Showing posts from August, 2015

More Border Wall, Yay!

Well, here is a really meaningful proposal:  Scott Walker, floundering in near irrelevance as a result of the work of Donald Trump, suggested today on Meet the Press that the United States cannot be content with a border wall between us and Mexico; we must also build one between the U.S. and Canada. Well, as Mr. Walker should know, being a governor of a State right across Lake Superior from Canada, the border between the United States and Canada, the longest border between any two countries on earth, stretches for 5,525 miles. Current costs for the construction of border walls along the Mexican border are running at around $7.5 million a mile. The cost varies dramatically depending on the terrain, but using this as an average, we are looking at about $42 billion just to build the thing- about ten percent of next year's projected budget deficit.  Then, of course, there is the fact that the wall would be a useless boondoggle unless it is constantly patrolled along its entire leng

European Refugee Crisis

Two stories in the news today:  70 or so dead refugees found in a truck in Austria; and an equal number in one of the seemingly endless supply of unseaworthy boats trying to cross to Europe from North Africa.  Meanwhile thousands try to sneak through the channel tunnel to England. What interests me is the almost invariable reporting of this as a European story.  People seem to have so given up on any hope that the people generating this problem in Syria, Iraq and North Africa have the capacity to ever deal with the problems that they are deliberately generating every day.  And let's just be blunt here: most of these people are not economic migrants, they are refugees from Islamic sectarian wars.  This is not a European problem, although Europeans are bearing the cost.  Of course, it is not a good idea for people whose own inability to control their viciousness killed fifty million less than a century ago, to act too ethically superior, but that was then, and this is now.  Moraliz

Anchor Baby

Can someone tell me how the term "anchor baby" suddenly turned out to be some sort of racial taunt?  It has been used for years, and seems to me to be a pretty descriptive term with nothing obviously racist about it, yet all of a sudden it is as taboo as the n-word.  Is this one more loony product of the "trigger warning" people?  Does someone actually think it is a winning issue against the likes of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump?  I just don't get it.

Murder of the Day

Funny that a guy can murder two people on live TV, and then post the worst selfie in the world about it, and no one in the U.S. seems to care.  Oh, there's plenty of excitement about the spectacle of it, just no one cares that it adds to the roughly one multiple gun murder in this country every day.  I think most people have just given up even pretending that these people's lives are more important than corporate profits, and are just getting on with their lives.  Until they come in for their own little burst of fame, barely more than Andy Warhol's canonical 15 minutes at this point, and then vanish forever from public consciousness.

We're Scaring the World Again

I mentioned that my wife and I recently got back from a train trip across Canada.  On the way, we met people from many countries, and the first thing every one of them wanted to know about was Donald Trump.  They are really afraid about how far into outer space the American people have gone, and I sure wish I could reassure them that this is going to lead nowhere.  Five thousand nuclear weapons in the hands of a mean-spirited, egomaniacal carnival barker- now that's a comforting thought, huh?  Yet, if all of the Republicans, including their financiers, unite behind this jerk, it could happen. We laughed at the clown car in 2012, and were all set to laugh at it this time around too, until the Republican party topped itself by finding an entire clown car in one person- a single character embodying all the hate-filled irrationality and lust for violence that Republicans have been worshiping for years.  Why shouldn't they nominate him?  He is their perfect candidate.  And then we

Wingnut Wrapup

It's been so long up there in Canada that I fear my sarcasm generator has atrophied a little, but here goes- back to work: Ken Klukowski, Breitbart:  "Myths about birthright citizenship—promoted by liberals, embraced by establishment Republicans, and repeated by mainstream media pundits without critical examination—have been debunked by experts spanning the political spectrum. But none of those people are being given A-list treatment by major media outlets to respond.   Instead, the voices given the biggest public platforms are commentators who lack any professional credentials on the topic, who breezily assure viewers that “of course everyone knows” that the Fourteenth Amendment confers citizenship on everyone born in this country." "Experts."  Experts "debunk..."  Well, here's the text: decide for yourself: " All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United St

Fourteenth Amendment

The pertinent section these days, at the very beginning: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." Let's remember the reason that this amendment was enacted in the first place, and why it did not become part of the Constitution at the beginning of the country, but only a century later. After the Civil War, the nation and its government were filled with Southern reactionaries who had a hundred schemes to deny the vote to ex-slaves.  Those who supported the destruction of slavery knew that these schemes would continue to be promoted until a sufficiently racist Supreme Court would give an okay to one of them*, and that would legalize the permanent second class status of blacks. Birthright citizenship was enacted not to create anchor babies, but to prevent white people from revoking the citizenship of blacks.  It's existence can be totally

It's Still Alive

Can we now stop pretending that the coarse, vicious diatribes of Donald Trump are pushing the Republican party in a direction it doesn't want to go?  Trump is simply openly speaking what they all believe, just without the tattered cloak desperately pulled over the truth by advisers and political consultants.  We are constantly getting glimpses of the racism, hatred of women, xenophobia and love of violence from other Republicans; the only difference with Trump is that he is letting us see it all at once. Do Not Call Up That Which Ye Cannot Put Down This IS the Republican party.  It is the party of Reagan, of Nixon, of Bush.  It is a party of hatred and greed.  That is all it is about any more, and I, for one, thank Donald Trump for presenting it to us out in the open. I am almost sympathetic with certain Republicans who now seem to believe that Trump is a Democratic plant.  They're wrong, of course.  There never was a Republican candidate more representative of the bas

Bernie and Black Lives Matter

Well, I'm back from the Canadian Rockies (very nice) and ready to start complaining again.  In truth, as far as I can tell from the very limited internet connection I had in the last two weeks, not much has changed in the world. Here's something that bothered me at the time and which may be old news at this point, but I want to say something about. There is no one in the U.S. Congress with a stronger civil rights record than Bernie Sanders.  Since at least 1963, he has been working for equal rights, even being arrested in the process.  So why did a Black Lives Matter activist, one Marissa Johnson, choose him to attack in public, in a transparent attempt to damage his standing among minorities? Well, maybe a clue can be found in her statements about who she really is: "My parents are both Tea Partiers. I'm mixed. My mom's white and my dad's black. And they're both big Tea Partiers and that's how I was raised....I do want to say I am a very devo

The Surge

I'm in difficult blogging circumstances here, but I really want to recommend this article by Juan Cole, perhaps our greatest Iraq expert, about what a colossal disaster the Republicans' beloved surge was. It also reveals what an incompetent idiot General Petraeus was, as an added benefit. The Republicans are determined to blame their Iraq disaster on Hillary and Obama, so it is a good idea to keep the truth in mind.

A Brief Note

I'm going off on a train trip across Canada for several days.  No internet on the train.  Just mentioning this so you don't think I have fallen off the edge of the earth.  I'll be back soon.


As far as I am concerned, the only interesting thing about the recent Republican "debate" is the lengths the mainstream media are going to in order to pretend that anything of the slightest interest happened.  In fact, things went exactly as you could have predicted- Trump was a boor, Jeb was a boring, not very smart, privileged child, Christie was a bully, Rand Paul was a pathetic imitation of a smart guy, Scott Walker was a preprogrammed hustler.  In the eyes of the press, that made it a highly successful evening; no one self-destructed beyond repair, and the Republicans can go on pretending that they are a reasonable alternative to Democrats, instead of the endless collection of corrupt hustlers that they really are. Ho hum.  Another day in modern America.

My Favorite Headline of the Day

From Daily Kos: "New York man who lost leg in homemade bomb explosion had KKK and Confederate memorabilia" Just in case you are confused too, here's a very meaningful comment: "We don't know the import exactly of what these sort of inflammatory items might mean only to say that they were in the immediate vicinity," said Jack Alsup, an assistant U.S. Attorney." No, we just can't figure it out.  Because, how could the two things possibly be related?


I'm still standing with my view that the current runaway popularity of Donald Trump among Republican voters, 15 months ahead of the election, is just an infantile act of fury, from a group of people who have been told ever since Ronald Reagan that government is nothing but a crooked scam to rip them off, and that if it didn't exist, they would all be rich by now.  The Republican party has created a monster, and now it can't keep it in its cage- at least for the time being.  But if the last eight or so Republican Presidential choices indicate anything, when it comes down to it, these people are going to have the Republicans' rich backers once again cram down their throats a candidate that will do the bidding of the likes of the Koch Brothers and the Waltons, at which point, as they say "Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line." Right now, that candidate, in my perhaps worthless opinion, is still strongly likely to be Jeb! with the nauseating Scott Wa