Monday, March 28, 2016

Guns, Trump, Cruz, open carry petitions, and a surefire (no pun intended)…a surefire way to insure peace among Republicans.

Imagine the Republican presidential convention if every
attendee carries one of these
I note, admittedly not without a slight frisson of sangfroid coursing through my veins, that there’s a move afoot to allow open carry weapons at the forthcoming Republican convention, and that people are petitioning for it.

Now it happens that there are also some rascally folks who have openly and unscrupulously theorized that the petitioners are trolls. Imagine that! They say the petition is there to embarrass the Republicans into opposing one of the sacred principles of their own platform — specifically, support of an unfettered, unregulated, unpoliced, unlicensed Second Amendment right to, uh, blast bad guys off the face of the earth for, uh, self-defense.

According to that theory of trolling, the Republicans will be such silly sissies that they will be terrified of all those guns in their midst and oppose open carry even as Republican legislators and judges try to force it on schools and other places where the hoi polloi and their young children mingle

Nonsense! Republicans are red-blooded Americans who were given their right to open carry firearms by God Himself. I know they will get behind this petition — which will fill their convention hall with good guys with guns, thus rendering themselves safe from terrorist, communist, gay activist, socialist and possibly even dadaist, surrealist, and impressionist attacks. With so many Republicans openly carrying, the convention can’t be anything but completely peaceable. 

Little wonder that as of this posting, over 41,000 red blooded Americans have already signed the petition.

And little wonder Donald Trump says he is seriously studying the proposal. In fact, before you read the next paragraph, you should sign the Republican Convention open carry petition, here.

You’ve done that? Good for you. But before you go away, let me make a modest proposal concerning history, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr. That’s Burr on the left. You can find Hamilton on any of the $10 bills in your wallet. Or at right.
Aaron Burr. He knew how
solve a dispute between
high-ranking politicians
Alexander Hamilton.
During his duel with Burr
he missed. Burr didn't.

Both men had a dislike for each other that rivaled, or came close to
rivaling, anything festering between Trump and Cruz today.

In the end, Hamilton and Burr settled their differences the conservatively manly way — and remember, you Federalist Originalists, both dudes were founding fathers. In 1807, Hamilton and Burr fought a pistol duel. Burr won. Hamilton lost. And if two consenting founding fathers did it, it had to be constitutionally protected.

Given the dispute between Trump and Cruz over whose wife is uglier and who did or did not have a little tart — or a few little tarts — baking on the side, not to mention something about spilled beans, I think there’s only one way to settle their dispute so that the rest of us can get some sleep. Yes, I’m talking about the old-fashioned way. With a firearms duel.

Hamilton and Burr used front-loading pistols. But technology has advanced, and as the NRA will tell you, there’s no reason the average joe shouldn’t be walking, or driving around, or lazing on the couch with an automatic or semi-automatic assault weapon equipped with a 30 bullet magazine.

So that’s what I propose for the Trump vs. Cruz duel to the death. And both guys are so brave and macho, I’m sure neither of them will wimp out of the contest. 

Afterwards, the winner can go to the Republican nominating convention, openly carrying a firearm. Because with so many good guys armed to the teeth, just as the Republican party has been advocating, nothing can possibly go wrong.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tighten your wing nuts, folks! Here come five mega-Tuesday nightmares, pipe dreams, and paranoid fantasies for the nation’s wing-iest Americans.

Have you notice the resemblance
between wing nuts and Mickey
Mouse hats? Only asking.
Tonight, the Ides of March, could turn out to be the best night of Donald Trump’s life, if he wins the big primaries in Florida, Illinois and Ohio. 

On the other hand, maybe not. He could lose some or all of this day’s big three. Or any of the following five nightmare could happen:

1. Melania Trump turns out to be a Russian spy. Please understand, I’m not saying it’s so. I’m not even saying I think it might perhaps be ever-so-slightly possibly so. I’m just saying that given America’s paranoid style of thinking recently, any nutball could make an accusation like this:

Zealous investigators (perhaps newly-enlightened Breitbart reporters?) discover that Melania Trump, born in a formerly communist country, is actually a concoction of Russian intelligence. They set out looking for beautiful women in communist and former communist lands to comes to America and undermine American democracy. 

The mission of these women will be to marry American men, encourage their husbands to run for the presidency, and thus infiltrate the White House. Why do you think there are so many websites where you can meet and maybe marry Russian women, for example? (And look, I know that Slovenia, where Melania comes from, isn't Russia, sort of. But it's geographically close. Besides, any place with a name like Slovenia...well, you know.)

Using psychographic projections based on a careful study of The Trumpster’s behavior, the Russkies, or at least the commies, figured out exactly which feminine traits are likely to appeal to The Donald. There was the slight inconvenience of Marla Marples, but maybe the Russkies paid her off to walk out on Trump. The rest is history. The plot is working in more ways than one. I mean, why do you think so many people are saying that Trump and Putin love each other

2. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are actually Cuban espionage agents. I mean, I’m not even trying to suggest that they really are, but consider. They both come from Cuban  immigrant parents, right? And by some strange coincidence, both Cuban-Americans are running for President. Coincidence? Do you think so? 

Obviously, the only reason there could be two of them is so that if one gets knocked out of the race, the other can jump in. Which is exactly what may happen if Marco doesn’t get enough votes in Florida by tonight. 

But why would Cuba do this to us? Obviously, Castro has been really teed off, ever since Russia stopped supporting the Cuban economy. That’s probably why he’s ailing. So now, with a Russian agent dangerously close to putting her head inches from the President’s pillow, the Cubans feel that this Russian plot must be stopped, since their relations with the United States are warming up and they don’t want to see any Russian agent messing up the flow of money to Cuba. 

I know that all sounds complicated. But if you twist the wings on your wing nut two turns to the right, it all makes perfect sense.

3. Those people getting punched in the nose by Trump fans? They’re actually part of a plot to murder Trump voters. See, they’ve got really, really dangerous blood-borne diseases. They’ve been planted deliberately in Trump audiences for the sole purpose of getting punched.  When you punch them in the nose, they bleed on you and a few weeks later, you die mysteriously of something like AIDS or Zika. 

How do you think AIDS and Zika even got to our shores in the first place? We didn’t have those problems 50 years ago. If we had a wall, we could keep them out. By the way, have you heard a rumor that Donald Trump wants to put a mosquito net on top of the wall? That should do the trick, at least when it comes to Zika. And we can make the flying insects pay for it.

4. John Kasich is actually a secret agent for the Democrats. Think about it. He doesn’t shout. He doesn’t curse. He doesn’t sneer. He doesn’t make remarks about women, or ugly people, or the length of various appendages on Donald Trump. Just like the Democrats. This can't be a mere accident. 

So obviously, he’s there to take the election away from True Conservatives and turn the Presidency into a Hillary agenda. Or maybe even a Bernie agenda.Or maybe it’s not an “agenda.” Maybe it’s “a gender." Only thinking aloud here.

5. If Bernie Sanders becomes President, he’ll force sick people to get well, against their will. That’s what his whole so-called “Medicare for All” program is all about. People will be cured against their will. Poor people will get hip transplants and liver transplants and dental implants and eyeglasses, just like the one percent. After that comes vaccinations. And there goes freedom! What’s more, all those people living longer will bankrupt the Social Security system and you and I won’t get a nickel when we retire, which is what that crazy socialist is really up to.

Phew! Glad I got all that stuff off my chest.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

“We haf ways to make you relent, heh heh heh!” No longer content to “think small” as it did in the 1960s, Volkswagen now thinks evil.

Forget that honest little car with an honest
message, Volkswagen is now making big
threats against workers' jobs if the U.S. levels
a punitive fine for cheating on pollution. Cute.
Volkswagen, the lying, conniving car company that put a cheater in its cars to help foil U.S. anti-pollution regulations, and that still hasn’t come up with a fix for the problem, isn’t merely content to have screwed thousands of its American customers.

Now it’s also threatening to screw not only workers in its American facilities, but also to enrage its German workers against the United States by threatening their jobs, too.

Reuters reports:
Volkswagen may have to cut jobs in the United States as well as Europe and other countries depending on how big a fine has to be paid for its manipulation of diesel emissions tests, the carmaker's top labor official told a meeting of 20,000 workers at its German headquarters on Tuesday. [snip] 
The extent to which VW may be forced to cut jobs to help meet the costs of 'Dieselgate' depends "decisively" on the level of fines, VW's works councils chairman Bernd Osterloh said on Tuesday at the meeting of workers in Wolfsburg which was also attended by the carmaker's top managers. [snip] 
"Should the future viability of Volkswagen be endangered by an unprecedented financial penalty, this will have dramatic social consequences," said Osterloh, who also sits on VW's 20-member supervisory board.
This is not very different from the old SS policy in Belgium, France, and elsewhere of putting ten innocent hostages up against the wall and shooting them every time one German soldier was killed by a sniper.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Napoleon Bonparte, Russia, and why a liberal Democrat like me is rooting for Trump to win the Republican nomination

Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated when his
Russian enemies followed his advice. My 
fellow Democrats should follow it, too.
It all boils down to something Napoleon Bonparte once said:

“Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a grave mistake."

Today, Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at 4:30 in the afternoon, it looks very much as if Donald Trump will emerge from today's voting with enough strength to win the Republican nomination.

Some of my fellow Democrats are tearing their hair out in despair. I say, let Trump win.  In fact, I sincerely hope he wins.

Trump seems to be hitting his head against the ceiling at roughly 49 percent of the Republican vote. The other half of Republicans support Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and Kasich.

No doubt, if  Trump wins the nomination, he’ll pull in even more Republicans. But most of these will be grudging Republicans. Let’s say he gets half of the balance. That brings him to 75 percent of people who call themselves Republicans.

Only 39 percent of Americans say they are either Republicans or lean toward  voting Republican. So if Trump wins 75 percent of those 39 percent, he gets the votes of less than 30 percent of the people. 

And that leaves slightly over 69 percent for the Democratic nominee. Which means it will be the most disastrous thing that happened to the Republican party in its history — a triumph of arithmetic over political insanity.

P.S. A little over  200 years ago, Napoleon’s enemies followed his advice, and destroyed him by failing to interrupt him. Early in the 19th Century, he marched bravely into Russia. The Russians had neither the army, nor the military skills, not the ordnance that Napoleon had. They couldn't interrupt him.

But they did have winters like Napoleon had never seen.

So when Napoleon marched into Russia, they let him come. Well, not literally. They initially fought fierce battles with him and lost every one of them, which turned out to be a good thing.  What the Russians couldn’t defeat, the weather and the vastness of Russia did.

And so Napoleon marched on while the Russians pulled back. Napoleon took Vilna. He took Vitebsk. He took Smolensk. After a bloody battle, the Russians abandoned Borodino, which Napoleon also took. Next he took Moscow, which the Russians set fired to before they fled, leaving him with a burned out shell of a city. Then it began to snow.

I skip over many subsequent details, but what it boils down to is this: Napoleon’s army, starved for supplies, freezing, sick, hampered by impossibly long supply lines, and harassed by Russian guerilla actions, was nearly wiped out.

From there on it was all downhill for him. Not long afterward he was an exile on Elba.

Go Trump, go!