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Reverse Reverse Discrimination

Nothing is stupider or more pathetic than white males bitching about unfairness in America. We’ve been giving ourselves special treatment since we hit that rock.

But thanks to America’s steady decline as a place of limitless opportunity, there’s a whole lot of us incensed that minorities and women are helped by programs that promote parity with the people who have traditionally enjoyed the rewards of this soon to be not-so-fecund land now that there’s increasingly less to go around.

Some of the more troglodytic among our kind called it “reverse discrimination” or “reverse racism” whenever a traditionally oppressed minority was given “special” privileges, like being given a protected spot at a prestigious college or enjoying first serve on a government contract as a minority owned business.

Worry no more, my white male compadres.

The Trump administration is here to fix this interminable, institutionalized discrimination against us.

Always implicit in the “take our country back” rhetoric was that we were clawing it from the uppity females and minorities who had taken our places in line as the real backbone of this country. Those are our shitty jobs with vanishing pensions, damn it. Those are our graduate degrees that aren’t good for much any more.

If PoliticusUSA’s angle on Donald Trump’s signing statement astride the stopgap budget is correct, the special treatment gravy train is over.

I know what you’re thinking. Donald Trump cannot spell the word “tap” on his phone, much less craft a response full of legalese to a budget that he neither read nor had a hand in writing. I’m as incredulous as you are. In toto, if you read the whole nauseating thing, it is the equivalent of I’m The President And nyah nyah nyah. Its thrust is nothing new; it’s just another hopscotch square towards the unitary executive gaining primacy over anything or anyone that seeks to limit its power. Elbridge Gerry called it: we are becoming a monarchy, with a corrupt aristocrat wearing the funny hat, or in Donald Trump’s case, the scotch-taped power tie.

But anyway, included is a sop to bitchy, insecure, aggrieved white males who don’t want to share their station with anyone. In it, somehow, the intent of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendment has been turned against itself. For example, used to be a time when the Fourteenth tried to help the enslaved and marginalized become equal. Now we all know that the promise of the Fourteenth took almost a century to realize itself in jurisprudence with Brown. And even that was like a trip to the dentist for regional white men. But anyway, it had legal dynamite in it whose explosion is still being heard today, and thankfully so 99.9999% of the time. It ended with the clause “equal protection of the laws” and no one was to be denied.

But now white men are apparently on unequal footing with groups like women, blacks, and Indians:

“My Administration shall treat provisions that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender (e.g., Division B, under the heading “Minority Business Development”; Division C, sections 8016, 8021, 8038, and 8042; Division H, under the headings “Departmental Management Salaries and Expenses,” “School Improvement Programs,” and “Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program Account”; Division K, under the heading “Native American Housing Block Grants”; and Division K, section 213) in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”

Taken at face value, in Trump’s America the long march to a balance of opportunity has become lopsided again, and this time around white males are the ones that need protection from the oppressive minorities.

Further through the looking glass we go.

Over, under, sideways down.

When will it end?

When will it end?

 

 

Too Extreme For Alabama

There is such a thing.

In the age of Trump, sometimes it feels like everything is hopelessly fucked and there is no way to change it. Right-wing radicals are trying to lay waste to everything good.

But we’re also dropping a lot of albatrosses lately.

Bill O’ Reilly finally got too expensive for Fox. Alex Jones’ lawyer outed him as an actor. Jason Chaffetz couldn’t stand the heat in the kitchen. Those are big right-wing fish that just got netted; a propagandist, a conspiracy theorist, and a gatekeeper.

After months of smoke, we’ve found the traces of a conflagration. It’s only a matter of time before Trump and his minions get caught with empty cans of gasoline and matches.

But I bring good news from my neighbor in the Deep South.

Historically, Alabama has been a terrible place. It’s nicknamed the “Heart Of Dixie”, which translated from the Southern tongue means “Home To A Lot Of Racists”. I have been to Alabama once. It is as hot as the planet Mercury in the summertime, and I would rather be dropped there than visit Alabama again because Mercury doesn’t have mosquitoes.

George Corley Wallace Jr. was the face of Alabama and segregation in the sixties. Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks Jr. is a representative from Alabama. Mo’s worried that there’s a war on white people. Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III also hails from there. Jeff is our attorney general, and is currently not sure that Hawaii is a state.

But I have good news. Another big fish from Alabammy has been speared.

We got Judge Roy Moore. After a long suspension, he’s been kicked off the fucking bench for good. Happy day!

For those of you who don’t follow these things like I do because you enjoy your sanity, Roy is best known for being an insufferable Christian bigot who could not get the concept of separation of church and state through his thick skull, nor could he comprehend the hierarchical structure of the United States court system as laid down by the Constitution.

Good news is often hard to find here at the seminary, because we are in a world of shit where the president seeks the counsel of Kid Rock. But if Alabama can work up the will to rid itself of unethical fleabag judges, there’s hope for all fifty.

 

Thinning The Absurd

 

Regular lurkers here know that I came out against calling things “fake news”.

Oh, it’s not that it doesn’t exist. Our president is a regular consumer and producer of it.

But he and others have used a bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu and now “fake news” is news you don’t want to hear or simply do not believe- even if it is true. It’s become one of Twitler’s favorite smears against news organizations who are up his ass. So I’ve decided I’m not going to play this game of what’s “fake” and what’s not and just discontinue use of the phrase anymore.

Now, I also said I wasn’t going to take a swing at a specific left-leaning news site because I am ideologically aligned with them, but I’m about to renege on that. I said that because I think some of the emerging farm team writers generate good content. The best political bloggers of the golden age of the ‘sphere got paying gigs long ago, leaving the medium dormant. Only pikers like me use personal desktop publishing to talk politics anymore. In its place today, we are seeing this second generation of political journalism that is being made possible by social media. These new farm team sites can pop up and piggyback upon each other and proliferate news and opinion on Facebook, where there are opportunities to grab the grail of websites-the click. Money and notoriety can follow.

This has caused, to put it lightly, problems.

When a click is all you are looking for, it’s very tempting to sensationalize your headline in order to get the most eyeballs. People are hungry for breaking news and exclusivity, and if there isn’t any of that around, some sites will simply create it. This is not “fake news” per se. It is merely misleading flotsam. And I think it’s just as pernicious as making things up out of whole cloth.

You’re blacking the eye of left-wing journalism, nay, journalism in general when you write a screaming headline that has the slimmest tangential relationship to the article you are writing.

I had to unfollow, unlike and de-link one of these sites today. Here’s the tease that caught my eye, from yesterday:

All 8 Supreme Court Justices Come Out Against Trump’s SCOTUS Pick

SAY WHAT?

Oboy, the Court is appalled by the machinations of Mitch McConnell to get Neil Gorsuch on the bench at any cost and they are speaking out! Yay!

*click*

What’s this? The fucking source material is THREE WEEKS OLD! It’s nothing but a retelling of the fucking story of the Court unanimously overruling an opinion written by Gorsuch. I fucking know about that! Fuck! Fuck this fucking site!

Can you relate?

You’re lying if you say you can’t. We have all been taken in by a site that preys on our emotions, imaginations and desires to desperately see something be true. The only truth is they got your click- and these manipulative motherscratchers didn’t worry about how they did it.

So, I have a job to do today. I’ve got to have a reckoning here and on Facebook and separate out the hyped-up chaff that is doing no one any good. As I said, there are some that do decent second tier work, but some are profiting off credulity in an irresponsible, unethical manner. We are living in an age when the outrageous is a possibility, and it’s getting harder to tell truth and nonsense apart because they look the same. So check and re-check before you give these fly-by-night operations more ad revenue.

 

 

Make-Believe

Donald Trump is going to die by his own hand. I think we’ve known this for a while.

Word is out that the Tomahawk strikes didn’t damage the runways of Al-Shayrat. Planes are still leaving from the base.

It’s turning out to be a rather expensive shot across the bow rather than a show of force.

But you wouldn’t know that by listening to President Numbnuts. He is satisfied with what was accomplished. A president wears many hats, and Trump has a construction helmet, complete with reflective vest, work boots and a spade in his collection. Check it-he’s an expert at public works:

“The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!”

When did you find that out- the last time you bombed a runway?

Donald, let me stop you at the word “reason”. I’ve been watching you for a bit now, and reasons and explanations are not your strong suit. I am no public works expert either, nor am I versed well in the destructive capabilities of our armaments. But I am pretty sure a thousand pound warhead makes a crater somewhat bigger than the ones you and I occasionally run over when we drive. Furthermore, a jet takes off at a rather high speed and I’m guessing that “filling and topping” is not something that can be done quickly or haphazardly. If I remember right, it took a few months, and a lot of concentrated resources and people to fix Baghdad International after we strafed it in 2003.

To wit: Tomahawks don’t make potholes. And a plane is not a car. Trump seems to think that a few shovelfuls of hot gravel is all it takes. Perhaps he has seen a hole in a road being repaired in Manhattan getting “filled and topped” from his limousine and drew an analogy. Adorable.

The Near-President needs to shut the fuck up. Desperate to spin the narrative of this story, he’s made a jackass out of himself yet again by injecting his moronic Twitter commentary into a very serious situation.

Surprise!

 

Maybe You Didn’t Hear Me The First Time

That’s understandable.

Very few people come to see me, unless Tucker Carlson is being an asshole. Which, I suppose suits me just fine. I often write because I have to. Most people who have written, paid or unpaid, know how this feels. Especially when you also have a mental disorder that won’t allow you to let go of something when it makes your brain cry.

Facebook has fucked my shit up, as far as the writing gig goes. I spend more posting articles and composing one-liners about things that get caught in the filter than doing any kind of “work” that I can be proud of the first 20 times I read it back to myself. My output during the campaigns of ’16 was much higher than it is now. Hell, I used to sound off three times a day.

Now, the work comes slower. I poke my head up maybe once every two weeks. It takes several days to finish a post. That’s probably OK-at least I know when I am hitting a wall instead of heedlessly blasting through it like in the good old days of steadily losing my mind. Ideas need to age sometimes before they are ready. But it’s not good for a blog to sit quiet for two weeks, either. Constant output is the linchpin of a successful blog. But I have to be honest and know that that’s not what this is. This is a vanity project, even as I attempt to snag a few more eyeballs by uploading to Facebook. It’s for me, ultimately.

Alright. Enough of that, let’s talk about what is pissing me the fuck off today.

It’s really past time that we stopped believing that Donald Trump is an intelligent creature. I tried to tell you this a month ago. But it is still very fashionable, and I assume profitable, to opine that Donald Trump knows what he is doing.

Last night, Rachel Maddow got hold of the first page of his 2005 tax returns.

For something that no one is interested in, it sure made everyone perk the fuck up. It upset the White House enough that when they were asked to verify, they tried to get in front of the story by scooping Maddow, claiming vehemently that what she had was illegally obtained and illegal to publish and that she was desperate for ratings.

These three things are not true. Typical Trump bluster, no facts and petty insults. That’s what Donald Trump does. He’s been doing it ever since he discovered Twitter.

Now, what we all saw was in itself, well…not much. I think we all expected Rachel to be shaking up a martini while chortling over a giant pile of paper that was going to finally bring this White House crashing back to earth. What we saw instead was the front and back of an 11 year old return, which as all you taxpayers know, does not say a whole lot. Concretely speaking, it said Donald Trump paid his taxes in 2005, at the appropriate rates dictated by the AMT law.

The media discussion spun in two general ways after the leak:

  1. Donald Trump leaked them himself. He did that in order to divert attention from Russia, the wiretap frenzy and the healthcare bill (the investigative journalist who was given the documents admitted that Trump could be the leaker).
  2. The fact that these documents are in the press’ hands suggests there’s more that can be leaked and that the existence of the leak asks more questions than it answers. It rekindles the debate about why, if these numbers are so innocuous, is Donald Trump so desperate for no one to see them?

It is for those of you who believe in #1 that I write today.

Shut the fuck up.

Just stop slurping all over Donald Trump’s balls giving him credit for being clever. It’s embarrassing.

Have any of you noticed how he governs? He’s a total screwup. Everything he authors or endorses turns to shit. His own advisors and appointees are wondering what his damage is. The only reason Donald Trump is overturning regulations is because the president who he will ultimately be compared to authored them.

Perhaps you should consider his online presence. Donald Trump doesn’t know how to goddamned spell and may only have about 75 words in his vocabulary, the lion’s share of which are inappropriate superlatives and the word “sad” (but he’s “got a good brain”).

If he keeps up at this rate of um, “winning”, he will be what he and other Republicans so badly wanted Barack Obama to be- a failure.

We are not dealing with “crazy like a fox”. We are talking about “dumb like a mailbox post”.

I think what has happened here is that Maddow’s reveal was so superficial (in scope and content), it sent people running for a narrative because we ate some empty TV calories. The AV Club is half-right-this leak would have looked better on the internet than on an hour long show. I can see how tempting it is to search for someone or some entity that manipulated the currently red-hot Maddow into purportedly showing what a good citizen Donald Trump was in 2005. But again, that tale is a poor substitute for what the tax return reveal could not tell. The return ultimately generates yet more questions and I get that we want some damn answers-but we are burning the messenger. It may sound counterintuitive right now, but Maddow has shown that Trump’s hand can be forced-and that he is still highly vulnerable and cannot possibly keep the secrets he is trying so desperately to keep.

Even if I am shown to be wrong-that indeed it was the fabled cunning of the wily trickster Trump once again making us look away from what his hands are really doing-then it will be full scale war between the press and Donald Trump. There’s already insurrection as it is- a cheap stunt like the one some in the media are positing that so blatantly tries to discredit one of their own will be looked at as an attack on all of them, because no organization whose job is to tell the truth is going to truck for long with anyone that sleazy.

We hope.

Todd Starnes Can Hum On My Sack

Todd Starnes is the undisputed king of conservative twerps. Some of you may already know who he is. He’s wound up on my radar several times for being a smug, disingenuous Christian bigot. In other words, he’s loved by Fox consumers. This is the creature I’m referring to:

todd-starnesnra

(Todd Starnes at Halloween, in brave patriot costume.)

That doughy little gopher has always got something snarky to say when Christians don’t get their way. He can’t cut it as a reporter, so Fox is a great place for him since everyone is a commentator there.

What’s Todd being a cunt about now? This, from Pennsylvania:

The Ten Commandments monument will be removed from Valley Junior-Senior High School, after district officials reached a settlement in a lawsuit claiming the district violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.

Before I begin whupping on Todd, let me just explain the atheist position on these damn monuments. I believe that somewhere in the penumbral intersections of the Bill Of Rights is the right to be left alone. That’s all atheists are really interested in-to live live the way we please(provided we do no harm) with a free conscience. Atheists are NOT, I repeat, not, interested in making converts. It’s a personal decision everyone must make after looking at the evidence that we have about the nature of being. We give less than a fuck what conclusion you come to.

Until.

ten

Until you decide to drop a giant stone replica of your conclusions in a public place like a school, without considering how other faiths and creeds are going to feel about it. Then we have a problem. You Christians think you own everything, and that’s why you do this-it’s a show of force, a show of your potency in the face of what you consider evil, which is the rest of us. There’s no other reason for it. It’s not good law or sage wisdom to someone who has another god besides Jehovah, so let’s dispense with that bullshit reason for its usefulness or necessity.

I would never, ever do this to you. Sure, I’ve had the occasional beef with religion and I think believers are all one fry short of a Happy Meal in some way, but I ain’t into constructing monuments to my own brilliance since I have obviously got it all figured out…like you do.

Am I being clear here? Another thing-you really don’t want the Satanists getting into this. Because they will put a monument up if you do and you will really hate it. So, cut your losses like this school did, and keep your Bible tucked under your arm and not pissing me or people who have different faiths off with oversized reproductions of it, as if to signal you will forget it if you don’t have in giant engraved form. It’s more like you don’t want the rest of of us to forget who runs this damn culture.

To this I reply: fuck you too. And I will wield the Constitution and break your middle finger if I can.

So let’s catch a whiff of Todd’s always wrong, halfwit comments about it, shall we?

A Pennsylvania school district capitulated to the demands of a militant atheist who filed a federal lawsuit demanding the district remove a Ten Commandments monument erected on a public high school campus.

She sued. What makes that militant? Todd, as a fellow writer, I recommend trying to change up your descriptive ‘smithing so you don’t use the same word twice in a sentence. We all do it in our first drafts sometimes. You should avail yourself of an editor, because you can. Unless your goal was to emphasize how hard the militant demander demanded, then carry on, I suppose.

New Kensington-Arnold School District agreed to remove the massive monument within 30 days – ending a lawsuit filed in 2012 by self-avowed atheist Marie Schaub.

Unlike other atheists who have other people avow that they don’t believe. I get the feeling that Todd is trying to belittle atheists in some faggoty little passive-aggressive way, like he’s saying our thinking doesn’t count or something. This is probably much akin to Donald Trump and his “so-called” judges remark-if he doesn’t like or respect what they’re saying, then they’re somehow not real or authentic.

Schaub claimed the 6-foot stone monument erected outside Valley High School was a religious symbol and therefore was a violating of the U.S. Constitution.

Schaub also claimed the monument was offensive to her and her daughter. I can only imagine which commandment she found to be most offensive. Maybe it was the one about graven images.

Ho, ho, ho! I’m dyin’ ova’ heah!

No, it’s probably the one that asserts that I have a god, or that there is one that invalidates all others. Would you like me to be a dick and do that to you, Todd?

He’s got something to say about the people who brought the suit:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a group of perpetually offended atheists, agnostics and self-professed free-thinkers based in Wisconsin. They intentionally bully and intimidate small towns and communities in their quest to eradicate Christianity from the public marketplace.

They are truly an unpleasant bunch of people, folks.

We’ve done a really good job at demonizing people who are offended by things. Our national phobia about being politically correct has caused this. White Christian Americans have gotten away with being bigoted dicks for so long that they are shocked, just shocked that someone is telling them to watch their damn tongue. Offense is taken when one is insulted. There is nothing wrong with being offended.

I don’t know why I have to explain this to Todd and his ilk. They get the vapors every time Starbucks’ holiday cup isn’t Christ-themed enough.

I’d rather be unpleasant than be these people any day of the week, by the way.

Schools Superintendent John Pallone told the local newspaper they agreed to settle the lawsuit “in order to take the high road.”

“We compromised and agreed to remove the monument,” he said.

That’s hardly a compromise. It’s more like appeasement.

Bullshit. Pallone either knew he was going to lose the case or was running out of money and goodwill to keep the monument up, so he characterized his decision to settle as a “compromise”. One immediately has to wonder what the school got in return for settling, because as far as I can tell, all they gained were two used carbon copies of checks that they had to write to plaintiff Marie Schaub and the FFRF. I agree with Starnes; it’s not a compromise. As it should be.

Requesting the respect that one deserves as a person with a free conscience is not tantamount to invading Czechoslovakia, which Todd airily alludes to. Let’s imagine it another way, Todd, using another World War II comparison, even though it is wholly inappropriate as all Nazi analogies are: I am living in 1942 Vichy France and you are an occupying army.

I’m the Free French. Vive Charles DeGaulle, motherfucker.

Then Todd finishes by castigating the school for settling.

And in doing so – the school district violated an eleventh commandment: Thou Shall Not Tucketh Tail and Run.

It’s so easy to criticize when it’s not you that has to do the fighting, innit, Todd? It’s typical Starnes, no one fights hard enough for the “right thing”. My god, what would happen to Christian morale if not for Todd’s sniggering prose? The mind reels at how things would be the same as they are.

The school was out of order. It’s fixed now. You’re out a stone memorial. Be fucking polite and no one has to go to court next time.

 

 

Twitler Gets Something Right

So when last we talked, I was relaying to you how gobsmacked I was and continue to be that we have elected ( I know we really didn’t, relax) the most terminally vain uncurious mercurial impish hyperprivileged puckerfaced whitebread tiny dicked fascistic jingo know nothing illiterate conspiracy loving con artist fraud huckster crybaby prick pervert whackadoodle media slut bunco dealer we could find.

Somebody clearly did not place limits on their child. Frederick Christ, I’m looking at you in hell, sir.

Everyone except Donald Trump seems to know that the wheels are coming off his bus. That’s not necessarily true, I guess, seeing as how the percentage of the popular vote Donald got roughly equals the percentage of approval he enjoys, or does not enjoy since he thinks that all numbers pertaining to him are fake, unless of course we’re talking about numbers that he pretends are his even though he’d been in office for a week when the tabulations were made. But I hear he is on a constant diet of Fox News, who is happy to massage Trump’s ego by showing tight camera shots of massive”pro-Trump” events while suggesting that protests against Trump are by violent anarchists and professional agitators paid to attend.

I have seen the comparisons of Trump to Hitler. And I guess I understand that. I’m reading “It Can’t Happen Here” at bedtime and Donald Trump is Buzz Windrip without the folksy charm, starring Steve Bannon as Lee Sarason and Mike Flynn as Dewey Haik-and the Republicans are more properly named as the “Corpos”. It’s troublesome that comparisons to these real and fictional fascists are to people whose rise to infamy presage horrible wars. Trump can start a shooting war whenever he chooses as long as he lets Congress know why he’s doing it in 48 hours. He’s used belligerent language toward China and Iran, most notably, and his favored dog whisperer thinks that a Sino-US war is inevitable.

I still think Donald Trump is more like Howard Hughes than Adolf Hitler. Guy’s fucking crazy, putting up gilded fucking drapes in the Oval Office and will probably screw himself out of this job by pissing off everybody in government, even his own Congress who can’t wait to get hold of his signature so they can destroy said government like they always say they will.

But I really can’t wait until Trump’s dealings with the Russians are exposed. I think that’s the most interesting thing that we need to see. Donald Trump has lied about his relationship with Putin, even going so far to pretend that he had never met the guy before the election amidst charges that the Russian government was responsible for the DNC hacks. He’s on record for complimenting the autocratic thug repeatedly.

If there’s one thing we know Donald Trump likes, it’s money. And I believe that Vladimir Putin, fellow oligarch, is making plans with him to divvy up the globe to enrich each other. During the Obama administration, we had lots of trouble with an adventurous Putin in Ukraine and Syria. He was an adversary, trying to break free from the cage NATO put around him. The Cold War never ended, really-Russia imploded in the 1990s and reemerged as an aggressive world power to be reckoned with under Putin. Like most “communist” nations, they reshaped themselves as capitalist dictatorships, using the State to enrich business interests and their whores in the government.

If that sounds familiar, it should, and it should bother you. But we can discuss that at length some other time. Maybe after I feel like digging up more examples showing what an asshole Tucker Carlson is. Don’t hold your breath, I am easily distracted.

Anyway, to make a long story short, Trump did an interview in his safe space with Bill O’Reilly. And if you think Don The Con has been um…unstable up to here, you missed this:

“President Donald Trump appeared to equate US actions with the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released Saturday, saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.
“But he’s a killer,” O’Reilly said to Trump.
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied.”

Now I’m not sure if Donald Trump knew what he was saying-he may have just sputtered that in a hasty defense because he got pushed in a corner. It caused a lot of people-like old military hand Barry McCaffrey-to perk up and lose their cool:

JACKSON: MSNBC military analyst and retired four-star general Barry Mccaffrey, who is joining us here. General Mccaffrey, thank you for being here. President Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin is really backing the headlines in a big 
way. You heard what he said about Putin and Bill O’Reilly’s comments that Putin is a killer. How concerned are you about not just what the president is saying but the relationship that the U.S. Is going to have with Russia, where that’s going to go from here? 

MCCAFFREY: Hallie, I’m actually incredulous that the president would make a statement like that. One could argue that’s the most anti-american statement ever made by the president of the United States, to confuse American values with Putin, who is running a criminal oligarchy, who kills people abroad and at home, who imprisons journalists and takes away business property, who shares it with his former K.G.B. Agents, who invades and seizes crimea in eastern Ukraine, this is an astonishing state of affairs. It’s hard to know what to think about it.

It’s halfway to crazy to be dismissive of the danger Vladimir Putin represents, and shrug about how his regime takes care of its dissidents. Trump says…so what? We are killers too.

I expect this kind of thing to come out of Ajamu Baraka’s mouth. I don’t expect it from a Republican. Was it candor? I didn’t really think that Donald Trump was capable of critical thought. Maybe he did read the briefings, and his loose lips opened under fire.

 

Whatever the case may be, Trump dropped a truth bomb.

We are not innocent-not even our best and brightest are beyond reproach. We have laid waste all across the globe as a nation since our inception and we have not let up since. In my war of conquest (and don’t let anyone tell you it wasn’t one), it is estimated that we killed almost 200,000 civilians and incinerated entire towns that were unfortunate enough to harbor our enemies. God only knows how many we maimed. You can feel free to hit the history books anytime you like and string together our atrocities, or let someone like Noam Chomsky contextualize and enumerate them. Hell, read Howard Zinn to find out how we spread destruction and death and penury and torture in our own country.

I’m sorry to say-perhaps not sorry, perhaps a bit relieved in a way, that Trump got something objectively correct. But it won’t change my general opinion that he is still an insane clown. It won’t wake anyone up that needs waking. It won’t make me take to the streets and break some car windows of my own. I’m a coward (so far) when it comes to certain forms of direct action. The worst thing that will happen is that people get inured to the idea that we can tolerate and horse trade with someone who acts like Vladimir Putin does when it comes to attaining his objectives. Then again, we don’t pay much mind to the criminal regimes around the world that we support already because it’s in our “strategic interests”(read: whatever perpetuates our super-hegemony). There are already people on the right wing who think that cracking skulls and maybe even some killing right here in America are spiffy ways to manage dissent. So we would do well to be extra wary of Donald Trump and the people he runs with. He may know just enough to be dangerous, as they say. The seeds of tyranny, well sown in our history, are beginning to germinate, and the world could be in grave danger with the two most powerful oligarchs in the world getting ready to carve it up for themselves and their business associates if we let them.

 

 

 

 

The New Pollution

I haven’t posted since the inauguration. I am trying to keep my cool, but it’s getting harder every day. My wife has a conniption at least once a day over something he’s signed or something he’s decreed, and I’m still in “wait and see” mode. She doesn’t understand why I’m not more upset or distressed about the new shit coming from the White House.

I’m probably having the wrong reaction. I didn’t panic on election night, until 2:30AM when the blue wall in the north fell and Pennsylvania went to Trump. She knew something was wrong when Virginia was too close to call-a race which stayed that way for about four hours.

So I have decided that I may be suffering a crisis in my ability to judge. Trump’s victory has broken me, in a way; I still can’t believe it happened. He was even less qualified to lead than Ben Carson, and those of you who have been with me a minute surely understand how unqualified I thought Donald Trump was when I say that. It never occurred to me that the old bozo fraud would somehow distinguish himself as a leader. He never did, and still has not and never will, to be truthful-but Republicans will buy anything, especially when Donald became the physical manifestation of the id of every racist, sexist, homophobic flag worshipping pasty-white Christian dominionist shitheel across this once great land. We were truly at our worst when we brought this monstrosity to power. Oh sure, Donald’s hate and imbecilic patriotic posturing did not win him the election. The October Surprise Of October Surprises from the FBI, the drip-drip-drip of Julian Assange’s Russian-backed email leaks, and a new generation already weary of half-measure Democratic party policy even though it was their first election certainly did much to ensure that a soup and sandwich combo from Panera might be President rather than the hopelessly compromised Hillary Clinton.

And Hillary Clinton was a damn good candidate. Fuck each and every one of you who left her high and dry. I’m not interested in your reasons. You allowed this…this thing, whatever it turns out to be, into high office because you couldn’t have all the marbles, so you chose none. You folded your arms in front of your chest and decided to let it burn, in the hopes that if voters would see how bad it got under a Trump, they’d choose the left-wing savior they dreamt of next time around. Well, I have less faith in the American public than that. George W.Bush got two terms, and he racked up 60, 000 some-odd casualties in a war of attrition in the Middle East. So who the fuck knows what America’s mindset will be come 2018 and 2020, really. You breath-holding lefties don’t have a clue what comes next. And I’m one of you assholes too. You shit the bed and I know you won’t take responsibility for it, anymore than semi-sane Republicans will admit that they elected a fascist.

I had plans to write something else, but this must have had to come first. I’ll be around soon. Peace, kiddies.

 

 

 

OK, Let’s Stop Using This Phrase

“Fake news”.

Culture, you’ve lost your right to use these words together.

We used to call this stuff “misinformation”, “tabloid journalism”, “hoaxes”, or just “lies”. Then 2016 happened, and the old-time press started calling internet bullshit “fake news”.

They didn’t realize it, but they birthed a monster, one that attacked its parents.

Perhaps you all remember a guy named Karl Rove. He is best known for helping the  soon-to-be second biggest fucking idiot ever to claim the title President get elected, George W. Bush. One of his trade secrets was how to deflect charges of weakness in his candidate. In Rove’s political parlance, the dictum was:

“Accuse your opponent of what they are going to accuse you of.”

It’s a peculiar form of what psychologists have called projection. And it is hard to combat.

It wasn’t too long ago when the term “low-information voter” entered the lexicon, brought into use by liberals.

Rush Limbaugh, who is smarter than I give him credit for, understood the power of those words together and since conservatives usually don’t have anything original to add to a conversation, used the HELL out of it until you only heard it in right-wing circles to describe liberals.

That’s about where we are with the words “fake news”. Maybe it isn’t liberals’ fault that the concept boomeranged on them, but we started overusing it, often in internecine warfare between the newest wave of left-wing political bloggers who often employ sensationalism to steal clicks from what is now the internet establishment. I’m not gonna name names here, because I believe that calling out lefty blog sites, however misleading they are, is part of what allowed the concept of “fake news” to slip the leash and become a weapon for conservatives.

The situation right now? Well, you all know. The President-the-fuck-Elect thinks that the august and, to be sure, often fatally flawed CNN is “fake news”. Low poll numbers are now fake news.

Fake news is now defined as something you don’t want to hear about irrespective of its veracity.

Its misuse is spreading like typhoid. Bill Donohue, who is a truly repugnant religious fuckwad, wants to help spread this redefinition of “fake news”. A gay man was fired from teaching at a Catholic school because he posted about his marriage on Facebook. Nobody asked him, but Donohue, ever the moral scold, couldn’t help inserting himself into the issue. He refuses to admit that men can get married because…because…oh, screw it, I’ll let him tell you:

“I know that the Catholic Church opposes same-sex marriage,” says Billard, “but I don’t think my commitment to my husband [sic] has any bearing on my work in the classroom.” [Note: husbands are men and wives are women, so if Billard’s partner is his husband, that would make him his wife, and no one really believes that to be true. The Catholic League does not tolerate fake news.]

The phrase has been reduced to meaninglessness. And it’s only going to get worse-it will prove to be an impossible box to close now that the titular leader of the country thinks anything disagreeable written about him is fake. We’re going to lose this war, liberals, because they are better at projecting than we are. We need to be more careful in the future how we use shorthand like this. We need to deal in facts more than we need to glibly call out lies. There’s probably enough people listening to win the next election.

 

Fly, Blackburn, Fly

Marsha-Marsha-Marsha Blackburn, representative of Tennessee, is a favorite here at the seminary. We love and simultaneously revile her for being one of the stupidest fucking congresspeople in the capitol. She’s puzzled a number of talking heads with her slightly retarded homespun conservatism, and this week her victim was CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who ought to know what Blackburn is all about from being a Fox fox back in the O.G. days of that channel. Since we are now living in the novel 1984, Blackburn thinks that getting rid of the extra House oversight Democrats put in place 7 years ago will…wait for it…eh, I’ll let Marsha take it away:

“Any time you can provide more accountability and more transparency to any process that is in place, then you’re going to take another step toward draining the swamp,” Blackburn said, echoing a campaign promise by Donald Trump. “I am all for draining the swamp. I think that anyone who knows me knows that I’ve spent much of my career on reducing the size, the scope and the cost of the federal government, and in its place putting transparency and accountability.”

Got that?

Less oversight=more accountability.

Don’t think about it too much. This is Marsha Blackburn we are talking about.

But it was poor Camerota who needed to soldier on, and parried with a good rejoinder:

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said, if she’s worried about transparency, that Blackburn should understand why Democrats were concerned that the measure was passed without their input during a nighttime, closed-door meeting.

Blackburn didn’t blink:

“Most people would say 5 o’clock in the afternoon is not at night,” Blackburn said, shrugging. “We could discuss that. It does start getting dark outside.”

It’s after business hours, dipshit. But semantics is often all these morons are good for. So anyway, she finishes with her own awkward false equivalence, the standard go-to when Republicans are cornered:

Blackburn suggested congressional Democrats were hypocrites for holding a private strategy session with President Barack Obama.

“The Democrats have their meeting behind closed doors also, and on Wednesday, when the president comes to talk to them about how to fight against the repeal of Obamacare, they’re going to do that one behind closed doors,” Blackburn said, punctuating her attack with a wink.

What fucking adult WINKS in the middle of a serious conversation? Sarah Palin and Marsha Blackburn do, I guess. But that’s beside the point. A secret vote was held without Democrats about disbanding oversight mechanisms. That is not the same as discussing strategies to resist the destruction of Obamacare. Rules changes are fucking important-and shutting out the minority party from voting is real cloak and dagger bullshit.

Fortunately, they will not be getting away with it. Good old people power and a bizarre rebuke from The Don saved the day. My hope for this country’s future is stronger knowing that even House Republicans can feel shame.

Here’s a link to the clip, so you can watch Camerota’s pain trying to get a handle on a very slippery politician. I haven’t figured out how to embed Twitter video, sorry.

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