Time’s Up

Dear Representative Pelosi…Hi…How are you?

…Me? I’m “good”.

Yeah, I don’t write much for this blog anymore. I was feeling, with the political stuff, that I was getting redundant. I was tired of reacting to #PresidentShithead’s redundancies. I was also disheartened that the Democratic Party leadership (I am not a Democrat, BTW) in this newly won Congress was not being more strident in their pursuit of exposing #PresidentShithead as the compromised, corrupt and dangerous president that he is.

From my vantage, this years performance has appeared to be a very weak show. A lot of ignored subpoenas met with a lot of waiting. As if waiting is somehow going to change the fact that this administration is never going to willfully contribute to its own demise (spoiler alert…he knows he’s guilty). So yes, Democrats, you look weak. You look afraid to speak the truth. You appear to be afraid of following the law because it may be unpopular.

And so this inaction becomes the story.

Yet #PresidentShithead is the same asshole he has always been. He plays the exact same moves, over and over. He has perfected his racist-trope-Twitter-rants to the point that their release is now a predictable ritual.

The message is hard to miss…brown people stay out of this country…and, if you happen to be brown and here already, if you aren’t going to pledge fealty to Trump then go back to the “shithole” from whence you came…It’s fucking crazy.

The media responds, due to moral obligation, and sometimes it feels like a lot of time spent letting us know that the sky is still blue. All the while the “big rip-off” continues to happen in the background, cloaked in a calculated dust cloud.

We get stories on the corruption, but they don’t get the same level of “engagement” as the culture war stuff. Too boring. And it’s hard to make the argument that we shouldn’t make a priority of fighting presidential racism, especially in the midst of the border refugee detention crisis, but it seems to distract from getting the financials and getting the impeachment process started. And that is where we want him and his administration…on trial.

I have this fantasy of a Trump media blackout…starting with a lifetime Twitter ban. I mean, is Twitter a constitutional right? Ban the fuck. Send him a message…Well, a man can dream anyway.

But what I keep thinking about, in the swirl of distraction, is that all the while Mitch McConnell is choking our courts with states’ rights zealot appointees who will serve one purpose…keeping the Republican political machines in low population “Republican states” strong, via states’ rights.

By funding political machines in low population states they keep thier “farm teams” strong and entrenched there, leading to the output of Republican senators from these states, keeping Republicans in control of the Senate…and, better yet, they can even manage to grab the Presidency while losing the popular vote by millions…due to this fucked up electoral college bullshit.

They game the system so that even though, by population and actual support, the Republican machine should only hold a 45% stake of political power, this minority somehow rules over us…and impedes our ability to keep the wealth class in check. So long as Republicans maintain this control, we will never get big money out of our government.

You see the Republican party is the defacto party for land owners and tycoons who depend on “states’ rights” to keep their taxes and regulations low so they can continue to “grow”.

And so we see for example, through disinformation, that climate change is branded a debate, instead of the crisis it is. Because if it was a crisis, well then you couldn’t make big money fracking your land for combustion fuel and pumping poisonous chemicals directly into the water table. But if the Republican Political Machine is strong…you can. Because the truth isn’t the truth. So donate today!

States’ rights is not a bad thing. But Republicans don’t really care about states’ rights for the betterment of all, they care about it as a useful tool to consolidate and keep capital and power. They use it not to protect the states from the Federal government, but to ensure they have control over the Federal government. It’s a means to an end. You can buy and control the Political Machine of a small state for a steal…Buying the whole country?…Well that’s just not good “business sense”.

They use states’ rights deftly to protect their position. Look at voter suppression in the south. Do you think that would be possible without their abuse of states’ rights protections?

You see, it’s not a Trump cult. It never was. It’s a wealth cult. It’s a money cult. It’s a power cult. It just happens to align with Trump because it also happens to be a white power cult. It’s a “chocolate meets peanut butter” situation. Except, in this case, the chocolate is white and the peanut butter was manufactured in a low regulation state and is teaming with salmonella.

Trump and Trumpism does not happen without a Mitch McConnell…period. McConnell is a morally empty, power-obsessed chess master who cynically used the white fear generated by Obama’s election, and played the racist Tea Party movement that white fear supercharged, to create the dominant minority rule situation we are now living under.

Maybe that dominant minority rule party didn’t mean to shit out a Trump, but it did.

And it’s a marriage made in hell. You know the true Republican leadership (and their financiers) all despise Trump. They told the truth about him when he was a candidate. But just as Trump is Putin’s useful idiot, so too is he the Republican Party’s idiot, as well. And in a short time their relationship became quite symbiotic. Think of Trumpism and the Republican Party as conjoined twins that even the BRILLIANT Dr. Ben Carson could not separate without killing them both. McConnell recognizes this, cynically accepts it, and just goes on playing his own redundant, malevolent game.

And us, the plebs, the peasants, we’re all suckers. But Mitch…he got out.

And if you don’t care about social justice (or feel threatened by it) and you are working, got a job (or hoping for a job)…well then maybe you don’t care about the toxic race hate culture infesting your party. And so you throw your support to Trump and the Republicans. Because things seem good for you (“It’s the economy, stupid”)…So forget about the law, forget about the spending, forget about the ripoff, forget about the recession that is coming. The recession where we’ll have no international ties and we’ll be spent to the hilt for. How could that go badly? Just put your trust in Trump and McConnell. They’ve got your back. They’ll be there for ya. You couldn’t find two more wonderful guys looking to help others.

So this monolithic, moronic stupidity gets us up from 30% (being the base “basket of deplorables” quotient) to a nice firm 45% in support for Trump. That truth scares the shit out of me. And, no doubt, it scares the shit out of the Democratic leadership…and keeps them from moving on impeachment.

That’s right, I was talking about Impeachment

I was. I’m sorry. It’s all related…that’s my point. The Republican Machine is hell bent on saving Trump to save themselves (see, conjoined twins).

We are at war! A war for this country’s future. It is time to start acting like it.

Here’s the news: Mueller has spoken. To paraphrase the message “There is substantial evidence that Trump engaged in criminal activity”. And this was just within the narrow confines of what the probe was allowed to investigate related to election interference. Trust me, there is more.

Mueller is not media friendly. I don’t give a fuck. He is a conservative who believes in the law…that it matters. That, I do give a fuck about. Mueller said that when Trump is no longer President (and not under his current “special” protections) he believes Trump can be criminally charged for his actions as President. He said these things outright and under oath to congress.

So…

Trump is a lying criminal who has no business being the President of the United States. Not for one more day. Period.

Nancy, I beg you, make it known that the law is not based on a popularity contest. It is the law. The law matters. It is your duty to start the process to impeach the President.

I know Mitch McConnell will kill it in the Senate. Let him. Let it be another part of his terrible legacy.

Don’t let pacification be yours.

I’ll make an analogy…

The Mueller Report is a call to the fire department (in this case the House of Representatives). A building is on fire (the building might be America…Clever, huh?). The fire fighters shows up in their ladder trucks. They see the building has smoke pouring out of the top.

What should they do? Should they…

  1. Stare at the smoke, and consider closer analysis of the smoke, and discuss the pros and cons of fighting the fire and risk offending pyromaniacs in swing districts. Allowing enough time to elapse in the debate that the whole building burns to the ground.
  2. Grab their axes and hoses and go fight the fucking fire, FULL TILT.

If you picked “A” you might be Nancy Pelosi. And that’s okay. I’m not saying I’m right. I have an opinion. And my opinion is this (and then I’ll get off)…

We have “law” in this country. Anti-Trumpers, like myself, flog Trump for undermining the law.

Okay, now look at the “wait until we build popular support”/“make the case” position. You wait. And you wait. The longer you wait the more the law seems like an “optional” thing. In time it becomes “Maybe what he did wasn’t so bad”. Or “If there was something to this they would have done something.” Which eventually gets to “If they aren’t doing anything they must be full of shit. They are just trying to punish him for beating them”…

People WILL come to see it this way, especially people who are not steeped in the facts or educated in civics (and there are a lot of them…thanks states’ rights).

I know that when the law has ever come for me…for, let’s say, a speeding ticket, nothing optional happens there. I’m on the hook. I pay or I’m fucked.

So if application of the law is seen as optional here, what kind of precedent does that set? What kind of message does that send? To admit the president is above the law so long as he maintains popular support? So long as he is rich and connected?

If so, why the FUCK should we respect the law at all?

Does law become meaningless? Just a cudgel to control the working class?

Tell me Nancy, does diluting the law through pacification undermine the law? I think it does.

Lawlessness can happen at both ends. If you want these lawful institutions to survive, thrive, and grow to serve us better…please apply the law.

The constitution assigns the duty of prosecuting a law-breaking President to the Congress. For the law, if not the country, get off your ass and do it, Nancy.

Time’s up.

The Shutdown Isn’t About the Wall

Yeah, the shutdown isn’t about the wall anymore…if it ever was. It’s day 35 of said shutdown now. On December 11, 2018, our beloved leader, “#PresidentShithead” Trump, in a very cringe televised meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, said he was going to shutdown the government if he didn’t get $5.7 billion for the border wall (the 2000 mile long southern border wall that Mexico was going to pay for…To be clear, I don’t want anyone to pay for that wall). In the meeting, Trump should have been wearing a bib, bonnet and diaper…he clearly needed a changing. Not surprisingly, the Democratic leadership said, “No deal.”…that Trump could stick those steel slats up his ass…sideways. He knew they would not accept his ultimatum…it was all stagecraft.

On December 22, 2018, while the Republicans still held the House majority, an appropriations bill was sent up to keep the government funded. It included a negotiated 1.6 billion for “border security”. In a prior meeting, #PresidentShithead signaled to goiter-turtle McConnell that he would accept a bill that did not include the 5.7 billion. This promise being the only reason McConnell would allow the bill to go to a vote…and so that appropriations bill was unanimously passed by the senate… Well, it turned out that Trump lied (WHAT?) and would not sign the appropriations bill after all, not without the 5.7 billion…and the government shut down…just in time for Christmas. Isn’t that sweet? A Christmas gift for us? The American people? Oh, he shouldn’t have (No, seriously, he really shouldn’t have).

So yeah, all that is bullshit. It’s the facts, or better, some of the facts. But it all seems to be framed wrong, in my mind at least, in what I see coming from the main (“lame”) stream media.

[Pushes up spectacles and giggles to self while typing.]

Here’s the deal, the shutdown is a stall. It’s a distraction. It’s a smokescreen.

Trump is hitting the “snooze button” to stall the inevitable destruction of his Presidency.

So long as the government can’t function, the government can’t “get him”.

We’ve all had those experiences…when you know something bad and inevitable is coming your way…You just don’t want to deal with it “right now” so you just find some way to put it off. You know the end is inevitable, but you just want another week, another day, another hour…before your number comes up…before you have to pay the piper (Hitler in the bunker, anyone?…Too dated? How’s about Billy McFarland at the Fyre Festival?)

Trump is fucked. He knows it. He knows that the Democratic House is going to roast him alive. All the itty-bitty-titty committees are going to convene and start digging into all his shit and he won’t have Devin “the Waterboy” “Numb-nuts” Nunes (and his analogs) there to cock-block the Dems anymore. The Dems have subpoena power now. The Dems have been waiting two years to get to Trump’s fucking, and they are going to fuck him good…and there will be no lube.

And Trump will be easy pickings, because he is an immoral, corrupt, lying criminal. Sure, he’s a criminal who, with the help of Vladimir Putin, conned just enough racists, superstitious, hateful, greedy and stupid Americans into voting for him to get elected President. But he’s a criminal nonetheless.

The thing is that Trump’s “little” shutdown, the one that gave him a January of “not having to deal with it”… well, it’s not “little” to all the Federal workers who are affected. It’s a BIG deal to them. They have financial obligations, they have daycare payments, they’ve got kids in college, they’ve got children and spouses with healthcare problems, they have parents in assisted living facilities. Some of these people are living paycheck to paycheck. They are not the wealth class. When their ends don’t meet they suffer, they lose. What Trump is doing to these people is straight up evil. But he doesn’t care.

If there is one thing we know, Trump is a narcissist and he doesn’t give a shit about anybody but himself. His comfort is king. Just remember what Trump’s daughter-in-law said, that the shutdown is “bigger than one person”…I guess that’s true, if you count Trump and her…then that makes two.

And the State of the Union drama is just another distraction point to buy another week’s vacation.

But the shutdown will end. The Democrats will not negotiate with a terrorist. They need to set a firm precedent with this asshole, that if he tries to hold the government hostage he loses.

And that shitheal McConnell, he’s doing his job…ever the control-freak partisan…sticking by his toxic, criminal President to the bitter end. But it’s all just “by the numbers”. The turtle’s been around long enough. He knows when he’s lost. He knows the President’s holding a losing hand. Now it’s just a waiting game until the President or the Senate fold. You can only stare at a losing hand for so long before you have to fold. In the words of Giuliani, “Put up or shut up.”

It was just a couple of days ago when the FBI Agents Association put out a statement that said “The shutdown has eliminated any ability to operate” and that “The fear is our enemies know they can run freely.”

“Well,” I thought, “that must be so comforting to the President”…to know that the FBI is now dysfunctional. Mission Accomplished.

But I think the shutdown is coming to an end soon. Like Giuliani said, “Put up or shut up.”

I could sit here and slag all these Trumpee assholes, one-by-one. But that would be a waste of my time. Fuck ’em. Paid comedians with full staffs of writers and researchers do a far better job of that than I can.

[Trump reaches for the snooze button again.]

[Tom Petty stands above him, dressed in full Tom Petty regalia: top hat, Roger McGuinn color tinted granny glasses, waistcoat, red sunburst Rickenbacker 360/12 strapped on (amp cranked to 11), flashing silver guitar pick raised high in hand…He stops, turns to the piano and plays Wake Up Time]

 

 

Lite Blog

Hi. Howaya? I started writing the piece below on December 30th. I got busy. Plus I wasn’t really all that taken with it, so I shelved it. I also felt it was analysis with little in the way of “fun” spin, so I thought it wasn’t in the spirit of the blog. I wanted to get in my general disappointments with the administration and the lack of movement nationally toward an assault weapon ban as a sort of “end of year wrap-up”. It just seemed slight in light of the actual year.

Today, January 11, 2019, our federal government is in the midst of a record-setting-long government shutdown that is the work of one man (one immoral and vomitous man. Guess who.), in a desperate attempt to create political momentum to brace himself…to save himself from the incoming storm that will sweep over him when the Mueller Probe drops their report. If federal workers and those that rely on them, their income or services suffer, so be it. Most sickening is the support this behavior gets from the Republicans in the Senate.

I just want to make a short point here based on the news of the day, before I get to the news of yesterday.

Trump’s wall and the philosophy behind it must be fought to the death.

There is a need for a lot of funding on the border (even funding for new walls, barriers and fences, as well as maintenance and upgrades on the existing 500+ miles of existing barriers…that is what we call “infrastructure maintenance”). No one with any reason is calling for “open borders”, or removal of exiting barriers. Okay?

I just don’t trust the racist, xenophobic assholes of this administration to apply that funding. If they are really concerned about the influx of refugees fleeing Central America seeking asylum in the US, then I need to hear something in the plan about how all that is going to be addressed at the source. That really should be the main thing to talk about. I also need to hear about the investment in humanitarian solutions to help these refugees until the source problem is addressed (such as investment in better refugee handling facilities or procedures).

Instead, we just get the same old tired fear tactics about crime, drugs and terrorism as justification to push through the manifestation of that tired old 2000-mile-long-wall trope. Everything else, the source problem and the humanitarian crisis it creates, gets swept under the rug. Why? Because construction projects are easy. Finding solutions to actual problems that work…that fix the source of the problem…that’s hard. That takes real commitment, empathy, investment, sacrifice. I don’t think these asshole Republicans understand any of these things.

I’m not going to support funding some racist band-aid solution…A solution that’s only being discussed (at this level of national attention) because some asshole wants to say he kept his promise to his asshole supporters…so they’ll “be there for him” in the inevitable, upcoming impeachment fight.

Today, I see so many “band-aid” solutions to very serious issues. The southern border security issue (as framed by Trumpists) isn’t even on my radar as a crisis. We have robust, well funded border security and immigration enforcement. But this band-aid solution of a wall will do nothing to address the problems it is purported to “fix”. We will still have an opioid crisis. We will still have crime where there is poverty. We will still have shifting demographics and the insecurity and fear they can generate.

It’s really tough for me to witness this farce…to know how many people it’s hurting. All in some sick attempt to give solace to isolationist, racist and xenophobic Trumpists and White Nationalist. And the Republican Senate is totally behind it. They could get us out of this shutdown with a supermajority vote…They could, but they wont. I wonder why?

So now on to the other bit…

The “crummy” End-of-Year piece

So, this year. This fucking year. I’ve been so challenged this year. Remember when people said that 2017 was rotten?  That was so cute. Well, here comes 2019.

And I know 2019 is either going to be Trump’s impeachment or the fight for Trump’s impeachment. It has to be. His behavior as president has been too disgraceful for the new House to ignore. I mean what is a “President” anymore? The construct is so degraded at this point.

Trump’s doctrine of “I alone”-ism is an affront to and assault on the constitution he swore to obey and protect. His impeachment in the House (regardless of the Senate’s support) is going to happen in 2018. Bet on it.

Trump was (shortsightedly) protected by the Republican majority in the House until now. With the Democrats taking over, things are going to get really tough, really fast. And it needs to be that way. Trump is a threat to our country through, just to start, his immorality and incompetence. You need to face a threat like that head-on. There is no other way (We don’t need a “Chamberlain” right now. We don’t need to appease him. We can’t afford it). We don’t need to live under this Trumpism bullshit; this never-ending bullhorn blasting hatred and lies.

If the Democratic house does not pull out every stop to make Trump completely transparent to the American people they will have failed.

As I see it, all presidents need to be totally financially and ethically transparent to the population they serve; we need to know every connection point, every sphere of influence. That must be the price paid to become President. If you want to serve as the President you have to come clean. No lies. You lie (specifically to hide a crime), you’ve perjured yourself to your oath of office and you need to go.

Trump’s obsession with southern border security and his popularity with the white nationalist movement are also worth feeling sick over. The child separation policy is a perfect window into the mind of this fuck and the people who support him.

So yeah, in 2019 were going to need to put all of Trump’s shit out in public and try to get the Republicans to “manage their yard”…ya know? “Pull the weeds”. We do this not because we want to, but because we have to. We have to protect this country from this treat.

2019 is going to be intense. You throw a recession on top of that and we’re talking fun city. It’ll make 2018 look like a fucking daydream.

Guns

Anyway, I really came here to write about guns. Which is something I think about at this time every year. I’m always seeing a “Year’s Biggest Stories” news special around this time of year and there is always a section about the mass shootings that happened in the last year.

I’ve always been sensitive to this. If you aren’t you are a sick fuck (IMHO). But I became more sensitive in 2012. I became very rigid on this subject when the Newtown massacre happened, when twenty 6 and 7-year-olds where slaughtered, literally blown to pieces, in minutes (seconds) with an AR15. I recall watching the news that day, ELEVEN DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, holding my newborn son in my arms. I saw the truth with such clarity that day, I never will be moved off of it. The voice of GOD! This truth I saw? All assault rifle style firearms need to taken out of public circulation NOW!

I hate all guns. I prefer no guns at all. That said, I appreciate and respect that people want to have the right to feel protected. They want to have access to a lethal weapon that can afford them that protection. I say we can meet that need without the assault weapons.

I’ll give you the common arguments I see (arguments I have had to answer) and my responses.

Argument 1) “What you call assault weapons are really semi-automatic firearms; a category that includes handguns and hunting rifles. You, as someone who doesn’t own a firearm, don’t know what you are talking about. There are no differences between semi-automatic firearms. You outlaw one and it’s a slippery slope. Your ignorance is going to impede my right to protect myself and my right to bear arms”

So, this one is easy. AR15 style weapons have a long barrel, high muzzle velocity and ammunition that explodes inside the body. It is not a hand gun. It is not a hunting riffle. It is the semi-automatic version of a military assault weapon designed with one purpose, to kill large amounts of humans efficiently.

In that way it is its own category of weapon and ammunition. See? People with reason or brains understand the concept of categories. Like “because this item has these specific pre-determined attributes, it belongs in such-and-such category”…Go to an online firearm retailer, they seem be able to determine categories. See? https://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/semiautomatic-centerfire-rifles/_/N-1114861/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_105524280

Militaries choose this weapon and ammunition type over handguns and hunting rifles (and their related ammunition) for a reason. They want to inflict maximum casualties, to bring maximum lethality. They choose a long barrel gun with a high muzzle velocity that causes the bullet to explode and shred the organs inside the target…to insure not just “incapacity” but death.

When the bullet hits your body whether it comes from a fully automatic version of this weapon type vs semi- automatic hardly matters. Your organs explode…You die.

To go one further semi vs full auto doesn’t really slow the shooter either. Per some self-confessed firearms expert on Quota (https://www.quora.com/Do-you-prefer-3-round-burst-or-full-auto-in-a-military-rifle):

“Suppressive fire is the classic reason one uses a weapon in full automatic configuration, but continuous fire from a skilled operator firing a semi-automatic weapon can create the same desired effect.”

This 60 minutes story lays the facts out pretty well (if you care to know them):

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ar-15-used-mass-shootings-weapon-of-choice-60-minutes/

So, no. AR15 type weapons are not the same as other semi automatic firearms, they are a type or category of firearm and ammunition and, as such, can be singled out and banned based on pre-determined attributes that would not affect access to other categories of semi automatic firearms.

Argument 2) “Assault weapons only account for a small fraction (2%) of firearm related deaths. Singling them out is foolish, unfair and unreasonable.”

I’m not sure about the accuracy of firearm death statistics because the CDC isn’t funded to get all the info. I want to see their full report, when it is funded. I think it will be very illuminating.

When we get these reports and records, I want to see these deaths put into very specific categories. For example, if we make a category for “unhinged shooters” I think we will see that the percentage of murders committed using assault rifles goes up.

Bottom line, I don’t care if it’s 2% or 0.2%.

The day we have a mass shooting with an assault rifle that was illegally acquired because it was against the law to own such a weapon will be a sad, tragic day. But it will be a day I’ll be comforted to know that we, as a country, did what we could to stop it from happening with our system, legally.

I’ll be comforted to know that we will able to prosecute every link in the illegal/black-market supply chain that delivered that gun to that killer.

Argument 3) “Regulations don’t stop the criminals from getting banned firearms.”

Okay…That is the dumbest argument of all. Following that logic to its natural conclusion means we shouldn’t have any laws at all, because all laws can, and will, be broken.

People who have an understanding about reality, understand that laws do not keep immoral, antisocials from committing crimes. Instead these laws give law enforcement and the judicial system the ability to create programs to fight the black-market, collect and destroy contraband and punish people who break the laws related to owning, trading or committing crimes with banned firearms.

Laws don’t stop crime; they define what a crime is.

In conclusion

I’m a dreamer. I want assault rifles gone. I want Trump and Trumpism gone. Is 2019 gonna get me any of this?…Well, probably not the assault rifles, anyway.

The 60 Minutes Piece Is Shelved…Indefinitely

Well, I go away for a couple of days and now we have letter bombs going to Democrats, including the two previous Democratic presidents, and CNN…the press, Trump’s #1 “Enemy of the People”.

Thank God none of the bombs went off. But there could be more bombs, and we don’t know who’s doing this. And this is happening less than TWO WEEKS before the midterms, during the most divisive political period I can remember, where every dirty trick in the book is being trotted out to keep power in the hands of the minority ruling party (voter suppression, race baiting, xenophobia). It’s fucked up. I can’t process it.

My two cents on this start with addressing any conspiracy theorists that call this a “false flag” or “spoof” attack (because none of the bombs detonated) and anyone who seeks to minimize the importance of this historic terror attack. If you minimize it, you are complicit with it, period, and you deserve to be harshly rebuked…as a fool or an immoral propagandist.

Trump read his prepared statement condemning the attack, and I know and believe he is against this kind of murderous terror violence.

However, Trump has repeatedly called for, or justified, violence towards, and the legal prosecution of, his political rivals, or really anyone he deems to be against him. He dehumanizes and falsely attributes malevolence to his rivals. He has a cult following of people who live in a world of “Alternative Facts” and self-justified LYING. They are lying for a cause, so they accept the lies and accept the enemies list.

Bottom line, Trump, with his cult-of-personality as a “strong” man who “punches back” and as a President who lauds people who violently physically attack his opposition, sows the seeds of violence with his irresponsible rhetoric.

The thing about a violent action is that, once it starts, it cannot always be controlled and its consequences can be chain reactional, unintended and permanent (like death or maiming… and I don’t like either of those things, personally).

It takes just one person to think they are understanding Trump’s “code” better than anyone else to start this chain of events that we are now on and can not pretend to see the end of.

Is it so hard to do the math and see murderous violence is inevitable?

Do you think this will get better without a major change?

How fucked are we? (…pretty fucked)

The entire Republican Party leadership, in their refusal to officially censure Trump for the irresponsible handling of his office and his reckless and dangerous rhetoric, are digging a deep hole of moral bankruptcy…of immorality. Immoral behavior solely focused on holding on to the reins of power, no matter the cost. In light of these events, the cost is becoming more and more clear.

To put it in the vernacular…“It’s bad, really bad.”

And none of fundamentals of this equation are going to change unless we “Flip the House”.

So, yes, please VOTE for the most-likely-to-win non-Republican candidates…if you can.

(Warning…at this point the piece gets kind of “tangenty”…but it’s from the heart.)

Oh, by the way, I just want you to know that all this chaos, it’s the perfect environment for the wealth class to run their game of consolidating capital to more deeply entrench the wealth gap (for example, that sham of a tax overhaul). Us common people are being set up for the next big ripoff (yeah, based on cycles, we’re due for a recession..so look forward to that). Just watch.

Republicans need to take the bench for a good long while, to make room for someone with ideas on getting capital out of the hands of the hoarders and into the hands of the citizenry…So we all don’t feel so insecure…So every institution isn’t so underfunded and beleaguered…So we’re not all so primed to fall for the first snake-oil salesman who comes into town…So we don’t become so invested in the snake-oil salesman’s lies that we plot to murder the doctor. You know, the “Doctor”, the one who wants to use practical, proven means to “treat the patient”. I mean shit. I don’t even trust the doctor, but I’d rather take my chances with him…That’s some overwrought metaphor, huh? Woof!!

Look, if some of the wealth class don’t like paying American taxes they can fucking go. They can get the fuck out (and feel free to take Trump with them). They can go back to wherever they came from, or whatever country they are using as their tax shelter…But if they want to live in America, and be Americans, and enjoy our privileges, they have to PAY IN, period.

We have to fix this wealth gap problem or we are fucked…we’ll be looking back on these letter bomb days wistfully.

In closing, fuck the bomber and the toxic ideologies that inspired him.

This is gonna be a tough couple of weeks.

VOTE!!

Trump on 60 Minutes, a Rebuttal: Part 1

Note – I began this longpiece last Thursday and haven’t been able to find the time to get back to it since. So I decided to serialize it to get this first part out now. I’m not sure when I’ll have the free time to finish it. Hopefully soon?…

Leslie Stahl interviewed Donald Trump (aka #PresidentShithead) on 60 Minutes, broadcast on October 14th 2018. I watched it and it caused me so much stress that it made me feel physically ill. It gave me a migraine. I cannot believe that so many people in this country align themselves with this toxic, lying, hateful, corrupt megalomaniac. It shows a real failure in American culture.

I have been forced to observe and live with these faults in our culture for my entire life. And on some level I’m okay with it. I have to be to function. Nothing is perfect. I forced myself to believe these issues were manageable. But Goddamn when you are in the midst of a backslide of this order you really have to wonder where we’re going…and then…if you’re like me, you get a stress headache.

To “set the table”, I love America, but I am not a jingoistic robot. I am not a political animal. I do not align with at political party. I have been a nonconformist my entire life, not to be a contrarian, but because I am a skeptic. I am an observer. I analyze. I research. I accept scientific consensus. I accept empirical fact. But when it comes to cultural, religious, economic and political theory and orthodoxy I question deeply.

To my mind, anyone who even has thumbnail sketch of an understanding of human history should be right there with me…but they are not. In fact the vast majority are not. Why? Because the vast majority of people are conformists.

Conformity is the human condition that allows you to believe in supernatural forces through group think. It allows people to put aside all reason in order to live within a protective blanket of orthodoxy. It’s “In God we trust” (whatever your “God” is). It is a human survival instinct. I don’t even think it is all bad, per se. For example, I want people to come together as communities and share rituals. It’s just when those rituals, at one time, included public extrajudicial executions, I, personally, have to question the foundations of our culture…and I will. I want to look at it as objectively as I can. I want to embrace what I value in it and disregard or fight the rest.

Truth be told, America has a very spotty past (institutionalized slavery, genocide, racism, colonialism, subjugation of women, eugenics, environmental degradation…I could go on). Honest historians will always say that the USA represents an “experiment” in “small ‘l’ liberalism” through democracy (as in the experiment is still ongoing). That even though, at the outset, this liberty was only afforded to an elite (white, male property owners), that over time it was extended to all (at least on a Federal law level). In fact, liberty for all was not truly protected under federal law until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was 188 years after Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

As you know, Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner until the day he died.

So, yeah, spotty past, high ideals. Bottom line, fifty-four years ago, in 1964, our federal government finally came through and made these high ideals law. Fifty-four years is a blink. Don’t get too comfortable.

All this liberal protection…it can end. It can end just like that [snaps fingers]. “We the people” have to manage it. We have to protect it. We have to understand it and believe in it’s value. We have to share it…even with people we hate (through prejudice or life experience). We have to share it even with people who use it and yet still want to destroy it. We have to protect it in spite of them. And most importantly, we have to pay into it. All of us…even rich (or poor) Libertarian assholes.

I’ve said it before, we are living in the afterglow of the post WWII boom. Our current American society, our current American culture, our infrastructure, our iFucks…they are all birthed from Great Depression followed by an even Greater World War. We won. Even better, because we didn’t have to fight the war here, all of our great cities and factories weren’t firebombed to rubble like they were over there. All we had to do after the war was not be Nazis, create a global order, make money and innovate. We heavily taxed the rich, paid off the war debt and built the infrastructure for the suburban “reality” that I grew up in.

It seems like it should have gone on forever, but entropy being what it is, it didn’t.

For people older than me, the Vietnam War was where the “post-war dream” started to show signs of wear. And that lead to the Reagan era, where “trickle down economics” meant protecting the rich from taxation and regulation.

As for taxes, I’m just gonna say it…Bottom line…If we don’t tax and control the wealth class this “post-war dream” world the common man is living in is going to die. If you want it dead, I guess that’s your prerogative. Just be aware of the alternative. That’s all I ask. It may not be all it’s cracked up to be. We might be looking at its beginnings right now.

Now regulation is a complicated thing and it can go too far, but when it gets painted with the broad brush of “regulation is bad for business” I’m not buying it. Regulation exists to protect the common man and his natural environment from sociopathic sharks (i.e., a certain class of “businessmen”).

So, I wasn’t really here for Vietnam. I was a child and adolescent in the Reagan era. In my lifetime, I saw the “post-war dream” get its stress test in our society’s response to 9/11.

The 9/11 attack was a terrible, unforgivable crime and war was inevitable. I am not a pacifist. That said, the invasion of Iraq was not justified, period. Our government, military and intelligence communities normalization of torture and blatant war profiteering made a mockery of everything I came to believe about post-WWII America. It was at this point that I became an enemy of the Republican party. I never liked them up to that point. I knew they were just a haven for the selfish, racist and superstitious. But when their party leadership fought for torture, I determined they were malevolent and I swore I would never vote Republican at any level.

Then there was the great recession of 2008. Here we saw an unregulated wealth class (thanks Reaganomics) basically pull off one of the greatest financial crimes of all time, just basically ripping of the retirement savings of any common people who were in the position to have retirement savings in any kind of market account. And these thieves…they got away scot-free. A few low level scapegoats were hassled, but no one of any note was prosecuted. Our government, having lost complete control of the situation and in an attempt to avert total economic catastrophe, just printed new money to bail out these “market geniuses”.

Truth be told, a lot of the economic suffering and wage stagnation today’s American common people are suffering can be traced to Reaganomics, the War on Terror and the Great Recession. We lost a lot of ground there. We lost a lot of revenue and momentum that could have be spent on infrastructure, education, healthcare, eldercare…Who’d we lose it to? Rich assholes, that’s who.

But you’d be had pressed getting anywhere talking about it. Who would listen?

And this is just my little superficial observation. I could dig and dig and go on forever…but I came here to write about what our President, The President on the United States of America, is talking about. I just wanted you to know where I’m coming from before I dive into the, as I said before, literally sickening interview I watched last Sunday, several weeks before we pick our new government.

What she didn’t ask

First, I want to mention what Leslie Stahl didn’t ask about, the New York Times article about the Trump family’s tax fraud scheme. The article outlines how Trump, over the course of his career as a “businessman”, received hundreds of millions of dollars, tax free, from his father. This puts the lie to his bullshit backstory about how he was a self made man and explains why he will never willingly release his tax records. He was born wealthy and has spent his entire life dodging his tax obligations to this country, even to the point of committing fraud (as outlined in the NYT article).

I feel like this subject would have been worth a few moments of time in the interview. Even though he would have just dismissed it as “lies” and “fake news”, I think it would have been nice to see it addressed on camera, one-to-one. After all, these taxes the wealthy like Trump are dodging, if they were paid, that would be helpful to keep that “post-war dream” thing (that thing I seem to care so goddamn much about) going on…It would be nice if we had a leader a little more tied into the concept of embracing their citizen’s obligations to the betterment of all…just sayin’…moving on…

So what did they talk about. I took notes…

Hurricane Michael/Climate Change

Stahl asks about climate change. Trump, of course, is a denier. Why? Because of business interests, of course. There are still a lot of hydrocarbons left to dig up, process, burn and send into the air. Stopping now would be unfair to the robber barons.

On the Business:

President Donald Trump: I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t wanna be put at a disadvantage.

This is a oil/coal/gas company lie. Energy jobs are energy jobs, be they pollution creating or environment saving. This is just trump siding with the robber barons.

On climate change:

President Donald Trump: Something’s changing and it’ll change back again.

This is just stupid. Melted glaciers and drained aquifers don’t “change back”. What a lying asshole.

On the scientific consensus:

President Donald Trump: We have scientists that disagree with that.

One of Trump’s tropes is stating there are undefined “people” who support his positions. This is a lazy salesman technique. We all know he is pulling this out of his ass. We also all know that climate change denial scientists are right there on the same level with the doctors who said unfiltered Lucky Strikes cigarettes help to clear out the lungs.

On the “political agenda” of climate change scientists:

President Donald Trump: They say that we had hurricanes [in the distant past] that were far worse than what we just had with Michael.

Lesley Stahl: Who says that? “They say”?

President Donald Trump: People say. People say that in the–

Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?

President Donald Trump: You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley.

This exchange is just bizarre. Here we have Trump doing the “people say” when producing a fresh batch of “shitformation” from his ass. To which Stahl challenges to ask who the “they” he’s talking about are. The honest answer is, of course, that he is caught is a lie (because he is constantly lying) so he pivots to making the unfounded accusation (another lie) that climate change scientists have “a very big political agenda”.

So let me get this straight. Scientists are the enemy of the people, too? Bullshit! These scientists have an environmental agenda, in that they are trying to protect it. Trump and his donors have a economic agenda, in that they want to sell fossil fuels to make money regardless of the toll it is taking on the environment and the global population.

Since the industrial revolution mankind has been challenged with balancing economic factors, natural resources and environmental protection, related to mass production and mass energy consumption. All over the world governments and political parties are on board with the idea that these things must be better managed (maybe even, dare I say, regulated… as in the Paris Accord that Trump pulled out of) as they are having a scientifically proven direct and detrimental effect on our atmosphere (detrimental to the living conditions of human beings…rocks will be okay).

The Koch Brothers and their ilk can give a shit, they just want to make big money. They want to have power. They want to have total control over their big business of fracking the world into a toxic wasteland…just so long as they can have a picturesque ranch in some remote area that isn’t affected too badly. They are Libertarians which means they do not believe in anything outside of self interest.

Libertarians…they don’t trust you, they don’t care about you, they just want to use you, and once your utility is exhausted, they will discard you. Why do they feel this way? Because they are cynics. They know they are under threat of people who share their world view and want to be the master, no matter the cost to society. They do not believe in the collective good. They want to exercise their “freedom”, their “liberty”, by being immoral, selfish grabbers who give nothing back. It is a toxic, and, in my opinion, un-American philosophy. But there is good money in it apparently.

Because the US political system does not firewall robber barons like the Kochs from buying political influence we have a compromised government who deny the science because they are paid to deny it. They claim moving away from fossil fuels is “too expensive” and “bad for the economy” because they are paid to.

Bottom line, environmental protection is a responsibility more than it is a political issue. The real political issue here is the corruption created by robber baron lobbying and dark campaign money flowing into the United States political system. And now, with the Supreme Court stacked with “Federalist” asswipes, don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

I just want a President that isn’t such as willful dipshit about this…Next.

Jamal Khashoggi (i.e., executing journalists)

This is another one for the books. This fucking Saudi prince. What’s his name? DJ Khaled? He plotted to have this “US resident” dissident journalist Khashoggi tortured and murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. It was just the most bumbling, ham-fisted, keystones cops straight-up MURDER you can imagine a spoiled little shithead brat and his “court” could have cooked up.

Saudi Arabia is a brutal, repressive monarchy, which holds public executions, and where atheism, homosexuality, blasphemy and adultery are capital crimes punishable by death.

America has this long-standing, ridiculous, compromised marriage of convenience with Saudi Arabia because we have a common enemy, Iran. It’s fucked up. It’s always been fucked up. I’ll give you an example of how fucked up it is. The 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia…the US invaded Iraq. See? It’s fucked up.

Anyway somehow, this prince, he got it in his head that he is so tight with Trump and buttboy Jared that he has some sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card to MURDER green card carrying US residents who write for the Washington Post. That is some assumption, huh?

The optics aren’t helped by this whole “the press are the enemy of the people” bullshit that asshole Trump as been peddling for over a year now (I’ve always said he should be impeached for making those statements alone).

Anyway, Trump and the prince are working on their cover story (imagine the brain power there…you could power a potato) to try to minimize the fallout from this TORTURE and MURDER plot. You know, so they can get back to doing the sabre dance and touching the glowing globe. It is SICK, just SICK.

In the interview Trump cried about the threat the TRUTH about this CRIME has become to his precious ARMS DEAL with the Saudis. Ya know, because when a foreign government shows you that they are lead by immoral murderers, your first instinct should be to sell them as many high grade weapons as they can possibly buy. For economic reasons of course…so it’s good to know we’re thinking straight on BOTH world peace AND the environment. Sleep well at night.

In the interview, Trump repeated the Saudi denial. Said it was made “Strongly”. Of course that denial was a lie and attempt at a cover up which immediately fell apart (BIG surprise).

Trump said he didn’t want to “hurt jobs” by backing out of the arms deal. I’m going to cry a river thinking about the Military Industrial Complex taking a hit. God knows they get such a small slice of our tax revenue to eke out their existence. Trump then warned us Russia and China would grab the deal “Everyone wanted that order.”…I say let them have it.

This whole scenario just highlights that Trump is a garbage human and a garbage example to our youngest generation. He is a criminal and sociopath who has no compassion for other human beings. This dead journalist is just an impediment to his narrative. Trump’s first instinct is to have surrogates smear Khashoggi and try to wait out the news cycle. So for now we’ll just get his “nobody knows for sure” dodge until they stop asking…I hope they don’t stop asking, because this is unacceptable…and the more he helps in the coverup the more complicit he is in the crime…the more blood is on his tiny hands.

End of Part One

To be continued…