Showing posts from 2016

Wingnut Wrapup

Just another load of garbage, sad to say.  So, here we go: Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "NYT: These Damned Illegitimate Republicans Have 'Stolen' a SCOTUS Seat, Or Something" Or something.  Or something.  They stole it, Guy.  No somethings about it.  And you are proud of subverting the Constitution.  Great.  We're all in awe of your wonderful patriotism. Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "Obama: I Got Rid Of That Registry That Tracks Visitors From Countries With Active Terrorist Groups" Ooh, scary!  A registry that was closed down five years ago because the Homeland Security people said it didn't accomplish anything. Tony Corvo, PJ Media:  "Gov. Kasich: 'Ohio on the Verge of a Recession'...Time for Kasich to put right-to-work back on his agenda?" Yeah, if there is going to be a recession, why not do everything possible to make it worse? Bridget Johnson, PJ Media:  "Berlin Terrorist Urged Muslims to Launch Attacks 'Within

Trump's America

The police, in Chandler, Ariz. treated this as an act of simple vandalism, and refused to arrest anyone.

A Note on Israel

As I have made it clear before, I have lived in Israel for a time, and am a strong supporter of its right to survive.  Consequently, I think it is necessary at this point to make it clear that supporting Israel and supporting its current government are two different things- as different as wanting the United States to continue to exist and supporting the treasonous Trump regime that is about to take over. It is vital to realize that Benjamin Netanyahu got his start in politics, not in Israel, but right here in the United States, as a Republican party apparatchik.  It is possible to understand exactly what he is up to, if you see him as a Republican, not an Israeli. Now, here is the thing about Israel:  It only came into existence in the late 1940's.  As a result of that, every Israeli leader up to Netanyahu had either participated in the creation of Israel, or in the formation of its government.  These people, however self-serving they might have been, all had a certain commitm

An Appropriate Response to the North Carolina Democracy Crisis

If you follow the news, you will know that Republicans in North Carolina have so mangled the laws there, that it is no longer considered a democracy.  I would like to suggest a perfectly legal action that President Obama could take to punish these subhumans for their behavior. Do you know what Schedule 1 drugs are?  They are supposedly the most harmful drugs that people can consume; the distribution of them comes with long prison sentences.  The requirement to be placed on Schedule 1 is as follows: The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. There is no drug on earth that more fully fits those criteria than nicotine, the agricultural mainstay of North Carolina.  It has only been the lack of political will for generation after generation that has prevented the obvi

Just One More Little Abomination

Hardly worth noticing, these days.  Via Daily Kos, the following picture of Republican congressmen reacting just after passing a bill to do away with Obamacare: These miserable excuses for human beings are roaring in laughter at the thought of taking medical care away from twenty million people.  These people know they are dooming a million or two people to an early death.  I'm sorry, but to me, this level of callousness approaches that of the Nazis that would send millions to the death camps.  And they are laughing about it. This is what we are going to get, starting on January 20th.  Good work, white assholes who voted for Trump and a Republican Congress.  I hope your race hatred is worth your lives because that's the price you contracted to pay for the privilege.

Trump's America, part about two hundred thousand

This news , which will undoubtedly bring a smile to Trump supporters: "A neo-Nazi Donald Trump supporter is planning an armed march to terrorize Jews in a small Montana town next month...Organizer Claims Hundreds Will Carry 'High-Powered Rifles' To Terrorize Jewish Residents. (Andrew) Anglin says he's planning an armed march through Whitefish in January "against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either." A web graphic announcing the march (pictured, with faces of residents blacked out) included a photo of the entrance to Auschwitz and a yellow Star of David with the word “Jude” printed in it." And here's part of it: Attractive, no? Look for a lot more of this in the coming four years. I do, however, have one helpful suggestion for Donald Trump.  He is apparently having an awful time getting people to march in his inaugural parade.  Instead of the usual high school bands, Donald, why not extend an invitation to these guy

Sorry, Mr. Godwin, It Looks Like We're Going to be Wearing You Out

Here is a particularly horrible specimen of what to expect from the coming Trump era, from a piece by Frank Lewis, at Renew America, motivated by the refusal of most real musicians to have anything to do with the Trump Coronation Inaugural.  I will quote from it at some length, as it is so malignant: "Why would elitist, high-brow opinions of what is good or bad art matter to you, Ivanka? There are many, many artists, musicians, actors, etc out there who are ignored and discarded by the elite. You have a chance to get rid of this elite anti American structure and "drain this swamp" and recognize a totally new cadre of Americans in the arts who emulate the America your father's supporters are, for the most part, demanding. Remove their artwork from your walls, as they demand. Ivanka, burn it all! Throw it all out. Replace it all with artwork that is equally great but is not sanctioned by the Leftist Liberal Elite who have set themselves up as the experts since ri

Trump To Dissolve Foundation To 'Avoid...Any Conflict'

Yes, this story is all over the news.  So far, however, I have not seen a single person comment on the fact that, with the dozens of sleazy business connections and conflicts of interest that Trump has, the thing he is doing to stop the controversy is end the one Trump operation which (purportedly) exists to help someone else besides himself.

A Christmas Statement

One from, apparently, a real Christian, and one that would be hard to disagree with, in spirit: “We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive towards those who adhere to a minority faith,” he said. “All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s. “I was born in 1948 – just after the end of World War II in which my parents’ generation had fought, and died, in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and an inhuman attempt to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe. “That, nearly seventy years later, we should still be seeing such evil persecution is, to me, beyond all belief. We owe it to those who suffered and died so horribly not to repeat the horrors of the past. “Normally, at Christmas, we think of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder, though, if this year we might remember how the story of the Nativity unfolds – with the fleeing of the Holy Family to escape violent p

Season's Greetings

In the traditional Green Eagle way. Take pleasure where you can, folks.  You may not have many chances in the near future.

Wingnut Wrapup

The rewriting of history is on: Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "Cotton: Say, Why Did Obama Reject Republicans' Proposal to Fight Russian Disinformation?" Republicans' proposals to fight Russian disinformation.  That's rich. Cortney O'Brien, Town Hall:  "Speaker Ryan's Office Furious Obama Didn't Sign Troop Pay Raise Before Vacation" She forgot to mention that the same bill that provided a "troop pay raise" also stripped due process rights from all Federal employees, military or civilian.  An old Republican trick- attach  a popular provision to a miserable, cruel piece of legislation, and then smear Democrats who won't go along with the whole package. David Limbaugh, Town Hall:  "Democrats Care About Their Power, Not About Russian Hacking" We care about not living in a dictatorship, David. Christine Rousselle, Town Hall:  "2016 Killed People's Belief In Santa" So sad.  Actually, I didn't k

Your Trump Administration- Justice Department Edition

Here's what we are about to get from the Trump administration, from CNN, via a report at Daily Kos: "The 1997 "order and opinion" by an Alabama judge accused the state attorney general's office, which had been headed by Sessions, of the worst prosecutorial misconduct he'd ever seen. "The court finds that even having been given every benefit of the doubt, the misconduct of the Attorney General in this case far surpasses in both extensiveness and measure the totality of any prosecutorial misconduct ever previously presented to or witnessed by this court," wrote James S. Garrett, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge. The misconduct was "so pronounced and persistent," Garrett wrote, that "it permeates the entire atmosphere of this prosecution. ...This court can only conclude it is dealing with either intentional and deliberate misconduct or conduct so reckless and improper as to constitute conscious disregard for the lawful

The Poverty Divide

I think this is one of the most illuminating maps I have seen in a long time.  It comes from a Centers for Disease Control publication, which you can find here. I think the map speaks for itself.  Right now, the nation is in thrall to its least economically successful section- States filled with people who have, essentially, failed to thrive, and are now throwing fits of rage over their inability to compete in the modern world, and blaming everyone but themselves.  We are about to experience the result of allowing these people to order us to live according to their beliefs, while those beliefs are constantly failing in front of us.  Now the whole nation will be run by their crackpot economic theories and social hatreds, and where can anyone think that is going to get us?  We in the "blue" States will be required to continue to massively subsidize the Republican areas of the country, in order to prevent them from descending into chaos and violence.  And in the meantime we

A Little Press Coverage in the Trump Era

I think this story from Yahoo this morning pretty much shows how the press has decided to play things these days: "Backlash against creator of secret Clinton group" Secret Clinton group!  Backlash!  God, what has Hillary done this time? "The woman behind 3.7 million-member Facebook group Pantsuit Nation sparks anger when she announces book plans." The group was so secret that it only had 3.7 million members! "The group’s founder, 33-year-old Libby Chamberlain, announced on Monday that she is publishing a book based on the Facebook page...Some users even saw Chamberlain’s book move as an act of personal gain." God forbid that she should have any "personal gain" from this highly successful project she organized.  I mean, she is a liberal, and therefore has no right to take advantage of our free enterprise system. In the meantime Donald Trump is enshrining corruption at the center of his administration, violating every single day mo

Maybe This Explains Everything

Here's the result of an interesting investigation by the West Virginia Sunday Gazette-Mail, which I read about at Daily Kos: "In six years, drug wholesalers showered the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, while 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers..." 780 million.  In case you are wondering, West Virginia has a population of approximately 1,850,000 people.  One town, with under 400 people, received 9 million pills. "For more than a decade, the same distributors disregarded rules to report suspicious orders for controlled substances in West Virginia to the state Board of Pharmacy, the Gazette-Mail found. And the board failed to enforce the same regulations that were on the books since 2001, while giving spotless inspection reviews to small-town pharmacies in the southern counties that ordered more pills than could possibly be taken by people who really needed medicine for pain. " And this is just one St

Private Security Force

This interesting story is in the news today: "President-elect Donald Trump has continued employing a private security and intelligence team at his victory rallies, and he is expected to keep at least some members of the team after he becomes president, according to people familiar with the plans. "The arrangement represents a major break from tradition. All modern presidents and presidents-elect have entrusted their personal security entirely to the Secret Service, and their event security mostly to local law enforcement..." Well, maybe a break from American tradition.  But let's remember that leaders having private security forces have not been totally unknown: And don't even try to tell me that the comparison is not appropriate.  The SS started as a "private security service" for Hitler, out of any control of the government: "It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz (Hall-Protection) made up of NSDAP volunteers to

An Election Autopsy from Paul Krugman

As usual, one of the very few people who has managed to keep his place in the mainstream media while daring to tell the truth.  I'm going to let Krugman, in today's New York Times , speak for himself: "It has long been obvious — except, apparently, to the news media — that the modern G.O.P. is a radical institution that is ready to violate democratic norms in the pursuit of power. Why should the norm of not accepting foreign assistance be any different? ...By the way, people who respond to this observation by talking about mistakes in Clinton campaign strategy are missing the point, and continuing their useful idiocy. All campaigns make mistakes. Since when do these mistakes excuse subversion of an election by a foreign power and a rogue domestic law enforcement agency? ...The bigger surprise was the behavior of the news media, and I don’t mean fake news; I mean big, prestigious organizations. Leaked emails, which everyone knew were probably the product of Russi

Wingnut Wrapup

Well, I pretty much gave up reading the wingnut blogs after the election.  No sense annoying myself or you repeating their gloating over having sold the country to the Russians.  But, time to pull my head out of the sand and stick it back in the sewer: Michael Brown, Town Hall:  "Why Many Americans Trust Donald Trump More Than the CIA" Because they are stupid. Joe Cunningham, Red State:  "Oh Please. Flyover State Voters Are “Cultural Fascists”?" Yup. Kira Davis, Town Hall:  "No, Sean Hannity is Not a Racist" Yes he is.  How stupid do you think we are, Kira? Michael Van Der Galien, PJ Media:  "Geert Wilders to PJ Media: 'They Will Have to Kill Me First if They Want to Silence Me' Okay by me. Lloyd Marcus, Renew America:  "Hillary: Lock her up!" Some people will never give up. And let me interrupt things here, to offer you a video of Jim Bakker and some other jackass explaining how Donald Trump is the Messiah:

Fake News Through The Years

Really, some times I think that, in order to work in the mainstream press, you have to agree to have your brain purged of all memories every two years or so. How much have we heard about "fake news" lately, and how many times have we heard it blamed on the internet, and treated like a new phenomenon that was created with the rise of twitter, 4-chan, Breitbart, etc? Well, for those of you whose minds have fogged over, let's take a walk back through the mists of time. Do you remember when Barack Obama was not an American citizen, but a citizen of Kenya, or maybe Indonesia?  Do you remember when he was a Communist, or a Muslim, or the Antichrist?  Do you remember when it was discovered that his wife was actually an ex college football player who had had a sex change operation, and his two children were actually stolen for him from Morocco? Do you remember when the mainstream press gave endless publicity to a story that John Kerry was a lying coward in Vietnam, despit

End of the Line?

In case you have not seen this yet, the following is from Fox News (!) You know that this was not aired solely on the impetus of Shepard Smith.  This is absolutely beyond anything we could have expected from a doctrinaire Republica news outlet like Fox News. I see that this morning the Republicans are enlisting right wing judges to try to force electors to cast their votes the way the Republican party wants, despite the clear intent of the writers of the Constitution.  In the unlikely situation where electors actually try to do the right thing, Conservatives will be there every inch of the way, trying to stop them.

Dunning-Kruger in the White House

Donald Trump: "You Know, I'm, Like, A Smart Person" Smart enough to have been born rich and have then quickly abandoned any concern for anyone but himself.

More on the Climate Change Apocalypse

I would like to bring your attention to an unusually forthright piece of reporting from CNN, regarding something I have been talking about- the real possibility that, in a few decades, unchecked climate change is going to render large parts of the Middle East and North Africa uninhabitable.  This piece focuses on the Sudan, and includes some nice maps showing the likely extent of the problem in Africa; as I have reported before, a large part of the Southern Middle East is also at threat. Here's an excerpt from the article: "Climate change could render Sudan 'uninhabitable' Experts say that without quick intervention, parts of the African country -- already one of the most vulnerable in the world -- could become uninhabitable as a result of climate change. "North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some point in this century, part of the region will become uninhabitable," Jos Lelieveld, a climate scientist from the Max P

Best Headline of the Day

From Daily Kos.  You can't disagree with this: "McConnell wants Democratic 'cooperation' on repealing Obamacare. Oh yeah? Get f*cked, buddy"

And Everybody Wins!

Particularly the people of Indiana, who end up winning the grand sum of minus $7 million dollars! Here's Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, being interviewed by Jim Cramer, explaining how it all works: "GREG HAYES: Right. Well, and again, if you think about what we talked about last week, we're going to make a $16 million investment in that factory in Indianapolis to automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive. Now is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost of labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we'll make the capital investments there. JIM CRAMER: Right. GREG HAYES: But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs." Hooray, American workers, we're not going to move your jobs to Mexico!  No, we are going to automate them out of existence entirely!  Misery loves company, I've heard, so you will have the satisfaction, as you sink into poverty of knowing that there ar

Impeachable Offense

" he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed"- Constitution of the United States, Article II, section 3 This is the most fundamental duty of the President of the United States.  It was my opinion that Ronald Reagan should have been impeached a year into his term of office, for deliberately appointing Cabinet Secretaries who were committed to frustrating the laws the President was required to uphold, but of course the cowardly Democrats would not even speak that heresy aloud; and thus the situation we have today, where a Republican leader is apparently entitled to openly violate this Constitutional requirement without the slightest opposition. Of course, we know that the Democrats in Washington are as craven as ever, so none of them will dare mention the fact that Donald Trump has kicked this criminal practice up to a new level, appointing Cabinet personnel almost solely based on their opposition, and their commitment to destroy, the laws of this land. This

Things I Never Knew

"Populist" is a synonym for "Nazi."

What's the Point?

I mean really, what's the point?  We are about to lose Social Security, any government involvement in medical care, along with the insurance of 20 million people, the minimum wage, environmental protection, equality for all Americans, even in theory, the rest of the middle class, free speech and even the notion that there is a difference between true and false.  And what difference did the four thousand posts I have written make? What difference did the tens of thousands of people like me make?  Nothing.  No difference at all.  The Koch Brothers and their rich psycho killer friends have won. Every time I sit down to try to write a meaningful post, I just give up after a couple of paragraphs, because, why waste my time?  Let the whole damned United States go down the drain that it has been circling for the last few decades.  Let the bad guys win.  Because, what can we do about it? Face it; we have been lying to ourselves when we told ourselves that there were enough people in th

The Electors' Duties

Well, as it is getting closer to the time when the Electoral College will, in overwhelming likelihood, put its seal of approval on the travesty of Trump's accession to the White House, I thought it would do well to see what the founding fathers really thought about this institution.  For that purpose, I'll turn to Federalist Paper no. 68, where the musical man of the hour, Alexander Hamilton, explains on behalf of himself and his fellow authors of the Constitution, what it actually means, as opposed to the ludicrous nonsense that is peddled far and wide, in largely successful attempts to bend the Constitution to whatever suits the right's purpose at the moment. I want to say before getting to the point, that I continue to be surprised at the contortions that people will engage in to justify finding whatever they want in the intent of the founding fathers (as if that were so important anyway) while their actual words lay close at hand, and are available instantaneously onl

Another Sovereign Citizen Acts as Expected

From the Tampa Bay Times , this edifying story: "A man was arrested in Pasco County on charges he held a woman against her will for more than three months after she came from Texas to study a group he founded that purports to help reunite children with their parents... Davis, 48, is a sovereign citizen" But of course he is.  In case you were wondering, here he is:  As you know, I like to keep an eye on Sovereign Citizens, as their many acts of violence in the last couple of decades marks them as a pool of very dangerous right wing maniacs.  Well, I've kept my eye on this one long enough.  Judging from his picture, he is just about as short of a functional brain as most of these people are.  Well, at least this one will be in prison for the duration of the Trump administration. A spokesman for the group had this to say:  "(Group member Thomas) Nelson said members of the group don't call themselves sovereign citizens because they disagree with the te

And a Good Time Will Be Had by All

This news in the New York Times this morning: "A federal judge ruled on Monday that Dylann S. Roof, who was charged in the massacre of nine black worshipers at a Charleston, S.C., church in 2015, can represent himself in his federal death-penalty trial. The judge, Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court in Charleston, called the request by Mr. Roof, 22, “strategically unwise,” but allowed him to have a lawyer present as backup. “I do find defendant has the personal capacity to self-representation,” Judge Gergel said, according to The Post & Courier. He added, “It is a decision you have the right to make. ” In other news, a judge has ruled that it is perfectly legal to perform brain surgery on yourself, probably citing the excellent results of such conduct in the case of one Dr. Ben Carson. Anyway, we are going to be looking for any sort of entertainment in the coming year or two, and this holds the potential to provide plenty.  I mean, who wouldn't want a

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

You stupid sons of bitches: "President-elect Donald Trump's proposals would modestly cut income taxes for most middle-class Americans. But for nearly 8 million families — including a majority of single-parent households — the opposite would occur: They'd pay more. Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they'd be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America's richest 1 percent." You will be lucky to get $200 a year out of that two percent cut.  A wonderful reward for selling the country out to a Russian spy.  I hope you will be happy with the results of giving into your hatred and greed.

Election? Not What I Would Call It

Let me bring your attention to this piece in the Washington Post , outlining the massive effect that lyinog propaganda, channeled through Russia, and willingly circulated by both the Trump campaign, and (far more dangerously) the mainstream press in our country, and abetted by openly subversive behavior by the head of the FBI, were responsible for Donald Trump's victory.  Please take a moment to read it. Republicans, after Obama's election, have refused to recognize him as their President, despite the fact that there was not a single reason to say that, except that he was black and they were racists.  Now, however, it is being portrayed as a sin to fail to capitulate and accept Trump as our leader, despite the clear fact that he would have never have been elected without his collaboration with the spy service and propaganda apparatus of a hostile, dictator-led foreign country; i.e. his treason.  There is no reason why any decent American should recognize Trump as President

A Brief Comment on the Transistion

I'm still bored to death with Donald Trump and his crooked circus, but I do want to comment on one thing that I am sort of half watching:  Does it turn out that Trump really is the crazy neo-Nazi right wing hater that he appeared during the campaign, or will it turn out that he is just one more Republican tool of the rich, who succeeded once again into conning the rubes into putting him in a position where he could savage their lives once again? Look at his appointments:  an EPA administrator who is a tool of the Kochs who has consistently denied the existence of global warming; a Secretary of Education who has made it her lifelong task to destroy public education and turn schools into profit centers for large corporations, a National Security Advisor who hates Muslims with every fiber of his being and is constantly agitating for wars against them, and on and on.  And look what signature campaign issues he is backing away from: the wall, prosecuting Hillary, mass deportation.  Or

A Minor Story

It is a very minor, negligible story in the news today, that the President Elect of the United States agreed to pay $25 million dollars to "settle" fraud charges against himself, thereby admitting their truth, since no one can be stupid enough to come to any other conclusion in this case. Hillary having done something with her e-mails, which eluded millions of dollars of Republican "investigations" designed to find anything wrong that she did, on the other hand, was subjected to literally thousands of stories in the mainstream press about this utterly bogus issue.  Take a look at this little chart, from Media Matters: Those other columns in the bar graphs, includes any consideration of Trump's long record of criminality, and his connections with a foreign spy agency.  But no, all of that was of nearly no importance compared to what every single member of the press knew was an utterly meaningless fake scandal. This is why we now must face a would-be dict

Ape in Heels?

I'm pretty sure she's wrong about the ape in heels thing, but at least these photos prove that you can put lipstick on a pig.

A Modest Suggestion for the Electoral College

U. S. Constitution, article II, section 1: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress..." We are never going to do away with the Electoral College, because it benefits Republicans too much for them ever to allow that.  In fact, we are never going to see it change, for the same reason, but here is a sample of how unfair things are now:  Wyoming, a terminally Republican State, gets one elector for every 195,000 people.  Alaska gets one elector for every 246,000 people; North Dakota gets one for every 252,000. At the other end of the spectrum, California, a strongly blue State, gets one elector for every 711,000 people; New York one for every 683,000. I know that most of you are aware that the electoral college system favors small States that are largely Republican, but I bet you are surprised at how ex


From the New York Post: "The universe is set to be destroyed in a “big rip” that will suck the whole of reality into a dreadful nightmarish vortex of nothingness." See- the United States is just a step ahead of the pack.

Modernism and the Death of the Victorian Dream

When I was at Cambridge, I had the opportunity to attend a course of lectures by the eminent architectural and cultural historian, Dalibor Vesely, described on Wikipedia as "one of the most outstanding architectural teachers of the late twentieth century."  These lectures, which attracted a large audience outside the Architecture department, had a tremendous effect on my thinking about intellectual history in the Victorian and modern periods, and I want to try to replicate here a small part of his thinking about that period, which came to be dominant in Cambridge intellectual life from the early eighties on. It is important, as Veseley suggested, to understand the immense optimism of the Victorian era.  The nineteenth century saw the industrial revolution, which massively increased the output of goods and food, making famine a distant thing for many.  We saw the development of vaccines, which offered the very real prospect of seeing many of the maladies which had plagued ma