Mike Hunt or: Little Miss Seaward

I’m going to preface this with a note explaining that I know that no one cares what a middle-aged white boy from the ’burbs has to say about the Full Frontal C*nt-roversy. In fact, I know I have no right to make any comment at all… and yet, oops?

No one likes to be ad hominemed or debased in public. People enjoy doing it or witnessing it being done onto others. But being targeted? Well, that’s another story. And the “c-word” ad hominem, WOOF, that is a prickly pear in American culture. In England they fling that thing around to the point where it’s almost a term of endearment, but here, in the “puritanical” US of A, it is considered the “nuclear option”. American women don’t like it at all, and we must respect that.

I (my wife and my 5 year-old-son) have found that I use that term exclusively when discussing other drivers when I’m on the road (regardless of their gender). Not often, like I said…“nuclear option”, but if you narrowly cut me off on the freeway going 80 and then slam your breaks…I will “push the button”…and often supercharge my attack with a colorful f-bomb based continuous verb prefix modifier…because you have to. Yeah, in case you weren’t in the know, I curse…occasionally.

So, I’m not casting any stones here. I’m keeping all my stones in-hand, just in case I need them to fight my way out of this post. As I said, this is a prickly pear subject.

Tone Deaf

I was annoyed that I read about the controversy prior to seeing the show, because it robbed me of my own gut-check on the word. I would have liked to have known how the slag would have landed with me, before it was colored by pundit opinions. And that’s a real problem I have with instant news; it’s always trying to tell me how to feel before I have the experience myself.

When I did actually watch the bit, I honestly did not like the word in context, but I did understand the rage behind it. The insult was at the apex of a passionate plea calling for a stop to our US border enforcement’s abuse of immigrants, and disgusting policy of separating asylum seeking immigrant parents from their children.

#PresidentShithead could stop these abuses (with one of his beloved executive orders), but he is a vile, racist, scapegoating, opportunistic, piece-of-shit (have I gone too far?) who will gladly trade in human misery so long as it keeps him in good stead with his racist, racist-adjacent, and racist-tolerant base (a base that includes that off-her-meds, racist, shit-show Rosanne Barr). Ivanka Trump is an “Advisor” to his administration (a complicit part of this administration) and so she’s a fair target.

I just don’t agree with targeting Ivanka for Instagramming with her young son (Mob Rules – spouses and children who aren’t “in the business”,…yet, are to be left out. Of course, that didn’t keep #PresidentShithead from laying a hit on Ted Cruz’s wife. But anyway…). Bringing Ivanka into the crosshairs in this context is one thing (I get it), but then laying that “nuclear option” ad hominem on top of that context, it just wasn’t a take that I care to rally behind…in the greater context of “the Movement”. The Movement that seeks a pathway to a more conscientious culture. A culture still chock full o’ penis and vagina jokes, to be sure (FOR AMERICA!). Just more conscientious penis and vagina jokes. But I digress.

That’s probably why the joke landed flat with me. And trust me, I feel Bee’s rage. And rage will make you say some strooong shit. Trust me, I know. I just think it’s a shame that Bee’s message was lost and her platform was threatened because she went “feckless [c-word]” instead of…I dunno…“Twat”? Is that just as bad? Shit!

Summing up

I am an unapologetic Samantha Bee fan, she’s been making me laugh and think for years. Entertainers who do that for us hold a special position in our hearts, and so we cut them “slack”. It’s called “good will”. Good will is a resource. I can be eroded and it can be spent. Good will can also be built back up and restored. Samantha Bee has a shit-ton of good will banked in reserve. So we’re good. She apologized, so everyone just back the fuck off.

Ivanka Trump, on the other hand, is tantamount to a nonentity to me. She represents superficial things like corporate fashion, corporate branding & cosmetic surgery. These are things I don’t hold in high esteem. I’m not a hater on them either, they just don’t buy much of that aforementioned “good will”. As a surrogate for her father, she has proven herself a garbage human being, so there’s that. Her husband has apparently attempted to peddle influence to foreign powers and advocated against those who refused to pay in (we call that racketeering, in case you didn’t know). This doesn’t seem to bother her either. Yet I still don’t want to see her called a c-word on television…Maybe that makes me part of the problem. I just want them fired and investigated if necessary. That will be enough.

It’s a tricky time to insult any woman (even if she is a quantifiably vapid or shitty person), especially via the c-bomb through the platform of commercial television. It was pretty out there and presumptuous of Bee, her producers and writers to go there…mainly because of the commercial television angle. Sponsors are selling soap…to wash out your c-word. Laying a politically charged c-word on corporate sponsors sounds like career suicide to me. Remember Samantha, you are not driving in your car…you’re on TBS.

You do have to do the “We won’t get your products boycotted” dance just a little bit. And a good place to start is with a no c-word policy. Unless, that is, you’re talking about a man. Take, for instance, #PresidentShithead, that guy is a total cunt. [Redacted]

Clickbait President

I’ve been thinking about Al Franken. He disappeared when he resigned from the Senate last December. I recall him saying, in his resignation speech, that we’d be seeing him around. Well, I haven’t seen him since. So, this morning, I searched on Google (a habit I am very seriously considering stopping #FUCKGOOGLE) to see what he’s been up to, and couldn’t find anything…right away.

I did see vague articles pondering a “comeback”. Then, there was a recent left-wing op-ed justifying Franken’s party, and progressive allies, turning on him as the least-worst solution at the time (BULLSHIT!). There was also a Page Six story, from a week ago, pulling Sarah Silverman quotes from GQ. She was making her case for Louis CK and Franken’s return to public life.

[LONG TANGENT ALERT!!!]

I really don’t like lumping Franken in with CK. CK committed serious sex crimes (from what I recall, it was public masturbation…That will get you in deep trouble, so I’ve heard. And CK deserves any trouble he’s in).

To the best of my knowledge, Franken always kept his trousers up. He was accused of forced or unwanted (prank?) kissing (no joke, a troubling accusation). And also touching or grasping women, without asking permission, typically when posing for photos (I think most men are guilty of this second crime, especially the “puppy dog” type…the WORST OFFENDERS!…By the by, I’m a VICTIM, TOO!!! Soon, I will tell my SHOCKING, TRUE story of how, for YEARS, I was ABUSED in this very same way! BY MY PARENTS!!! Stay tuned!).

With this touching-in-photos thing, and even the admittedly more serious unwanted-kissing thing, I’m willing to forgive the guy, so long as he is honest and contrite, which I believe he was.

I think it would have been a healthy exercise to have run this through the Senate Ethics Committee and road test the whole review process there, in a public and transparent manner, which I know Franken would have insisted on. In this way, we, the American citizens/voters, would have gotten to see whether or not it is a review system worth keeping or reforming (in light of the cultural shifts brought on by the #MeToo movement). The Senate didn’t want to do that…Go figure.

Bottom line, since December 2017, I’ve been waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop on Franken’s story. One that exposes that he, at some point, really did cross a significant line (in my pig eyes) in the abuse of women. Yet I’ve seen nary a Ked, a Naturalizer, or even a Birkenstock fall. And until that Louis Vuitton (?) plummets from the heavens, I’m with Franken. And if that day comes, and I’m proven wrong, I will drop Franken faster than you can say “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me”.

[END OF TANGENT.]

I had to dig deep (in the search results I mentioned prior to that brutally long tangent) to find an announcement, from April, publicizing that Franken would be making his first public appearance on May 1st at the Privacy Xchange Forum 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, to present a speech titled “Lies and Lying Liars in 2018: Privacy, Competition and Russian Election Meddling”. I dug deeper and found that the speech was live streamed on YouTube. As of today, one full month later, it has a WHOPPING 4,554 views! THAT’S 150 VEIWS A DAY!!!! WOW!!!!!!!

I highly suggest watching this video. It addresses, and bolsters, many of the points I raised in my last post regarding Google’s monopoly and unchecked power. I hate to sound like a conspiracist (too late), but it is funny how buried and unwatched the video of this speech is. Could this speech be (dun-dun-DUN!) Algorithmically Incorrect?

Jokes aside, I just want you to watch this video and remember just a small slice of what this man was fighting for as a Senator and what a pin-headed mistake it was to send him away.

So yeah, my post title is a little obtuse. Check the speech to tune into what I’m getting at. It’s not direct, but it’s in there…buried.

P.S. The loss of net neutrality is a very serious issue. It will negatively affect free speech. Don’t fool yourself.

P.P.S. Fuck Google.

P.P.P.S. no…really #FUCKGOOGLE

Success Rewards Itself

I was watching “Face the Nation” last Sunday. Host Margaret Brennan was interviewing Larry Kudlow, top economic adviser to #PresidentShithead, about the sketchy, chaotic, campaign-promised Trade War #PS started. Toward the end of that chat, in the context of discussing who such policies benefit (the donor class or the working class), they had this exchange.

KUDLOW: I happen to like successful people. I’m perfectly happy to use the JFK-Ronald Reagan idea that a rising tide lifts all boats-

BRENNAN: [Wryly] You’re still a trickle down guy.

KUDLOW: I don’t- it’s not trickle down, Margaret. It’s incentives. It’s don’t punish success, reward success.

Reward success”? This unpleasantly rattled in my brain for a moment and then my mouth involuntarily quipped to the unhearing flat screen (it wasn’t a Samsung), “Success rewards itself!”

Is it really for me to believe that I am supposed to feel sorry for “successful” people or corporations because they are under threat of being “punish”ed? That they need “incentives” and “rewards”?… That’s pretty out there, man. That’s a head scratcher, and a pretty one-dimensional way of looking at the situation.

So far as I can see, the “successful” seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. Even to the point where when they bankrupted our financial system with massive, institutionalized fraud, as they did in the 2008, setting off the Great Recession, our government, in response, threw them as much new money as they could print and cut their interest rates.

Hey! I smell something fishy…

One man’s success is another man’s misfortune

I’m turning an old idiom around here to make a point about the “successful” people who currently hold the reins of our governmental, financial, energy and information systems. How was their “success” earned? Go research their backgrounds. You will find many stories. Some of these stories might just follow a common narrative. One that shows that many of the most “successful” people and corporations, in our open and free market, built their success on crushing and destroying other people’s “successful” ventures. It’s called competition. It’s not a bad thing, per se. But let’s not pretend that they deserve any “reward”s for their ability to dominate a market or consolidate capital. The result is the reward…sorry, no extra bonus rewards for you (boo hoo).

Often in pursuit of this lofty goal of achieving “success” ethical lines are crossed, laws are broken and innocent people are financially crushed (think about 2008, or all the small businesses that lost to Big Box stores, or the cost of prescription drugs, or this corrupt Trump administration). Let’s not pretend, in an era of relatively unchecked corporate and financial consolidation (i.e., trusts and monopolies), purchased from our compromised government by neu-robber barons, that there is a totally fair and balanced playing field out there to be enjoyed by all.

Common man, are you out there? Hello…?

I go back to this statement “don’t punish success, reward success.”, and I’m thinking the common man, let’s say someone like me, someone who didn’t have a father hand him millions of dollars (mind you, I’m talking 70s and 80s dollars) to get started in the New York real estate market (read, #PS), might look at this communication coming from a representative of our government’s chief executive, and think, maybe, just maybe, “Hey! This particular leadership group isn’t looking out for my interests after all.” Then again maybe the common man doesn’t see it. Maybe they’re thinking about abortion, gay marriage and school prayer…fuck.

Either way, we common men might want to look at these leaders who self-identify as the “successful” and try to get real as to how their “success” is often cultivated. We may need to accept that these “successful” people are often, in fact, not so much “successful” people, as they are “grabbers”.

The Grabbers

So what are “grabbers”? Pretty simple, grabbers grab. Throughout history, grabbers have always grabbed, and they always will. They may be benevolent grabbers, they may be sociopathological grabbers, they may even be malevolent grabbers. Whatever they are, they will grab whatever they can without incentive, trust me. And they are part of the fabric of the human equation. And they will always be surrounded by complicit drones who are more-than-happy to feed off whatever morsels the grabber trickles down. And that is life, and I’m willing to accept reality. And I’ll be clear, I’m not advocating grabber eradication…I’m more focused on grabber education and grabber control.

We, the non-grabbers, just need a strong, judicious, non-grabber-based representative government who will gently extract the needed resource percentage back from the grabbers to inject it back into publicly accessible and fairly distributed revenue streams. Ya know, infrastructure programs, education, medical-right-thru-to-end-of-life care, poverty relief (yada yada yada). This way we won’t all have to tune-in to the grabber mentality to achieve their narrow construct of “success” to survive. Because, if I’m reading things right, too many grabbers is not a great thing…on the whole. [Insert off-color grabber/whole joke here]… Just sayin’.

Totalitarian Creep

I was watching Peter Lassally’s interview on CBS Sunday Morning. He was an Executive Producer on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, but he is also a Nazi Holocaust concentration camp survivor. In the interview, he confessed that, in the last year, he has lost his appetite for fiction and light entertainment. He said he sleeps about 4 hours a night and spends his entire day watching and ingesting news.

So, with his tragic background, Peter Lassally might have some deeper understanding of the stakes we are playing with in pacifying #PresidentShithead. Maybe Lassally has firsthand insight on how a strident minority population can create enough momentum to turn a divided country into despotic, criminal war machine. A criminal war machine that turns on, and scapegoats, its own population with violent and murderous oppression in order to consolidate and maintain power. You think it can’t happen here? Peter Lassally KNOWS BETTER THAN YOU WHAT CAN HAPPEN. He’s watching VERY, VERY closely because of just what he knows. Think on that.

Like Lassally, I have also lost interest in many of the things I used to mindlessly, or by routine, enjoy. For example, I used to listen to Howard Stern in the morning…not anymore! It’s “Morning Joe” for me now. Where I watch recovering Neocons ponder how things went so wrong (oh the innocence of youth…and the “enhanced interrogation techniques”…and the war profiteering…but I’m sure they’ll figure it out someday).

I have appropriated a term to define what has us all so “off our milk”…I call it “Totalitarian Creep”. No, this is not a new nickname for #PresidentShithead, although, yes, by any conceivable measure, the man is a certified “creep”. I am referring to “Totalitarian Creep” – a condition more akin to the global warming of our country’s character. Charmingly, if you search the term “Totalitarian Creep” on Google, you will find the highest ranked results come from posts from the last decade criticizing the Obama administration (isn’t that cute?). Set that aside. Look at this culture. You are living in the midst of Totalitarian Creep.

So how did we get here?

We have a minority political party (the Republican Party, in case you were wondering) that tries to maintain a narrative that we (read as “the conscientious”) are overreacting to #PresidentShithead’s never-ending trolling and mercurial positional inconsistency. They say, when asked about this shitshow of an administration, that we must keep our attention “on the policy, not the man”. So we look at the policy; Robber Baron sponsored deregulation under the banner of Neo-libritarianism (which is really Social Darwinism), Unilateralism based on the unhinged and uninformed whims and moods of #PresidentShithead, a deficit spiking corporate welfare tax reform bill written by the Robber Barons, the purging of non-political Federal employees so they can be replaced with “loyalists”, the dismantling of our nascent National Health Service, an inability to face down our number one foreign threat actor (cowardice most likely inspired by some fucked up blackmail scenario). I could go on-and-on. So we look at the policy (you know, because we were asked to) and it turns out the policies are just as shit as the man himself.

So, to these blind-ass Republicans I say, “You need to wake the fuck up. Look in the mirror. See if there is a wisp of a soul floating around somewhere in the back of one of your glazed-over, nonentity eyeballs. It might be somewhere near the retina. Got a lock on it? Good! Try to commune with that thing (it must be a shriveled little thing). Okay. You have your listening hat on now? I’m just gonna say this right close into your ear, if that’s alright. YOUR PRESIDENT IS TOTALLY FUCKED UP AND IT ISN’T OKAY!!! CLEAN HOUSE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BUY A PAIR OF BALLS AND STOP THIS SHIT NOW!!! BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!! YOUR POLITICAL FUTURE IS FUCKED ANYWAY!!! SO BE A HERO FOR ONCE IN YOUR SHITTY, SELF-CENTERED-AYN-RAND-WANKING LIVES!!!”

But wait there’s more!

So, this Republican Party, they could have played things differently last year. After all, eight years before that, they viewed and treated Obama as a threat and an aberration, obstructing him for his two full terms. They also race-baited with birtherism, which the Koch’s (i.e, Robber Barons) were only more than glad to parlay into the racism-fueled Tea-Party movement. A movement that loaded the congress with a new class of bought-and-paid-for, moronic, racist, sexist, tax-hating, Social Darwinists. So, yeah, that happened. My point, they have notable experience in obstructionism on their resume.

However, last year, this same Republican leadership, when faced with the ACTUAL threat and aberration that is #PresidentShithead, well, they went a different way this time (surprise, surprise). They checked the weather report, realized where their racist/sexist wedge-base and their corporate overlords were at, and rolled over like the little, bought-and-paid-for bitches they are…midterms to think about, after all.

NEVERMIND Trump has a hard-on for dictators and fancies himself one.
NEVERMIND Trump is steadily rebuilding Federal Law enforcement into a self protection scheme.
NEVERMIND Trump is an unhinged id monster that feeds on his own media.
NEVERMIND Trump is a terrible role model for, literally, anyone.
NEVERMIND Trump is a criminal and a traitor…allegedly.

How fucking stupid are these Republicans? Can’t they see that America needs to heal? We need to get away from this fuck? (This is like the worst abusive marriage of all time. I want a divorce.) Can’t they see that a Chief Executive Twitter troll has to be cut-out, dealt-with? Can’t they see that America is the bastion against dictators? That its anti-dictatorial history is, in fact, the only thing that makes America exceptional? Can’t they give Peter Lassally a fucking break? (Let him get back to his stories…the guy lived through the fucking Holocaust after all.)

Can’t they recognize Totalitarian Creep when it’s at the gate?

Oh yeah, that’s right, they thought Obama was the Totalitarian. UFFA!

We’re fucked.

Married to the Mob

I’m not an expert on organized crime, but I watch a lot of TV and movies. So, I’m not a D.A. or a police detective or an ex-con or a current-con. But I’ve watched the Godfather Trilogy, Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, The Untouchables, The Sopranos, just to name a few. I also have a general interest in true crime journalism, in print and on TV. I know much of what we see in fiction is, just that, fiction, but there are some universal truths related to how organized crime works, and three specific tenets that I think are significant today.

  1. Illegal money has to be laundered.
  2. Once you become complicit with an organized crime syndicate (for example, conspiring in a money laundering scheme), the syndicate will use this connection as leverage against you (for control, blackmail, extortion, racketeering, etc).
  3. You don’t play along; you can get whacked.

It’s pretty sick stuff, but it works for the bad guys. Fortunately, we have a Federal Bureau of Investigations here in the United States to protect us from organized crime syndicates. Is the FBI perfect? No. Do they make mistakes? Yes. But they are our only and best Army to defend against the ever present threat of organized crime corrupting in our lawful Democracy.

Bottom line, if you are greedy (and morally bereft) then dirty money is hard to turn down. But this initial “handshake” is just your initiation in to being groomed as an asset by the syndicate. Once you put your hands on that dirty money, you are now a co-conspirator and the syndicate owns you…or you go to jail…or you get whacked.

If you are greedy, morally bereft and stupid, you may not understand that this is the deal, you might even think you are clever enough to escape it, but you’re not and it IS the deal, and your stupidity will not save you.

So What?

So why am I going on about this? Because it ties in with my perception of what I am witnessing playing out in our very highest seat of power, in the highest chair of the executive branch of the United States Federal Government.

If I’m perceiving things correctly, #PresidentShithead is being leveraged by an international organized crime syndicate (one that also just happens to be a nation state). This leverage is sticking because he, his company, his campaign, and/or his family is/are somehow complicit, or were complicit, with this syndicate’s very real money laundering activities.

Being leveraged (i.e., owned), our chief executive does not speak out or act in opposition to this syndicate in any way, or at any time, no matter what the syndicate does.

In fact, to go one further, this executive, and his minions, are in the process of a waging a disinformation campaign slandering our FBI. The FBI, like I said, being our only and best protection from organized crime syndicates.

Weird, huh?

And so…

The Mueller probe is going to spill the beans, eventually. And here’s what I’m thinking…

Here’s my prediction. And I’m just waiting for it to come out (if it’s allowed to come out). We are going to learn that it’s no great coincidence that Paul Manafort’s alleged money laundering conspiracy with the syndicate was falling apart in 2015, just prior to his attachment to the Trump campaign. I see this series of events as Manafort being compelled by the syndicate (via leverage) to do a job for them.

ALSO

We are going to get a whole bunch of information about the Trump organization’s financials, showing a longstanding, deep and solvency-sustaining transactional history with the syndicate (i.e., dirty money was touched).

What then…

Oh, it’s going to really suck for this country when it all comes out. A lot of good people (i.e., Republicans and Trumpees) are going to have to take a long, deep look in the mirror and accept they were duped (or, I guess, continue to live in denial).

There will be a constitutional crisis, because Trump will not resign. Say what you will about Nixon, he was not a great man, but he found the decency, humility, dignity and love-for-county to resign when the truth came out. I don’t think Trump will resign, because Trump’s alleged crimes are tied to conspiracies with other nation states, and those are very high crimes, and he is not going to cop to them under any circumstances. He will burn this country down around him before he comes clean.

And look, that’s to be expected. In your experience, do wiseguys sing like canneries at the first sign of trouble? Or instead, do they tend to claim totally innocence? I think the latter. I think it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see an immoral, guilty person stand up and proclaim, “I did it all, and this is how I did it. Let me start with blah blah blah…” NO, it doesn’t go like that. You have to collect all the evidence and throw the book at them.

On one hand, I’m elated… on the other (the much the more significant hand, that is really weighing on my mind), I’m terrified. Truly terrified.

But anything has to be better than being married to the mob.