Monday, May 30, 2016

Today's Tweet

Today's Today

It's said that every one of us is unique; that we all see the cosmos differently, and exist in it in our own way.  Some of those differences are slight and some are vast; but different, and personal and one-of-a-kind. So in a very important way, every time somebody dies, an entire universe dies with them. 

We should prob'ly keep that in mind when we're fixing to kill somebody; when we're sending people out to kill our "enemies".  

Remembering that all those universes are connected and intertwined - one with all the others, without even knowing who those others are - we're asking those people to kill part of us, and part of themselves as well.

And on the continuing theme of personal responsibility - holding ourselves ultimately accountable for our own actions:

You don't have much of a war 
if nobody shows up to fight

World War Something --Marc Wilson:

At some point, we have to start to wonder - what was all the fuss about?  Politics?  The color scheme of a flag?  Imaginary lines on a paper map?   

I See You And I Love You Still

Still --Alanis Morrisette

I am the harm which you inflict
I am your brilliance and frustration
I'm the nuclear bombs if they're to hit
I am your immaturity and your indignance

I am your misfits and your praised
I am your doubt and your conviction
I am your charity and your rape
I am your grasping and expectation

I see you averting your glances
I see you cheering on the war
I see you ignoring your children
And I love you still, and I love you still

I am your joy and your regret
I am your fury and your elation
I am your yearning and your sweat
I am your faithless and your religion

I see you altering history
I see you abusing the land
I see you, your selective amnesia
And I love you still, and I love you still

I see you averting your glimpses
I see you cheering on the war
I see you ignoring your children
And I love you still, and I love you still

I see you altering history
I see you abusing the land
I see you, your selective amnesia
I love you still, and I love you still

I am your tragedy and your fortune
I am your crisis and delight
I am your profits and your prophets
I am your art, I am your bytes

I am your death and your decisions
I am your passion and your plights
I am your sickness and convalescence
I am your weapons and your light

I see you holding your grudges
I see you gunning them down
I see you silencing your sisters
And I love you still, and I love you still

I see you lie to your country
I see you forcing them out
I see you blaming each other
And I love you still, and I love you still

I see you holding your grudges
I see you gunning them down
I see you silencing your sisters
I love you still, I love you still

I see you lie to your country
I see you forcing them out
I see you blaming each other
I love you still, I love you still, I see you


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Donald Trump’s campaign has alerted Senate Republicans that he won’t have much money to spend fending off attacks from Hillary Clinton over the next couple months.

The notice came when Paul Manafort, Trump’s senior advisor, met with a group of Senate Republican chiefs of staff for lunch last week, sources familiar with the meeting told the Washington Examiner. The admission suggests that Trump will be far more dependent on the GOP brass for money than he has led voters to believe, but it’s consistent with his reliance on the Republican National Committee to provide a ground game in battleground states.

“They know that they’re not going to have enough money to be on TV in June and probably most of July, until they actually accept the nomination and get RNC funds, so they plan to just use earned media to compete on the airwaves,” one GOP source familiar with Manafort’s comments told the Examiner.

Trump is also refusing to use his own money to fund his campaign. In other words, what Donald Trump is telling the voters is completely different from what is happening behind closed doors.

When Republicans nominated Trump, they thought that they were getting a billionaire who could help the party raise money while throwing his own cash into the pot for his White House bid.

What the GOP is stuck with is a deadbeat who talks a good game that they are going to have to fund in the general election because he is either unwilling or unable to pull his own weight.

Donald Trump’s wealth appears to be a myth, and it is obvious that Trump is using the Republican Party to build his cult of personality. Donald Trump has no intention of giving anything back Republicans.

Trump’s inability to run ads in June and July is a gift to Democrats, who should be blanketing the airwaves over the next two months. Democrats have a chance to define Trump, and he can’t fight back. Supporters should expect to see Democrats strike early and often before Trump can even get his ads on the air.

Donald Trump’s “business sense” has struck again. This time, Trump has bankrupted his presidential campaign and is expecting Republicans to pick up the tab.

I wonder if this will have any effect on Trump's core supporters - yeah, prob'ly not.  Never mind.

Today's Podcast

Tag for today: driftglass vu

Sometimes it feels like losing (partly because that's at least partly what it is), but if you hang in, it's really about having to lose something now so you can win the big shit later.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Politics Speak

In case you ever wondered about "Tortured Logic":
Is there any other group these days that’s more unfairly maligned than white supremacists? We joke, of course, but that seems to be the argument that former Trump delegate and prominent white nationalist William Johnson made recently in an interview with Buzzfeed.
Specifically, Johnson talked about his harrowing but short-lived experience of being selected as a California delegate for Donald Trump at this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Although the Trump campaign quickly moved to distance itself from Johnson after his racist views had been revealed, Johnson had initially held out hope that he’d be embraced so that he could practice his brand of white nationalism in the open and without fear of stigma.
“I was naive,” Johnson told Buzzfeed. “I thought, Gee, I could participate in the electoral process just like everybody else. I thought I could participate and be productive and be a good example for the community and help promote my candidate, but that was not the case.”
Of course, the best way he could be a good example to the community is to not be a white nationalist, but this doesn’t seem to have dawned upon him.
Vince Foster
I love our veterans, but I don't love 'em enough not to lie to them about that fund-raiser
Fuck AGW and Climate Change
Birth certificate
Nukes for everybody
No brown people allowed
Put women in jail for having abortions
Those generals will waterboard people if I tell 'em to, or I'll get generals who will

and on and on and on.

With every new little bit of Stoopid, Trump builds up the DumFuck Coalition by collecting another few voters who reject Intellect and Clear Thought, and believe Outrageous Bullshit is the new Truth-Telling.

And btw - Over-Promise and Under-Deliver is how Donald Trump has always done things. Very little of what he says he'll do is what he'll actually do.  When you go to collect on what you think he owes you, he'll offer "pennies-on-the-dollar", and tell you it's because one of your friends - somebody else who's in on the deal - is fucking you over.

The man has no soul and no honor.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Today's Tweet

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Today's Quote

Dunning-Kruger strikes again.

This is pretty close to a much broader charge of False Consciousness, but we gotta be able to address it - we can't fix it if we don't know there's something wrong with it.

We all have pockets of incompetence; we're all susceptible to the effects of Dunning-Kruger.

What we have to do is go outside our own spheres of delusion (ie: talk to other humans), test our thinking against what others are thinking, establish some kind of baseline parameters of fact, and then get to an understanding that the more we learn, the more we realize how little we actually know.

(that "baseline parameters of fact" thing is where we seem to get kinda hung up)

hat tip = FB friend LM-M

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Personal

On a certain level, I think I may not give half-a-fuck who wins the election as long as somebody can do something to fix this shit right here:

40 bucks a pound?  You can buy a brand new full-sized SUV for about $10 a pound.  


What the fuck is up with pine nuts?

It's A Wonderment

(at about 5:10 when Bloody Bill Kristol spouts off about how nobody trusts Trump or Hillary, Brazile nails it):

"...we have to get over the fact that we won't have a lotta love in this campaign."

I'm anything but a Donna Brazile fan, but that right there is fucking genius - get the fuck over it, kids.

The rest of it is more of the same old crap about Both Sides, and everybody's awful, and there's no reason anybody would wanna vote for any of these jokers, and gee whiz, I wonder why we can't get Americans to show up on Election Day. Which of course is what makes the Donna Brazile thing so sparkly, and why she doesn't get to talk about it much on the air.  She came a little too close to calling the Horse Race Bullshit for what it is.

And also too - is there really any reason to keep Cokie Roberts around - for anything?  I haven't heard her express a cogent thought that isn't basically "Yeah, but the Democrats..." for a dozen years or more (thanks, driftglass).  Does she have somebody's grandkids tied up in her basement or something? Fuck me, lady - enough. You're done. Time for you to be the Grande Dame of the Georgetown Cocktail Circuit full-time or whatever, but please just go the fuck away already.

Not that I feel strongly about it or nuthin'.

Thinkin' Music

Steve Kimock

w/ Bobby Vega (bass), Leslie Mendelson & John Kimock (drums)

"Careless Love"
"Tongue N' Groove"
"Surely This Day"

Today's Tweet

Twitter buddy Inigo Montoya asks:

Media analysts and various consultants discovered in the 90s that while approval ratings for broadcasters went straight into the shitter when they ran stories about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski, the number of viewers tuning in to see those stories went in exactly the opposite direction. 

We love to hate ourselves for loving to watch such hateful shit in such a Stockholm Syndrome-y way.  This is USAmerica Incorporated - it's just something we do.

What's Wrong Here?

Steven Rosenfeld interviewing David Cay Johnston over at AlterNet:
“Imagine that you are a mortgage lender. Are you going to lend people money for 30 years if they don’t have the security of employment?” Johnston said, offering an example of how the successful push by the technology sector to undermine and overturn the labor laws created during the New Deal are tilting too far toward piecemeal purveyors and will create new instability.
“People are working without salary, benefits, and the stability to buy a house and raise a family,” he said, saying that the blame can be placed at the foot of high-tech lobbyists who have donated to congressional campaigns and federal officeholders who subsequently loosened federal laws to their benefit.
Meanwhile, according to Pew’s New Digital Economy report, 61 percent of Americans have never heard of “crowdfunding,” 73 percent are not familiar with the “sharing economy,” and 89 percent have never heard of the “gig economy.”
The big picture painted by Johnston, who is a registered Republican but schooled in the belief that business prospers when wages and benefits are reliable and income is spent locally, was the fundamentals of middle-class stability are being further eroded by a new technology-based oligarchy. Despite all the hip apps and marketing, gig economy profits are only going to executives while the jobs offered are intrinsically unstable, fiscally unpredictable and most of the risk and expense are placed on contract workers.
 But not to worry, Oligarchs - the great American Intellect Deficit is forever on your side:
Meanwhile, according to Pew’s New Digital Economy report, 61 percent of Americans have never heard of “crowdfunding,” 73 percent are not familiar with the “sharing economy,” and 89 percent have never heard of the “gig economy.”

Today's Pix

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Today's Quote

"Love me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you love me, I will always be in your heart. If you hate me, I'll still be in your head."

--Wm Shakespeare

Prematurely Mainstream

A coupla other Fugelsang concepts that stand out for me:
sometimes atheists are the best Christians
separation of Church and Faith 

John Fugelsang:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Today's Podcast

Today's GIF

Yeah OK - it's a little Man-Bash-y.  Tough shit.  You can deal.  Be a man about it.

Fake Lord Have Mercy

hat tip = bosom buddy Lollie B

Today's Chart

I think it's worth noting that there's a fairly obvious connection here: a rapist being able to deny his victim's right to abort "his" "child", and then to sue for his "right" to be involved in that kid's life is coming almost straight outa the really shitty parts of The Bible that have god telling certain Israelites that it's OK to kidnap and rape women as a means of obtaining a family.

That's pretty fucked up right there, buy hey - it's what the TheoCons do.

Allow me to reiterate Mike's Manifesto on this particular subject:

Abortion is very serious, and so it MUST be closely restricted - women
    ...who are pregnant
        ...and decide not to be pregnant
No exceptions

If you're not the one who's pregnant
(and especially if you were born with that Y chromosome)
then your opinion is duly noted
and you can shut the fuck up now

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Today's Tweet (And GIF)

Today's Stand Up Guy

On Monday morning, every American considering political office got a lesson in taking caution while posting anything to social media. Mike Webb, Virginia Congressional candidate, inadvertently revealed his taste in porn to Facebook. Initially, Webb had only meant to post a screenshot of phone records, along with a Yahoo search of Curzon Staffing Agency, whom he claims prank called him about a job offer. The candidate's post attracted the attention of the public for an entirely different reason. Before snapping screenshots, Webb apparently forgot to close what appear to be two porn sites. The sites' names, which are truncated by the tab label, read "LAYLA RIVERA TIGHT BO" and "IVONE SEXY AMATEUR."

What is it about Virginia Politicians these days? 

And oh yeah - GOP - what the fuck, guys?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And So It Goes

Remember all that bullshit last year about "The War On Cops"?  

It's open season on police - Blue Lives Matter - all those rotten brown people fomenting  violence against our noble officers blahblahblah.

Well, it was exactly the bullshit many of us said it was, and the FBI confirms it.

Via HuffPo:
The data contrasts with the claims from some conservative media outlets and police union bosses who have continued to peddle the narrative that officers are under siege. The past two years have seen a surge in police reform activism in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, and other high-profile instances of police killing civilians. But critics of this movement allege that groups like Black Lives Matter promote violence against officers, and have helped wage a “war on cops.”
“The FBI statistics on police officer felonious deaths show that belief that the job is growing more dangerous, because of protests against police or because of the demand for reform to police practices, is simply wrong,” Harris wrote in an email. “Belief to the contrary may be sincere, but it has no basis in fact.”

Battling the endless parade of "conservative" crapola

Today's Tweet

Let the PhotoShop wars begin.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Today's GIF

Today's Video

Things are not always as they seem (duh) - an important concept to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a candidate.

(Stay with it - the explanation is pretty informative):

So, ya gonna believe me or your lyin' eyes?  Let's be careful out there.

(hat tip = Facebook buddy VW-E)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How Wrong?

Real wrong.  I ran a little video on my little blog here not all that long ago, showing Jim Webb's announcement that he was running for POTUS - and I remember saying I'd give the guy a look because he did some decent things in his one term in the US Senate (not the least of which was simply keeping George Allen out of that seat). 

Anyhoo - I've been wrong about a lot of things, but never wronger than thinking Jim Webb  as a candidate for Prez was worth more than a spit shine a dead man's shoes.

Samantha Bee:

The OpEd piece Ms Bee refers to is still up at WaPo, and I was kinda struck by a line Webb uses in the last paragraph:
Mark Twain once commented that “to arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man’s character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours.”
OK, but let's look at the behavior of both Jackson and Tubman thru the lens of those standards - which, btw, change over time.  You don't get to suspend the rules to suit your convenience - we play the full nine innings here.

In the early 1800s, Jackson was doing what most people were doing, and it all seems to be in line with the standards of his time. 

Tubman was doing things that were illegal in the mid-1800s; things that were considered by at least half of her contemporaries to be seditious and treacherous and evil.

Looking back on it all, which one was actually doing the good things, and which one was doing the shitty things?  What would you want to be remembered for - The Underground Railroad or The Trail Of Tears? 

So by Webb's metrics, Bull Connor (eg) was an OK guy because we need to think of his complete assholery as something other than complete assholery because he was a man of his time and so we have to judge him by the standards prevailing in Alabama in 1963?  What-the-actual-fucking-fuck?

Webb decries the PC / White Privilege criticism while arguing a position that is totally embedded in it. 

Here's the thing, Jim - when you've got your head up your ass, even if you open your eyes, all you're gonna see is your own shit.  I need you to work on that one for me, OK?

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, May 14, 2016

It Ain't Broke

Ordinarily, I'd ask - why don't all those clear-eyed pragmatic capitalists understand this and do something about it?

I'm not asking that anymore because I think they do understand it; they've done pretty much what they intended to do; and it's working pretty much as they intended it to work.  So this is not some software bug.  It's not a glitch.  It's a feature.

This is what Unfettered Free-Market Capitalism ends up looking like.  When you reduce everything to a simple transaction; when every decision is based almost solely on Risk/Reward/Penalty, then you've removed the ethical dividing line between Right and Wrong - they become interchangeable - and suddenly those aren't people any more; they're revenue opportunities.

Seems like we've been here before.


It Sounds Familiar

Way back in the old days, if the boss wasn't pretty watchful, one of the pranksters would sneak onto the mainframe and start some weird shit thing like:

20 GO TO: 10

And the terminal would eventually lock up and the supervisors would get all pissed off and we'd laugh and laugh cuz it'd take a good 20 minutes to clear the memory partition and restart the sector - or whatever magic the uber-nerds did to get it all back up and runnin'.

And somehow, we didn't know we were just being assholes.

Well, now we seem to have kinda the same thing going on in certain sectors of our politics.

We gave a lot of money to rich people to fix the economy, but it didn't work

So we gave a lot of money to rich people to fix that, but it didn't work

So we'll give a lot of money to rich people and see if that works

And somehow, they don't know they're just being assholes.

Friday, May 13, 2016

It Is To Laugh

If it was any less tragic, it wouldn't be funny.

And there it is - right there at the end.  Did you catch it?  

It's always some variation on, "Yeah, but the Democrats" - what driftglass calls "the razor in the apple".

This was a 4-minute piece about Trump dropping in on the enemy encampment in DC.  They spent the whole time saying not really much of anything except that a buncha Show Ponies got together for a little meet-n-greet, followed by the usual grip-n-grin photo ops etc, and while it sounded like we were kinda getting a little subtext about the really bad shit going on in the GOP, in the end, the Press Poodles at PBS just have to bring it back to the crapola False Equivalence that keeps the coffee mugs and the tote bags flying off the shelves and blah blah fucking blah.

Today's GIF

It's not luck - it's math.

Understanding the math, you can make a cool thing happen

Think of it as the difference between being a badass...

...and being a dumbass

So let's review: Not good luck, and not bad luck - just math. 

OK?  We all good?

Happy Triskaidekaphobia Day, everybody!