Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thanks to Donald Trump's antics, a Republic candidate for Congress who says she met with extra-terrestrials can't even be a laughingstock

Republican Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera is running
for Congress in Florida. She says she went aboard
an extraterrestrial space ship and learned some 
really,really interesting stuff.
You know this country has gone off the deep end when late night network comedians can't even be bothered (at least so far) to joke about a political candidate who says visitors from outer space taught her about skulls, the earth's energy center, and an ancient Egyptian pyramid located in South Miami-Dade — all while she was aboard their space ship.

Well hey, it's understandable. After all, we've got Trump in the White House. You know, the mad president who says Barack Obama is tapping his wires? The brain-dead president who doesn't seem to know that his presidency extends to the Virgin Islands (not to mention Puerto Rico?) The president with the mentality, maturity, and modesty of an unbalanced six-year-old?

So no wonder his party has no problem putting forward Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, a candidate who, according to the Miami Herald and other newspapers, boarded a Martian space ship and learned from the aliens that:
 There are 30,000 skulls — “different from humans” — in a cave in the Mediterranean island of Malta. 
 The world’s “energy center” is in Africa 
 The Coral Castle, a limestone tourist attraction South Miami-Dade, is actually an ancient Egyptian pyramid. 
 “God is a universal energy.” 
She also said that the aliens had mentioned Isis, though she didn’t clarify if they meant the terrorist organization or the ancient Egyptian goddess.
Hey, compared to Trump, Rodriguez Aguilera is as sound as a....well anyway, she's not nearly as dangerous or crazy.

Rodriguez Aguilera is running to replace outgoing Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. If she pulls it off, I'm going to ask President Trump to extend his Mexican wall around the entire border of the United States— South, West, North and East. 

That'll be the only way to keep all of us safely penned up in this asylum.




Friday, October 06, 2017

A MODEST PROPOSAL for Supporting Ye 2nd Amendment Gun Rights Whilst Simultaneously Doing Something about Ye Scourge of Abortion

No, not this modest proposal, but you're getting warm
And so, with the recent events in Las Vegas, the gun death toll continues mounting in what may be the most violent, bloodthirsty, and self-destructive nation in history. I’m talking about the United States of America, of course. 

This nation’s soil is now drenched not only with the blood of our dead adult citizens but (lest ye forget) also our dead children. Especially notable among these are the deaths of  twenty small school children (plus six adults) in Sandy Hook, and most recently, at least as I write this, the fifty dead of all ages in Las Vegas, plus the Dylan Roof church murders…and on, and on, and on, and on it goes.

Yet the Republican Congress and Senate continue refusing to do anything significant to stop the gun violence. Having a ruminative chat about bump stocks is not doing something significant. 

But why should our law makers do anything that would put an end to the slaughter? Many of them collect millions — millions of dollars per Senator or per Congressional representative — to make sure that any nut, any lunatic, any violence-minded psychopathic sonofabitch who wants to shoot people to death, may have all the guns, all the armor-piercing ammo, all the high capacity ammunition magazines, all the silenced firepower he can lay his hands on.

By both their actions and their inaction, Republican lawmakers have proved that they are nothing more than a sludge pit of gun sluts, a submissive troop of political whores who would get down on their knees and fellate a rifle barrel if the NRA put another few million dollars in their pockets and told them to suck it. 

Read the list of the biggest money-grubbing harlots and the sums they pocket — and make no mistake about it, depraved whores who value money over basic morality and the lives of their fellow Americans, is exactly what they are. See Merriam-Webster’s third definition of a whore, here.

Yet it is this festering pit of whores — or are they giving prostitution a bad name? — will go all pious on you when the matter of abortion comes up. Do so much as scrape a hollow ball of cells, a blastula, from the uterus of a desperate pregant woman, who may have arrived at her pregnancy by being a rape victim, or simply by becoming a victim of a thoughtlessly passionate moment, and they’ll accuse you of “murdering babies.” 

Most abortions no more kill a living, self-aware baby than the act of wiping the ejaculate off a jerkoff Republican Congressman with a piece of snotty Kleenex. But I digress. The sad, or perhaps infuriating fact is, once a baby is born, it ceases to be of value to Republicans, who seek to prevent nearly anything that will keep helpless children who are already born alive and thriving — by refusing to fund anything ranging from a good education, to a doctor’s visit, to adequate nutrition.

To these Republican hypocrites, fetal life, if you can call it that, is sacred. But once born, the poor little babies, who at long last are inarguably sentient and self-aware individuals, can drop dead. I quote a recent article in the New York Times:
“These are little boys and little girls waiting to be born,” said Representative Mike Kelly, Republican of Pennsylvania, in a speech in the House defending the abortion ban. “If we do not stand for them, who will stand for them? If we are not the first responders, who will be the first responders?” 
Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, was incredulous. 
"There is this absolute silence on the deaths that have been created through guns and irresponsible gun ownership and yet here we are somehow talking about the sanctity of life when it relates to abortions,” she said. 
Representative Louise Slaughter, a Democrat of New York, put in bluntly. “I don’t know anything else to call it but pure hypocrisy,” she said. “We love it until it’s born and then it’s somebody else’s problem.”
And so, on to my Modest Proposal, designed to bring Peace and Tranquility to the Land by means of Both Sides Working Together.

I herewith propose that Congress and the Senate enact, and that our kindly President Trump ratify, an “Unborn Fetus Protection and Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which shall state:
Any and all abortions, for any and all reasons, anywhere within the borders of the United States, its possessions or its overseas military bases anywhere in the world are herewith and forevermore prohibited. However…. 
Once an American child is born, one or both of its parents, or either parent’s duly appointed agent or representative, shall have the absolute Second Amendment right to shoot the newborn baby dead, on the justification that such shooting is a means of protecting said parent or parents, and the child itself, from the life-endangering threat of hunger and poverty, and that permitting such baby to live shall induce one or more of its parents to fear for their lives.  
Parents who choose not to shoot their babies themselves may, at their own discretion, donate said babies to a duly licensed firing range, to be used for patriotic target practice.

There! That’s the kind of compromise we can have if both sides of the aisle work together. It will make everybody on both sides of the aisle happy, not to mention the lobbying pimps who shovel money into their purses.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

No wonder so many Americans won’t stand for the national anthem. It’s nearly un-singable. It’s warlike and un-aspirational. And it supports slavery and racism.

All right, Mr. Trump. In attacking the NFL and NBA players who one way or another refused to stand and put their hands on their hearts when The Star Spangled Banner was played, you’ve opened and then dumped the contents of a giant can of worms onto your own plate. Now it’s time for you to eat them.

Just to begin, athletes, like everyone else, are guaranteed freedom of expression by the U.S. Constitution, which is one of the things for which the American flag is a symbol. Thus, when you choose to deny them this freedom, Mr. Trump, it is you who is disrespecting the flag.

You have ignored the simple truth that the protest of these athletes is legitimate — that as people of color, they are regularly the victim of police brutality, documented so many times in recent years that you have to be willfully blind to claim it does not exist.

Since you’ve brought up the national anthem, let’s also deal with the question of why it deserves no respect and ought to be dumped in favor of some other song. The answer boils down to this: our great nation has one of the lousiest national anthems in the world. Consider:

The Star Spangled Banner is virtually un-singable. The clip of Roseanne Barr slaughtering it at the top of this post may have been Barr’s idea of a sendup, but it wasn’t very far from the truth. 

You can carry a tune and still, like million of Americans, you may not be able to credibly sing this unmusical, unlyrical song. It staggers over wide-ranging octaves like a careening drunk bouncing off walls. 

What’s more, the anthem’s lyrics are so ineptly out of meter with the music that singers need to insert syllables where none exist in the English language, disrespecting not only the dignity of our nation, but  our language as well. Example: (“And the star spangled ban-ner in tri-yi-yi-umph sha-all way-ave….”)

Speaking of drunks, the music was actually composed for a bunch of drunks with sex on their minds. It was a song written and boozily sung originally in England, not America, in the Eighteenth Century, by members of a drinking club, the Anacreontic Society.

But worse yet, the little-known and even less-sung final stanza of the Star Spangled Banner all but curses enslaved black men.

Here are the pertinent lines of the stanza:

Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The "foul footsteps" to which Francis Scott Key refers are those of slaves in Maryland who fought on the side of the English when promised their freedom. So clearly Key, himself a slaveholder, didn’t not consider black people suitable citizens for either the land of the free or the home brave. 

No indeed. Instead he believed blacks were “a distinct and inferior race of people which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that affects a community.”   Little wonder he cursed them with the “gloom of the grave.” For that reason alone the song deserves to be stricken from opening ceremonies. It is not a patriotic song. It is anti-patriotic.

So what should we sing instead? Well before World War I, in Newark, New Jersey, a woman named Katherine Lee Bates and an Episcopal choirmaster named Samuel A. Ward wrote a beautiful, melodic, easy-to-sing and patriotic hymn. It was about our nation and its natural beauty, and brotherhood — and not about a battle and a curse on some of our people. Moreover, unlike the Star Spangled Banner, it mentions — repeatedly — the name of our nation. 

It concedes the nation has flaws. It calls upon God to men them. It mentions liberty, law, gleaming cities of alabaster, and brotherhood. Yes, "America The Beautiful." Here’s a touching rendition of it by Ray Charles


And for a backup? In 1893 a poor immigrant boy with no skills and as yet little education was permitted to enter the United States. In time he discovered he had a talent for writing songs. Over the years he created great fortunes and employment for others with this talent, writing over 20 Broadway hit shows. 

Among his many songs were “Puttin’ On the Ritz,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,”  and the holiday songs “In Your Easter Bonnet,” and “White Christmas.” His name?  Irving Berlin.

Perhaps Berlin’s his greatest and — dare I say it? — most sacred song was a hymn he wrote to the country that let him in, instead of attempting to wall him out.

Think what a glorious song a new national anthem could be, if America focused on its mission and message to humanity, and not always, constantly, incessantly, annoyingly on you, Mr. Trump, playing while you're all alone at night with your petty little tweeter.

Here is Irving Berlin, late in life and a bit frail with age, singing his song — followed by a chorus that demonstrates the way God Bless America could sound in stadiums and theaters across America if it became the new national anthem.




Sunday, September 10, 2017

Has Donald Trump been brain damaged?



The famed neurologist Oliver Sacks once described a brain-damaged actor.
He was not describing Donald Trump. But the resemblance is remarkable.
You may also find it eerie

Remember the late Oliver Sacks? 

He was the celebrated neurologist who wrote books about people with quirky conditions of the brain that led to behaviors incapable of explanation by simple psychiatric means.

In "Awakenings," he told the story of a group of people who seemed to be in a kind of paralytic sleep for decades — except the when you threw a ball at them, they'd catch it. 

In "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat," — well, the title pretty much describes it. 

Sacks once treated the actor Spalding Gray, who eventually committed suicide.

After an automobile accident during which Gray suffered a concussion, he underwent a troubling change in personality. Sacks attributed it to damage to one of Gray's frontal lobes. Said Sacks, in an article that appeared in the New Yorker Magazine:
But the frontal lobes also exert an inhibiting or constraining influence on what Pavlov called “the blind force of the subcortex”—the urges and passions that might overwhelm us if left unchecked. (Apes and monkeys, like children, though clearly intelligent and capable of forethought and planning, are relatively lacking in frontal lobes, and tend to do the first thing that occurs to them, rather than pausing to reflect. Such impulsivity can be striking in patients with frontal-lobe damage.) There is normally a beautiful balance, a delicate mutuality, between the frontal lobes and the subcortical parts of the brain that mediate perception and feeling, and this allows a consciousness that is free-ranging, playful, and creative. The loss of this balance through frontal-lobe damage can “release” impulsive behaviors, obsessive ideas, and overwhelming feelings and compulsions. 
Frontal-lobe damage can lead to difficulties with attention and problem-solving, and impoverishment of creativity and intellectual activity. 
Does that sound like somebody you've seen in the news recently? Does it sound like grounds for removing a sitting president, via the 25th Amendment

Only wondering.




Friday, September 01, 2017

Monumental mistakes, statuary rape, and how New York’s blithering mayor, Bill DeBlasio, blathered his way into a mess

Is this statue of a Pilgrim, lost in Central Park,
another monumental mistake? Keep reading.
Leave it to the United  States of America to sweat the small stuff. 

Donald  Trump and Kim Jung  Un are rattling nuclear sabers at each other. 

Affordable healthcare is in danger of failing thanks to the spitefulness of Donald Trump and right wing Republicans.

Houston and now Lafayette, Louisiana, just nearly drowned. Meanwhile, a hanging judge named Mother Nature is busy sending out for more rope. 

We’re back in Afghanistan up to our necks, or maybe over our heads. It’s hard to tell which, since the Trump administration isn’t saying how many troops it plans to commit there. 

And what are we all worrying about?

Statues.

Statues!

It all started as a reasonable enough movement. Statues of Confederate Generals, erected decades after the Civil War, essentially to stick a finger in the eye of Reconstruction, are now sticking their stony and brassy fingers into the eyes of Afro-Americans — who rightfully object to the celebration-by-monument of treasonable behavior, in defense of the enslavement of their ancestors.

The white supremacist accusations of erasing a “heritage” arouse no feelings of sympathy in me. You want to remember your ancestors and your family’s heritage of enslaving other people? Go where the rest of us go to remember departed relatives — to the cemetery. Stick your monuments there, and stop littering public spaces with them.

Guardians of monumental virtue then raised what ought to have been a non-issue. Where would it all stop? If we could tear down Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, who fought for slavery, why not Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who kept slaves? Is our civilization teetering on the edge of committing mass "statuary rape?"

That argument was prima facie silly-assed. Washington and Jefferson may have kept slaves, but they fought to found a republic that would eventually eliminate slavery. Lee and Davis committed treason and fought against that same republic primarily to preserve slavery. End of argument.

Or at least it might have ended there, had not some nincompoops of political correctness —nincompoops who I am ashamed to confess are on my own end of the political spectrum and in my own city — jumped in with both left feet.

Case-in-point: suddenly there’s a movement afoot in New York to take down the statue-atop-a-tall-pillar of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle because Columbus helped to abuse and enslave the native Americans he found in the Western Hemisphere. (As did virtually every American, one way or another, up to the late 20th Century. Fortunately, now only some of us do that.)

My city’s idiot mayor, Bill De Blasio, is forming a commission on politically correct statuary. Among the statues under review is that one of Columbus at Columbus Circle. (De Blasio seems to have forgotten another, inside Central Park.) If the statue at Columbus Circle goes, can the  name of the circle be far behind? 

The Italian-American community, which never took an official position on statues, and had precious little to do with slavery or the Civil War, and also had little if anything to do with persecuting native Americans, is now seething.There’s some question as to whether De Blasio, who is half Italian, will permitted to march in the annual Columbus Day parade, the next biggest deal in New York to the St.Patrick’s Day parade.

Frankly, I hope they won’t let him march. A contentious issue was about to get put to bed when Dummy De Blasio, for no discernibly sensible reason, opened a bottomless can of worms.

Okay, Mayor Stupid. I’ve been walking through Central Park recently and I notice that this vast, once-glorious acreage, created by a pair of landscape artists to reflect and give us space to appreciate the glory of pastoral plains, lovely lakes and bosky glens — in other words untrammeled nature in the heart  of a great city — is now cluttered with statues that are trammeling the place from end to end.

You go to Central Park looking for trees. Instead you get statues littering the landscape like candy wrappers after a rock concert. Most of the statues range from mildly inappropriate to totally unsuitable. Just a few examples:

There’s a great big statue of a Pilgrim, complete with buckled hat, floppy boots and blunderbuss, inside the park on a grassy hillock just a little past the East 72nd Street entrance. What’s he doing there?  

The base of his statue says he’s celebrating the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. So what the hell is he doing cluttering up Central Park? Did he dive off the Mayflower too soon and get lost?

He was probably sent there because he was messing up the view at Plymouth Rock, and the good citizens of Massachusetts were able to fob off this inappropriate hunk of junk on New York. Besides, weren’t the Pilgrims intolerant of other religions? Didn’t they once whip a Quaker just because he was a Quaker and then cut off the poor fellow’s ears when he showed up in Massachusetts Bay Colony? Get rid of the statue.

Next there’s the statue of the late Fred Lebow. I found Fred to be an annoying guy with a loud, grating voice. True, he helped found  the New York Marathon. Does he deserve a statue for that?  He also helped start a running club that on weekend mornings often makes much of the park inhospitable to anyone who isn’t there to run with Fred’s club. 

Lebow’s  runners often blocked the bikeways and crowded up the roadways while Lebow’s sandpaper voice destroyed the peace of nature  and drowned out the chirping of birds by shouting out amplified distances, lap numbers, and running times from his one-time perch near the East 90th Street entrance. He was a royal pain not only in the butt, but also in everybody’s ear. Melt him down!

How about Balto the Dog? Remember him? No, I didn’t think you did. He was part of a dog sled team that helped deliver medicine to Nome, Alaska, to save children from diptheria a century or so ago. He and his unsung canine pals deserve a statue —in Nome, not New York. Meanwhile, God help you if you let your own dog off your leash in Central Park so he can enjoy a bit of a run. We only celebrate dead dogs here.

Bronze cougar preparing to attack steel bicycle. Does
nature need this? Melt the cat down!
Speakling of animals, there’s also a statue of a cougar on a cliff, looking like he’s ready to pounce on the joggers and cyclists below. If he were a real cougar I’d vote to keep him. Maybe he’d eat the mayor. Or some of Fred Lebow’s runners. But alas, he’s just another lump of bronze where bronze doesn’t belong.

Only in New York would somebody erect a 
statue to the worst poet in American History.
Send Fitz-Greene Halleck to the scrap yard!
Did I mention Fitz-Greene Halleck? Fitz-Who Who? He may have been the worst poet who ever held American citizenship, a scribbler of hifalutin’ third-rate trash.

For example, here’s the final stanza of one of his truly atrocious poems called “Fanny.” The poem rambles on, and on, stanza after stanza, in iffy meter with rhyme so strained it could induce a hernia, until the effort reaches its derision-inducing end by trying to rhyme “dress’d in” with “interesting.”

But a full dress is for a winter’s night. 
   The most genteel is made of "woven air;" 
That kind of classic cobweb, soft and light, 
   Which Lady Morgan’s Ida used to wear. 
And ladies, this aërial manner dress'd in, one 
Look Eve-like, angel-like, and interesting. 

Other samples  of his trash are even worse, but you get the idea.

Fitz-Greene (nickname him “Hack”) Halleck stands amid a cluster of statues along what might have been a perfectly pleasant tree-shaded path in Central Park, now called “Poet’s Walk.” Halleck is the only American whose statue appears there. There’s no Edgar Allen Poe. He wasn’t considered worthy enough by the politicians who stuck Halleck where they could have planted a perfectly good tree back in the 19th Century. No Longfellow, either. No Emily Dickinson. No Walt Whitman. Instead, there’s Sir Walter Scott, the Englishman who was primarily a novelist rather than a poet,  and the Scotsman Robert Burns. 

Elsewhere in Central Park you’ll find William Shakespeare, Daniel Webster, and such forgotten figures, perhaps deservedly, as Richard Morris Hunt, and Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen. (Sorry, no links. Look them up yourself.) The only useful part of Thorvaldsen’s statue is the base, because lots of dogs get to lift their legs to it, thus sparing nearby bushes and flower beds.

Tear all the statues down. Replace them with trees and grass and flowers that were meant, by the park's great architects, Olmstead and Vaux, to be there. Then if you want, you can honor somebody by naming a tree after her. Or him.


Come to think of it, maybe not. Some future idiot resembling Mayor De Blasio might come along and demand we form a commission chop down all the politically incorrect trees.

Monday, August 21, 2017

What to do with that torn down Confederate statue? That’s easy. Leave it just the way it is.

Angry protestors transformed this object from a monument
to a work of art
Statues of military figures, Confederate or not, are pretty much clichés in this nation. They’re everywhere — from the oodles of them on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, to the front lawns of obscure county courthouses around the nation.

The statues don’t say much. Essentially, all they tell us is, “Here’s a soldier. He stands for the thousands of soldiers who fought and died. He’s on a horse. Or on foot, weapon ready, prepared to defend his cause.” 

The cause might be anything — the defense of this nation against foreign invasion, or the destruction of naziism, or the complaint that the Kaiser was blocking our shipping lanes, or the demand that only the United States may colonize the Western Hemisphere, or the continuance (or destruction) of slavery on American soil.

Last week, in Durham, North Carolina, angry protestors tore down a civil war statue. And in so doing, instead of simply vandalizing  a clichéd monument, they created a visual masterpiece.

Lying on the ground beneath his own pedestal, his legs bent or broken just above the ankles, his hat bashed in, his head bent as if to hide his face in shame, his body supported partly by his own base and partly by the soil, he now has more to say to those who pass than he ever did high atop his pedestal.

He is now a symbol not only of soldiers who fought for slavery in the Civil War, but also of what became of many of them, and of the world’s regard for their cause. And he speaks also of the rage of 21st Century protestors who said, in effect, enough! This worship of “lost” causes must stop when the lost cause is an evil cause. Those who fight for malevolent ends will always, in time, be toppled.

The bent and broken body, lying in front of a pedestal bearing the inscription, “IN MEMORY OF THE BOYS WHO WORE THE GRAY” is no longer a monument. Instead, it has all the characteristics of a work of art. It shows us something familiar in a new way. It prompts discussion. It makes an impassioned commentary. It tells a story.

It should be preserved in its present state. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thimk, damn it! No no, thimk harder!






This painting, hanging in the lobby of a Trader Joe’s supermarket
in Manhattan, purports to be a New York street scene. But look 
closely. How did those cars get up on that sidewalk bridge?
Did they drive up the wall of the kiosk that’s holding it up? 
Was the artist thinking? More likely he was only thimking
Like Donald Trump.

Once upon a time, back in the early 1960s, there was a big, prosperous, international company that specialized in making adding machines and typewriters. Its name was IBM, an abbreviation for International Business Machines.

Additionally, the company was futzing with things called computers — room-filling assortments of big, metal-boxed vacuum tubes, flashing and flickering while they spun tapes on which data was recorded. Data got put into the machines by feeding it cards in which holes were punched at various places. The machine would “read” the data on the cards, and manipulate it ways that would enable it to retrieve information it had already been fed, or do the work of dozens of calculators.

At that time, the company had a long-established one-word slogan. It was coined by the company’s founder, Thomas J. Watson, a remarkable character who also demanded, on pain of dismissal, that all his employees always wear white shirts with suits that were either blue or charcoal. I don’t recall what the dress code said about ties, but you had better bet it was pretty conservative.

By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the company was desperately hanging on to its slogan despite merciless parody. Typically, the letters THIN would fill a column, with a K either squeezed into the margins, or placed above the rest of the word with a carat. Another popular parody was meant to indicate that some unthinking sloganeer hadn’t proofread his work. “THIMK,” it said.

By the mid 1960s, parody was the least of the problems with the IBM slogan. Computers were being touted around the media as eerie devices that were going to take away everybody’s job. We’d all become unemployed drones, left without income by the terrible “thinking machines” that we’d be forced to serve.

In retrospect the touting was fairly accurate.  But IBM was not about to take that kind of reputation-wrecking rumor lying down. It launched an advertising campaign in which every headline began with the words, “IBM computers don’t think.” The ads would go on to list human-helping benefits of the machines, such as helping to find rare blood to save a life, or locating a lost ship at sea. I’m familiar with this obscure corner of history because I was the 23 year old kid who was writing most of the ads.

But if computers hewed to the company line and didn’t “think,” what was one to do with a slogan that said “Think” at the bottom of the ads? Well, we got rid of the slogan. And for good measure, we generally added to the text of the ads a thought that computers would “free up people to think.”

Pretty soon the THINK slogan suffered the same fate that Grover Norquist wishes on government. It shrank away until somebody drowned it in the bath tub of history.

Now, thanks to Donald Trump,  the United States is also in danger of drowning in the bath tub of history. We are being sucked threat-by-threat into a potential war with North Korea. We are rattling our sword at Venezuela. It may have been possible to fight massive wars on two fronts during WWII when we have a draft. With today’s all-volunteer army it is not. 

And never mind just two fronts. There's still Afghanistan. There's still Iraq. Iran, too, anybody?

Eric Prince and his private war company, Academi (formerly called Xe, and before that, Blackwater) cannot save us, although if he sells the Trump administration on paying him to conduct a war he may quite possibly bankrupt the nation. 

Yet Trump shoots off his mouth — at North Korea, at Venezuela, at Iran, at….well hell, maybe we can go to war with the entire world. 

While in principle I don’t mind Trump painting himself into a corner, he has also managed to paint the entire United States into the same corner to keep him company. And all the national forests and spectacular landscapes that he turns into coal mines, all the streams and drinking water he poisons, all the social safety nets he destroys in the name of…..whatever, will not save us.

Give him a chance and he’ll shoot off his mouth — via Twitter — about any thing that pops into his head. He’ll support racists until his frantic staff grabs his arm and twists it to make him stop. He’ll create internal chaos and disorganization throughout the government. He’ll insult and alienate potential allies. 

Can’t anybody in the White House think? Or even pretend to think? Of if that’s too much trouble, at least Thimk?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Call the so-called “Alt-Right” what they really are. Terrorists. And then hunt them down and lock them up before they murder any more Americans.

"Peaceful protestors" don't show up in strange towns brandishing combat
weapons, bulletproof vests and camo unless they're hellbent on doing violence.
How can you categorize this as anything except extremist terrorism?
The time for equivocating is over. When the so-called Alt-Right shows up in a college town, and on a college campus, brandishing combat weapons, they are not merely “protesting.” They are terrorizing, plain and simple.

When one of their number slams his foot down on the gas pedal of his car and roars into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring many others, he is not a protestor. He is a terrorist.

These disgusting excuses for human beings are not participating in the democratic process. They are not practicing freedom of speech. They are practicing freedom to murder and terrorize.

They must lose that freedom. And they must lose their personal freedom. They belong in prison for a very long time.

Moreover, those who encourage them either directly or, like Donald Trump, through equivocation are by their actions and inaction clearly aiding and abetting terrorism. They are little Osama bin Ladens, human scum inducing others to commit murder and mayhem. They, too, must be eventually called to account.

Enough of these damn terrorists.They say they are Americans, but they display no American values. They say they are Christians, but their outlook is not Christian, it is barbarian.

Treat them like the barbarians and terrorists that they are. Round them up. Charge them with murder, with incitement to riot, and most importantly of all, with terrorism. 

Put them on trial. Then slam the iron bars of a prison cell behind them and let them rot.