Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Deep Thoughts

They say video gaming is making us more violent. They said the same thing about TV and movies and radio and comic books. But back as late as the 17th century, they were drowning and crushing and hanging people accused of being witches.  So maybe it's just that humans can get really shitty with each other sometimes.

Today's Pix

(click the pic to bigger it)















Today's Godliness

A preacher/teacher guy named Robin Meyers via Oklahoma Gazette:
Oklahoma was the first state west of the Mississippi to be called for Donald Trump, and what prouder moment could there be for followers of Jesus? If Hollywood designed the perfect candidate to represent the anti-Christ for evangelicals, he would be thrice married, twice divorced, a builder of casinos, a sexual predator (unless the women are ugly), a liar and a man so in love with himself that his fondest wish is to die in his own arms.
--and--
Democrats are all secular humanists, they said, and the problem with America is that not enough people go to church. If we had the Ten Commandments in plain sight, they say, morality and virtue would return to America. Really? If you vote for someone who violated all 10 of them, then obviously something else matters a lot more to you than the religion you are wearing on your sleeve. As for the seven deadly sins, see Donald Trump.
And I'll say it again - there's plenty wrong with our Political System, but the short list is gonna have 'Fucked Up Voters' near the top.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kleptocratic Kakistocracy

Kalamitous?
Kataclysmic?
Katastrophic maybe?

We're only a 'K' away - but even that's just a way to distract us from the on-rushing shit storm.

Playing The Differences

Comey's testimony, explaining why you prosecute one guy and not the next regarding their handling of classified material.

"He" in this discussion is David Patraeus.



Let's review:
  • Hillary's private server and 3 document attachments not properly identified by the sender = Lock Her Up
  • Patraeus sharing actual classified info with his mistress = Secretary of State

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What We're Up Against

(keep in mind what happens to a segment of any population when it's been isolated for a long enough period of time)

Single-Thread explanations are not very useful when you're trying to figure out "what went wrong".

That said, there's something very compelling about this from AlterNet:
As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: "Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”
Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.
--and--
At some point during the discussion, “That’s your education talking,” will be said, derogatorily, as a general dismissal of everything I said. They truly believe this is a legitimate response because to them education is not to be trusted. Education is the enemy of fundamentalism because fundamentalism, by its very nature, is not built on facts.
--the kicker:
Everyone who isn’t just like them has been sold to them as a threat and they’ve bought it hook, line, and grifting sinker. Since there are no self-regulating mechanisms in their belief systems, these threats only grow over time. Since facts and reality don’t matter, nothing you say to them will alter their beliefs. "President Obama was born in Kenya, is a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood who hates white Americans and is going to take away their guns." I feel ridiculous even writing this, it is so absurd, but it is gospel across large swaths of rural America. Are rural, Christian, white Americans scared? You’re damn right they are. Are their fears rational and justified? Hell no. The problem isn’t understanding their fears. The problem is how to assuage fears based on lies in closed-off fundamentalist belief systems that don’t have the necessary tools for properly evaluating the fears.
 So if you just gotta have something simple to hang onto, here it is: 

You can say the system is broken all you want, but it's worse than that - the voter is broken.

So you can make all the noise you wanna make about how "Hillary didn't make the case" and "Hillary didn't connect with the voters she needed to connect with" and and and - but what that all boils down to is a complaint that she shoulda spent more time and energy catering to a giant load of Middle-Class Middle-Aged White Christian Men who are listening to absolutely nothing you, or I, or "your Libtard FemiNazi candidate" has to say about anything.

Just Make Shit Up


Now that Trump is playing the other side of his Unpredictability Game, the apologists have been widely deployed to explain that everything Mr Un-PC-I-Tell-It-Like-It-Is said during the Scampaign® was really just election-year rhetoric and metaphorical language - he didn't really mean any of it to be taken literally. C'mon.

Today's Pix















Friday, November 25, 2016

New Music (updated)

"listening to that song cuz it hurts just right" (Never Mind Your Bleeding Heart)

Regina Spektor:



A little artsy and the poetry is a tad obvious sometimes, but musicianship counts for an awful lot, plus I can hear Jennifer Warnes and Sara Bareilles, and that ain't bad at all - so I just want her to stay with it and keep gettin' better.


The Marketplace Of Ideas

Meanwhile, over at Amazon:






Thursday, November 24, 2016

What We're Up Against

The frame has been in place for a long time - everything's better with Tax Cuts.  So, of course, we can expect the same ol' shit.

Professional Left Podcast



And don't forget you can "donate" to the podcast just by doing some shopping thru the Amazon link on the Professional Left website.

(aka: using the Evil Empire's own money to defeat them - tilt head back; laugh maniacally)




Today's GIF

Something not quite right with this


On That NYT Chat With Trump

Here's the whole banana in case the pay wall at NYT jumps up in front of you.
It was good to hear Donald Trump “disavow and condemn” the white nationalism of some of his supporters, in a meeting Tuesday at The New York Times.
It was good to hear him acknowledge that climate change is linked to human activity, and that maybe waterboarding isn’t such a great idea after all. And speaking for the home team, it was good to hear him even call The New York Times a “great, great American jewel.”
It was, of course, hard to square all these statements with his record of spreading the birther lie about President Obama, calling climate change a “hoax,” promising he’d “bring back waterboarding” and describing The New York Times as “failing.”
But, hey, if President-elect Trump moderates his views, and then crystallizes those views in policies that, as he put it, “save our country,” we will commend him on growth in office. “I am awed by the job,” he said.
The problem is, as pleasant as it was to hear those remarks, it was alarming to confront how thinly thought through many of the president-elect’s stances actually are. Consider climate change. Mr. Trump said that he valued clean air and water, but that he hadn’t decided if combating climate change was worth the expense. “I have a totally open mind,” he said, making a virtue of not knowing the issue.
Or take torture. In the campaign, he stoutly defended waterboarding, which is contrary to American values and illegal under international law. Yet one conversation, with Gen. James Mattis, a candidate for defense secretary, may have changed his mind. General Mattis told Mr. Trump what experts have been saying for years: Torture doesn’t work. Mr. Trump said he was “impressed and surprised” by General Mattis’s assurance that, “Give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I’ll do better.”
We would applaud any sensible change of position, however arrived at. Mr. Trump’s apparent flexibility, combined with his lack of depth on policy, might be grounds to hope he will steer a wiser course than the one plotted by his campaign. But so far he is surrounding himself with officials eager to enact only the most extreme positions. His flexibility would be their springboard.President Obama, who also spoke of bringing the country together, invited Republicans to join his administration. We have not yet seen Mr. Trump make any such effort to reach across party lines.
And in one area, Mr. Trump remained quite inflexible: He made clear he has no intention of selling his businesses and stepping decisively away from corrupting his presidency with an exponentially enhanced version of the self-dealing he accused Hillary Clinton of engaging in.
Ronald Reagan used to say that in dealing with the Soviet Union, the right approach was to “trust, but verify.” For now, that’s also the right approach to take with Mr. Trump. Except, regrettably, for the trust part.
I'm sure Trump likes to believe he's setting up a Team Of Rivals, and that'll be great because he's letting the scorpions in the bottle slug it out and he'll go with whatever idea the survivor can articulate. And that's perfect for Trump because he possesses a depth of understanding comparable to that of any randomly chosen 8th grader.

Thankful For Keith

Today's Today











Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Don't Mean One Damn Thang



Trump recently indicated he has no plans to go after Hillary - although, "I don't wanna hurt her" is easily taken as a warning and as a veiled threat to hurt her a lot.

I've seen plenty of tweets and various other posts saying it's just Trump showing us he never had any intention of going after her, and whoa mama, won't the Trumpsters be upset when he starts breaking all those promises.

To which I will retort - so fuckin' what?  Not that it won't make some of the more radicalized Trumpsters a little crazy(er), but it plays for most of them as Trump The Merciful: "See? I told ya he was OK; would a really bad guy let a crook like Hillary off the hook like that?" 

(And don't get on me about how silly and contradictory the end of that last bit was - it doesn't have to make sense on any but the shallowest possible level for these knuckleheads.  These are workin' guys who just elected the one guy in all of USAmerica Inc with an absolutely unimpeachable reputation for fucking over the workin' guy. They're not the least bit interested in "thinking things thru", remember?)

Anyway, Trump has no intention of going after Hillary - for now.  He'll keep it in his pocket, and he'll tease it whenever he thinks it's useful for him to do so. ie: if the rubes get a little unruly or when the Dems get a little too critical of what he's doing.

It's part of that "I wanna be unpredictable - keep you in suspense" thing he loves to do.

So it's a big one - and valuable - The Dual-Purpose Political Device. It gets the rubes to calm down at the same time it riles up libruls (works in reverse too - very valuable indeed).  The point being to maintain a Divide-n-Conquer split in order to provide cover for whatever shenanigans he's up to at that moment to steal the good silverware.

Today's Tweet

(I have no confirmation on this)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Framing




High School Bully Intimidated By The Theater Kids

Hamilton won a fight against the Vice President - historically, this has not been the case.




Something to remember:

First, Trump's shit-flinging is about covering up the Big Bamboozle.  This is a heist-in-progress.  So let the comics make fun of it (I can sure use a good laugh on a frequent basis), but we need to remind each other to look for the story behind the story, which is something a guy like Meyers does pretty well - but wouldn't it be nice if The Press Poodles could do a bit more of that for us?

Second - Pence may play Mr Gracious and mumble a few niceties like "that's what democracy sounds like", but never forget that a smiling hyena will still eat your children.

Don't trust this bunch any farther than you could spit one of 'em.

Who's Doin' What

(See if you can spot the ones being applied right now - by the same people who've screamed for 30 years about how rotten all of this is)

The following is a list of Power Tactics that Saul Alinsky put together in his 1971 book, Rules For Radicals - A Pragmatic Guide For Realistic Radicals.

1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.

2. Never go outside the experience of your people. When an action is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

3. Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.

5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.

6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.

7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday mornings.

8. Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.

11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside; this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative.

12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying "You're right — we don't know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us."

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Today's Tweet

Monday, November 21, 2016

Richard Spencer

Via The Atlantic:

Spencer has popularized the term “alt-right” to describe the movement he leads. Spencer has said his dream is “a new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans,” and has called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing.”

But Not Here


We get lazy sometimes.  We start to think "we shouldn't need that kind of reminder - not here in America".

Obviously, we do need it. And we need it precisely because this is America.

Today's driftglass

driftglass on what to do when trying to hold Trump accountable.
In Bridge on the River Kwai, Colonel Saito never understood Colonel Nicholson...
You are stubborn,  but have no pride.
You endure, but you have no courage.
,,,but Nicholson understood Saito perfectly. 
Saito was a not-very-bright middle-manager -- a Reince Preibus -- whose only tools are the blunt instruments of the inept martinet.  And that would have been sufficient if all he had to do was keep a bunch of prisoners locked up and in line, but was also charged by his superiors with completing critical infrastructure project which neither he nor the men under his command were competent to perform. 
Saito can threaten and torture all he likes...
...but since he refuses to abide by the rule of the civilized world...
...he absolves those who are civilized of any obligation to respect his authority:
And we on the Left understand Trump and the Right just as perfectly.
You are defeated, but you have no shame.
Saito [speaking of the Geneva Convention]:  You speak to me of code?  What code?  The coward's code!  What do you know of the soldier's code, of Bushido?  Nothing!  You are unworthy of command!
Nicholson:  Since you refuse to abide by the laws of the civilized world...we must consider ourselves absolved from our duty to obey you.
 

Today's Tweet

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rachel On Mike Flynn


"Stick a pin in it" should be the new motto of anybody trying to push back against this.

The shit flinger depends on flinging so much shit that you just can't deal with all of it.

Eventually, all you can do is shake your head when the surrogates jump on you and demand that you cite specifics, but there will have been so much that you'll stumble and they'll take that "hesitation" to mean you're wrong (The Fallacy Fallacy).  And since "you're wrong", the False Dichotomy they've embraced for so many years automatically kicks in and that means they're right.

Big Beautiful Boobs And Buildings

SNL last nite:



Today's Skeptical Poe

Today's Tweet