowe appeared during the first two seasons and Jimmy Smits in the last two) were well-chosen. They did exactly what a good acting ensemble should: Made you believe, and made you care what happened to their characters.

More than half the country believed that the 2000 election had been stolen by thugs, and Fredo Corleone ("I'm not stupid -- not like everybody says !!! I'm smart !!!"), had been appointed President by the Scalia Court. As the Bush years progressed and the 2004 election all came down to more questionable voting in Ohio, The West Wing was a counterpoint to the rabid dysfunction in Washington -- though Wee Georgie and his retainers still had two and a half years left to bugger the country in his second term when the last episode was broadcast.

I liked TWW as teevee. I understood it was an escapist fantasy for liberals, trapped in what we believed were the Dark Ages. It was well-acted and funny -- in a way those troglodyte right-wing stupidheads could never be; of course. Right. The staff and President Bartlett didn't always win their battles against clever, greasy right-wingers, but we were left with the image of  forward motion towards a better future under a left-of-center leadership.

Not everyone believed the program was a good advertisement for American democracy, but so long as actual war in the Middle East was distant, and The Good Times rolled, The West Wing was great entertainment.

Since 2006, a lot has happened.  We understand now that presenting serious questions and offering potential solutions in a television drama is no substitute for those issues being addressed and solved. Watching a fictional, responsible left-wing Presidency on the small screen is not the same as actually having a liberal government in office -- one that walks the walk of its ethical and moral talk, and makes decisions that benefit the interests of all its citizens as opposed to a small percentage of them. Having bittersweet satisfaction in seeing Goodness triumph in D.C., while the actual government is run by fanatic True Believers bent on domination and revenge, is no satisfaction at all.

(I might add that, as satisfying as using a bow and arrow or six-foot, two-handed sword might appear to be, scenes of dystopian imbalance and revolution in Hunger Games or Thing Of Thrones might be fun but don't relate to life in 21st century America after November 8, 2016.)

In the new era we're about to plunge into, I hope no one attempts to revive The West Wing, or anything like it.  We don't have the luxury of watching a substitute for Raising The Issues -- the issues are in the streets. They're in our faces, whether we like it or not. We don't need escapism. We need resolution. And we need resistance.
_________________________________

Monday, October 17, 2016

I Lived The Whole Within, And Believed That I Was Free

Sleeping Now, And Dreaming

(Photo By Machine)

We Didn't Make This Part Up
(Stuff in Red is true and happening! in an alternate Universe. Or, you know, not. Trust us.)

Many Americans are With The Giant Meteor. In fact, The Giant Meteor (at 13%) is doing better in a double-blind, America's Home Kitchen Taste-Test poll than Herr Trump (12.7%) [US News And World Report]

Two Of Your Four Jobs Pays For NFL Action

With broadband now classified like a utility, telecom and tech companies, including Sprint, Comcast and Facebook, are increasingly working to make high-speed internet accessible to every American, not just a luxury. The companies are among those that have set their sights on bringing free or cheap high-speed internet service to low-income and rural populations in the United States, spurred by ... the hope of turning Americans who are not online today into full-paying customers in the future, when they may pay a goodly chunk of their hourly wages to these public-spirited corporations in exchange for viewing fantasies of lives they and their children will never be able to lead. ... (NYT)

Not Amused

...Helen Worth, who plays Gail Rodwell in a soap on Britain's ITV, appeared to mistakenly reveal that Ken Barlow, played by William Roache, suffers a stroke in an upcoming episode. The world mourns, and reportedly Her Majesty The Queen is "upset".  (UK Sun. Do not ask us what any of this means, but in The Land Of The Brexit and the Banger, it's a deal.)

Trump Says Potato, Pence Says Tuber

Republican leaders are fighting Donald J. Trump’s allegation that the news media and the Democratic Party and a Ford-sized Wombat are conspiring to commit election fraud. Mr. Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, said Mr. Trump would “absolutely accept whatever the Wombat wants.”... (CNN)

My Sweet, Funny, Wonderful Mother

... For some voters, Mrs. Clinton’s harsh remarks about some women who had been sexually involved with her husband, and the thought of Mr. Clinton back in the White House, are loathsome. Mr. Trump stoked that discomfort last week by publicly appearing with several women who had accused Mr. Clinton of misconduct and by bringing them to the second presidential debate. Their appearance apparently did not faze the front-ruiner, Hillary Clinton, who stepped from behind the podium and reportedly barked, "Yahhhhh, bitches!!  Yaahhhhh, bitches!! Who's gonna be President now, hah? Hah??? Wanna get audited?? Wanna go to Guantanamo??" ... (NYT)

' M'eye Talkin' To You? Where's The Money? '

Mrs. Clinton has refused to comment publicly on the Giant Meteor, though she reportedly has said things to Goldman-Sachs in exchange for a big pile of money. (Cheese Star)

I Cast My Vote Upon The Waters

There are 15 states with new voting laws that have never before been used during a presidential election, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice. These laws include restrictions like voter ID requirements, limits on early voting, forcing some voters to impersonate Aaron Burr, sing all major songs from Oklahoma! or The Fantastiks!, and complete all fabled Tests Of Strength from Sinefeld's 'Festivus' before they may considered worthy to cast a ballot. 

 Many are making their way through the courts, which have already called a halt to two laws in the past month as "silly" — one in North Carolina specifying that voters may only cast ballots while nude; one in North Dakota which makes it illegal to bring Lutefisk within 5.3 statute miles of any polling station.  Meanwhile, in the People's Fun Republic Of Berkeley, no one who has been Friended on 'FaceBuch' less than 10,000 times will be permitted to vote, and Dogs will be allowed to cast ballots for the first time. (ProPublica)
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