Friday, December 30, 2016

Black Barts

A little fun before the nightmare of 2017 begins.

Black Bart is a great villain name that became famous twice in history.

Bartholomew Roberts
Black Bart Roberts started his pirating career in 1719 when, as serving as a mate on a slave ship, he was captured by pirate Howell Davis. Bart has a valuable talent, he was a skilled navigator, so the pirates gave him an option - join us or die. He joined.

Within six weeks of being forced into a pirate's life, Bart was elected captain, replacing Davis who had been killed by authorities on the West African island of Principe. Although Bart didn't want to be a pirate he decided if he was going to be a captain he'd be the most ruthless pirate who ever sailed. His first act was ordering his ship to Principe where he murdered ever man on the island in retaliation for the death of Davis.

For the next three years he wreaked havoc on shipping in both West Africa and the Caribbean, killing and plundering, selling captured cargo (often African slaves) for profit. He developed a reputation as an indestructible demon incapable of either death or mercy.

The British Royal Navy sent warships to hunt Black Bart and caught up with his fleet off the coast of modern day Gabon. Bart died in a grapeshot broadside in 1722.

Black Bart - California Outlaw
In the 1870's, Charles Bolton (or Bolles) was a middle-aged failed gold miner, failed farmer, and failed husband. Disgusted with his life, Charles decided to rob a Wells Fargo stagecoach in Calaveras County, California. He loved it, left his wife, and began his career as an outlaw.

He was an unusual outlaw. He did all his robberies with an unloaded shotgun. He asked for his booty politely, saying "please." And he often left poetry behind.
I've labored long and hard for bread
For honor and for riches
But on my corns to long you've tread
You fine-haired sons of bitches.
~ Black Bart, 1877
He was caught in classic CSI fashion. He had dropped a handkerchief and police were able to trace the laundry mark. Black Bart was 53 years old when he went to San Quentin Prison in 1883. Released four years later, he disappeared from history.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Trumpian Christmas

So much Christmas cheer from the Trump camp.

Private Prison CEO Wants to Build Concentration Camps
Auschwitz slave labor.
In an interview with CNBC, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) CEO Damon Hininger anticipated enthusiastically that his company was ready to imprison "a unique population." He didn't specify if he meant Hispanic-Americans or Muslim-Americans but I suspected he is willing to lock up both.

Hininger also anticipated using his captives as slave labor for Trump's infrastructure plans (the Wall). I'm sure he would respond that they are paid (23 cents an hour) and are volunteers (refusing to work results in punishment).

Hininger didn't mention gas chambers but, you know, baby steps.

Trump Tariffs
Trump is advocating a 10% tariff on imported goods like phones, computers, cars, and the components of many of the things built in the United States.

The Smoot-Hawley tariffs of 1930, designed to boost US industries, imposed a 13.5% tariff on imports. They slowed international trade to a crawl. Retaliatory tariffs by other countries caused US exports to fall by 83%. Unemployment jumped from 8% to 25%. And the Crash of 1929 grew into the Great Depression.

Nuke Happy
From the 1983 movie "The Day After" that convinced President Ronald Reagan to promote nuclear disarmament.
Trump wants nukes. More nukes, better nukes. And he wants to use those nukes to threaten the world into coming "to its senses." Add in Trump's refusal to listen to intelligence briefings and his tendency to tweet minor events into International Incidents and we have the makings of a truly explosive shit storm.

I used to think I would die in my bed, except for those times in my trekking youth when I thought I'd die by falling off a mountain. Now I hope I die quickly in a flash of flesh melting heat and not slowly of radiation poisoning.

Have a Merry Christmas. It may be our last.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Couple of Nazi References from Trump

Trump Insists Israel Meet With Nazis
Trump's team boycotted a meeting with Israeli government officials because the Israelis refused to included a Swedish neo-Nazi. Why, you ask, would Americans care so much about including some Swede? Because fascist brotherhood comes before everything else. So much for the lie that Trump is going to back Israel or Jews.

Trump's Private Bodyguards
Trump will have a private security army. The notorious SS (Schutzstaffel) began as Hitler's private bodyguards before expanding into related jobs like running death camps and slaughtering innocents.

Monday, December 19, 2016

This Is How Democracy Dies

Today, as a collection of low level political hacks gather in their various state capitols to make official the election of a man who lost the popular vote by nearly three million voters, I am trying to not feel depressed.

And failing. I am reminded of a not very well known poem with a really, really famous closing couplet.
We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
~ The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Trump Is the Useful Fool

"Useful fool" is a Russian idiom attributed to another Vladimir, Lenin. It describing someone easily conned into supporting Russian initiatives that the fool does not understand and are designed to destroy the fool. In English it is often translated as
The result was best described by Lenin when he allegedly said, "The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope."

It seems all it took to turn future president Trump into Putin's bitch was a little gratuitous praise. Once he had bitchified Trump, Putin set about inserting his propaganda into the US election thus influencing the gullible, or "useful innocents."

"Useful innocents" is another phrase from the 20th century Cold War. They are naive people easily confused by propaganda who are convinced to vote against their own democracies.

One final quote, this time an observation by Mark Twain that explains the mess we find ourselves in.
Ain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a majority in any town?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Understand Trump's Foreign Policy Goals

Judging from his appointments, Donald Trump views foreign affairs as an amalgam of the attention to detail expressed by English poet Thomas Gray...
Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.
 and the dedicated servitude to someone named Vlad seen in the character of R. M. Renfield.
It suits him to just kind of grovel. ~ Penny Dreadful actor Samuel Barnett
Ignorance as Intelligence
Trump refuses to listen to daily intelligence briefings, claiming he is already smart and doesn't need to know anything more. He refused to believe CIA reports as a matter of principle.

Trump's choice for National Security Advisor is former general Michael Flynn who instructed his staff at the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012 that he would know if their intelligence was accurate by whether or not it agreed with his preconceived assumptions.

'I'm loyal to you Master'

Trump' Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson's sole foreign policy experience has been cozying up to Vlad Putin. Vlad, in return, provided Tillerson with the only thing he values - money. 

Trump, pictured above in Putin's lap, views Vlad with awe reserved for god-like creatures. He admires Vlad's vision of rebuilding the Russian Empire - that would include retaking the Baltic States, Finland, and a big chunk of Poland.

So, we have an incoming foreign policy team that actively does not want to know any facts that would risk making they think and, if they must know something new, are confident that Russia's dictator will tell them everything they need to know.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Famous Russian Spies
(updated to 2020)

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Convicted and executed in the 1950's for transmitting nuclear secrets to the Russian government. Julius also sent designs for the first American jet plane to the Russians.

Donald J. Trump
Elected president of the United States with the help of Russian spies and Russian agents embedded in the FBI. His withdrawal of the US from NATO directly led to the Russian invasion and conquest of the Baltic States. When the United Nations criticized Russia's actions Trump withdrew from the UN and kicked in out of its New York headquarters. Soon to be a Trump hotel.

Robert Hanssen
Sentenced to life in prison in 2002 (pardoned by Trump in 2017). Hanssen was an FBI agent who sold secrets to the Russian government from 1985 to his arrest in 2001. His spying compromised the FBI's counter intelligence efforts.

Rex Tillerson
Tillerson and Putin, laughing it up.
Secretary of State under Trump. Deep, long standing ties with Russian oligarchs and Vlad Putin. Also strong financial ties to Russia. Created the casus belli for the US to leave NATO allowing Russia to invade three NATO member states.

Anna Chapman
Arrested in 2010 as one of a team of Manhattan based agents smuggling "sleeper" Russian spies into the United States (Illegals Program). The rumor that Chapman was Trump's lover and spy handler are possibly false but, what the fuck, it's the kind of thing Trump would do.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Russians Are Coming

Blogger allows you to view some basic stats on your blogs readership. That's how I know that my readership has exploded since the election. The weird thing is that most days I'm getting more page views coming from Russia than the United States.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this. Perhaps the Russian people are so fascinated by recent events in the US they are reading everything they can find including tiny ego blogs.


The Russian secret police are scouring the internet and social media compiling dossiers on anti-Trump seditionists to be turned over to the FBI for harassment.  Evidence for this alternative may be the story of a journalist who tweeted a joke about a fake news story and is being investigated by the Feds.

For all my new Russia fans a little joke.
– Did you hear that Russia holds the 1st place in the world for psychiatric illnesses?
– Why do you find it so surprising? 70% of citizens idolize the mad fuhrer, schizophrenic Putin.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Mad Dogs and Generals

The nickname "Mad Dog" is generally reserved for serial killers and psychopaths. Gen. James Mattis earned his nickname during the 2004 Fallujah campaign when he dropped white phosphorus munitions on civilians in violation of international law. He is said to hate the moniker.

Some other examples of men called Mad Dog.

Adm. Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy is the only other flag officer that I could find with the nickname Mad Dog. He had the reputation of being a brilliant naval officer with a tendency to fly off the handle in blind rage for little reason. In 1904, he was tasked with taking the battleships of the Imperial Russian Navy's Baltic fleet to the Pacific Ocean in anticipation of war with Japan.

The Japanese knew he was coming and were prepared. On reaching the Tsushima Strait between Korea and the Japanese island of Honshu the Russian fleet saw its path blocked by the Japanese fleet in a crossing the T formation.

The wise and prudent thing to do would be for the Russians to withdraw and avoid battle, which were Adm. Rozhestvensky's orders. But the admiral was insulted that the Japanese Navy was blocking him and in his anger blindly charged the battle line.

The Japanese bombarded the Russian fleet with broadside after broadside while the Russians could only respond with far smaller bow guns. Two-thirds of the Russian fleet was sunk and the rest surrendered.

Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll
During Prohibition Coll was the go-to hitman for the Dutch Schultz gang. He earned his nickname in 1931 when, while trying to kidnap a rival bootlegger, he shot into a group of young children, wounding four and killing a five year-old child. As was common in those times, Coll got away with the murder.

Coll died in 1932. Schultz had put a hit out on him and he was submachine gunned down while using a telephone in a Bronx drug store.

Marion Pruett
Many serial killers have been called Mad Dog. I found six in a cursory internet search. For example, Joe Taborsky brutally killed six people during robberies in six weeks in 1957 and was called Mad Dog in the press.

Marion Pruett gave the name to himself.  In 1979, Pruett was put in witness protection after testifying against another man for a murder Pruett had committed. In 1981 while under federal protection, he killed his common-law wife by beating her to death with a ballpeen hammer. In the following week he shot and killed four other people across two states.

He claimed to have killed others and offered to revel the location of a Florida victim if he got a paid interview with Geraldo Rivera.

More About Mattis
I have not found a single example of a sane, rational person who has been given the nickname "Mad Dog." Just saying, probably not someone you want in charge of a two million person military.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Trump and War Roulette

It's not a question of if Trump bungles the US into a war. That is inevitable. The only unknowns are how, when, and with whom.

The very first page of the international relations briefing book Trump hasn't bothered to read says, "Be discreet when talking with Taiwan."
AKA "International Relations for Dummies"
Even more pathetic than Trump angering China by publicly chatting up Taiwan was Trump's reaction to the cock up. His whine was straight out of a tween's diary after she got caught sexting her BFF's boyfriend. "I didn't call him, he called me."

Bitch, how'd he get your fucking phone number!

Then there is Trump's choice to head the Pentagon. Even his friends compare soon-to-be Secretary of Defense James Mattis to a deranged feral animal. "Mad Dog" Mattis longs for war with Iran. He gets an erection just thinking about war with Iran. He creams his pants whenever he sees a picture of a mushroom cloud.
You're welcome for the orgasm, Jimmy
Now would be a good time to build that fallout shelter in your basement. You're gonna need it.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Disinterested President

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ George Santayana
Sixteen years ago President George W. Bush ignored multiple memos warning him that al-qaeda was planning something big. The resulting ignorance enabled the 9-11 terror attacks.

Bush was a diligent student compared to Trump. Trump is routinely blowing off intel briefings. I'm sure he finds them long, complicated, and boring. They are. But they are also extremely important. Rejecting them will lead with absolute certainty to shocking strategic and tactical surprises.

Maybe it will be Russian tanks invading the Baltic states or Chinese expansion in the South China Sea or North Korean troop movement presaging an invasion of the South or some perfectly predictable (if you read the intel) Middle Eastern shit. Whatever the surprise it will force the United States into knee-jerk, unprepared responses that will probably kill a lot of innocent people.

Trump wanted to be elected president but he doesn't want to be president. Being president is hard, stressful work that turns even young men grey in just a few years.

Trump will revel in the pomp and ceremony of the inauguration but likely turn his back on the rest. He even considers the White House to plebeian for his tastes and wants to live out his presidency in his Manhattan penthouse.

He will leave governing to the amalgam of inexperienced oligarchs, racists, and con artists he is appointing. They will be too busy plundering the treasury and inflicting harm on minorities to care about the best interests of the nation.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Donald Trump's 'Art of the Lie'

Lies are easier and much more effective than truths.

Be Loud, Be Proud
The big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie. ~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
Whisper the truth and people won't believe it. Shout a lie and the world will accept it as gospel. Timid people rely on the truth. As Hitler taught, big lies are more easily believed than little lies because people believe no one would be so bold as to tell such a huge whopper. Be bold and the world will believe anything.

Repeat It
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. ~ Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister
The key to a successful lie is repeating it over and over and over again until your lie are the only words that people can remember.

Facts Are for Wusses
Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect. ~ Jonathan Swift
Truth tellers are handicapped by the desire for facts and evidence. Lies have no such shackles. Facts and evidence are traps that weak people fall for. How many times can you repeat your lie while the truth tellers are researching their facts?

Be Specific In Your Lies
I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. ~ Sen. Joseph McCarthy (1950) starting the McCarthyism witch hunts. It was a blank piece of paper.
As long as you are making shit up, be specific about it. People will believe specific lies before they believe general truths. Odd numbers are more believable than even numbers. If McCarthy had claimed a list of 200 Communists it would have been less believable. Claiming three million illegal votes for Hillary Clinton is more believable than saying there were two million illegal votes for her.

Be big with your specifics. Even now, with no evidence of any illegal votes, you have already accepted the lie of illegal votes and are only wondering if it was three million or only two million.

Make Truth Treason
Truth is treason in an empire of lies. ~ George Orwell
Ideally, you want to create a society where truth is considered an obscenity, an assault to the mind and a burden on the soul. In such a society, telling the truth is a punishable act - an act of libel, an act of sedition, an act of treason.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This Christmas I'm Gifting Liberty

The Statue of Liberty under construction
This Christmas I am not giving stuff to my adult friends and family. Stuff is meaningless. Instead, I am spending Black Friday giving gifts in their name to nine organizations that for the next four years are going to be defending the Constitution, the People, and the Earth.

For Liberty
American Civil Liberty Union - Founded in 1920 initially to defend the free speech rights of people against World War I, its lawyers have over the decades fought against McCartyism, segregation, and police misconduct. The pledge on their website speaks volumes.
Southern Poverty Law Center - Founded in 1971, they have led the fight against the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists. Their work is needed now more than ever.

Project Vote - Their effort is to protect all Americans right to vote against disenfranchisement.

For Our Fellow Americans
NAACP Legal Defense Fund - Founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940, they led the fight against segregation and racial discrimination.

Muslim Legal Fund of America - The threat against American Muslims is more acute than ever.

National Council of La Raza - Mass deportations in America as threatened by Trump have have a history of being cruel, deadly, and indiscriminate, deporting citizens and non-citizens alike.

For the Earth
Sierra Club - The oldest group on this list, founded in 1892 by John Muir, their focus is the protection of public lands.

National Resources Defense Council -  Their focus is global. With Trump's antipathy to green energy and disdain for climate science, their efforts are vital.

Greenpeace -Willing to get their hands dirty defending the planet.

So, no fruitcakes or useless gifts that have to be stored away.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trump's First Amendment

First they came for the satirists and stage performers and I did not speak out because I was not an actor.
Hispanics and Muslims may not be the first targets after Trump is sworn in. Judging from his recent Twitter posts, Trump really hates being laughed at, publicly booed, and publicly lectured.

While it is perfectly possible that Trump will grow out of his Terrible Twos in the next seven weeks, it is far more likely that Trump will put off his southern wall and Muslim registry to focus his energies on stifling public discord.

In Germany during World War II, the wrong joke could result in you facing a firing squad for treason. A woman named Marianne is said to have been executed for telling this joke on the production line of a munitions plant -
Hitler and Göring are standing on top of Berlin’'s radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to cheer up the people of Berlin. “Why don'’t you just jump?” suggests Göring.
Now might be the time to show Trevor Noah's Halloween skit of Trumpistan 2020.
Many totalitarian regimes accept humor as a necessary outlet, better a little laughter than revolution. My guess is Trump won't be so broad-minded.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Is There Any Courage In the Senate?

In 1957, then Senator John F. Kennedy wrote a book entitled Profiles In Courage where he told the stories of eight American politicians who bravely stood up and did what was right when political expediency and professional survival dictated they meekly surrender their principles.

I've been thinking about that book with the prospect of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions becoming Attorney General and his promise to roll back civil rights by a hundred years. Will any Republican senators have the courage to vote the best interests of the country and her citizens and refuse to confirm his selection.

It would only take three Republicans to keep Sessions from gutting 60 years of voting rights progress and spitting on the First Amendment by imposing restrictions on Americans based on their religion. Are they there?

I kind of doubt it. I suspect it is more likely that some future American will write a book titled "Profiles In Cowardice" and he include a chapter on the 2018 class of the United States Senate.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Internment Camps = Concentration Camps

I woke up depressed this morning. Trump acolyte Carl Higbie was on Megyn Kelly's show last night and proposed that the internment of Japanese during World War II was a precedent for how Trump will treat Muslims. The only difference between internment and concentration camps is meaningless semantics. Concentration camps are internment camps.

The first Nazi internment camp was at Dachau and built just two months after Hitler took power. It initially held political prisoners - Social Democrats, Communists, and labor union officials. In time, it was expanded and additional camps were built to house a religious minority, stripped of its citizenship two years after Hitler gained power and deemed dangerous by the ruling party (Jews).

Propaganda films were produced showing how wonderful the camps were. In truth, Dachau did not have gas chambers. There, inmates were just beaten, tortured, starved, and worked to death.

For over half a century, the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II has been held up as a black mark on the American experience, a clear example of the evil that racism and hysteria leads to.

In the New World Order of Trumpism, racism and hysteria are being viewed as ideals to be aspired to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Boycott This!

I am grateful to Shannon Coulter for creating an important database of pro-Trump businesses that people of good conscious will want to avoid. I've noticed a few businesses I've used in the past on that list and that fact makes me feel kind of dirty.

Boycotts have a long and valued history is the struggle against racism. Thank you Shannon. You have done a great public service.
The Montgomery bus boycott in 1956 led to an early victory against segregation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Making a Trumpist List...

Trumpism (noun) - Discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that Donald Trump being President makes such behavior acceptable.

On Veteran's Day in the majority black community of Cedar Hill, TX an African-American veteran accepted the offer of a free meal that the Chili's restaurant chain offered to active duty and retired military.

At the end of the meal the restaurant manager accosted the veteran, accused him of not being a "real" veteran, and confiscated his doggy bag of leftovers.

Chili's has "apologized" and "suspended" the manager. Not fired, just suspended. Which means his racist little white ass will be back on the job as soon as the current kerfuffle dies down.

Not good enough. I will actively boycott any and all businesses that support Trump or engage in Trumpism. And yes, I'm keeping a fucking list.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Do's and Don'ts Facing Ragnarök

I've made some rules for myself going forward.

Do Join the ACLU. ~ I let my membership lapse during the Obama Administration. I'm rejoining with a large, for me, donation. They are going to need it.

Do Have Fun. ~ It maybe like partying aboard the Titanic but the ability to have fun may disappear in coming years. Don't waste the opportunity now.

Do Travel Abroad. ~ Whether it's looking for possible refugee sites or visiting friendly countries before we are at war with them, get some traveling in now.

Do Organize! Fight Back! ~ I'm going to spend the next few weeks deciding where my volunteer efforts can best serve. They can't send us all to concentration camps.

Don't Imagine the Horrors to Come. ~ That way leads to madness. Better to face each outrage as it happens than let your imagination destroy you. Besides, if this election taught me anything it's that my predictive skills are total shit.

Don't Be a Jerk. ~ It's perfectly alright to shun Trumpites and boycott their businesses like they are diseased, but be nice about it.

Don't give Up, Never Surrender. ~ I'd rather be hauled off by jackbooted thugs in red hats than meekly genuflect to our God-King Trump.

Don't Panic. ~ Panic is paralyzing. Fear is paralyzing. Get angry if you must but never panic.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

First They Came For...

It took less than 24 hours for Trump's minions to set the tone of the new administration.

The Republican Jewish Coalition filled the role of Group 13 by threatening the Anti-Defamation League with retaliation for their opposition to Donald Trump's anti-Semitic statements.

Meanwhile, Trump spokesperson Omarosa Manigault promised retaliation against Republicans who failed to enthusiastically support Trump during the election.

What is that curse? May you live in interesting times.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Our Long National Nightmare Has Just Begun

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. ~ H. L. Mencken
I've seen a lot of election defeats in my life. I've been angry, sad, depressed, confused and I'm certainly all that this morning, but I've never before been physically ill at an election result.

One thing I'm not is afraid. Maybe it's because I'm halfway through my seventh decade and there is nothing that Trump and his alt-right minions can do to me that nature won't top soon enough. Maybe it's faith in our Constitution. Then again, maybe it's just the Prozac.

There might be hope. In seventh grade my history teacher had a theory that the office of the presidency elevates a man to be greater than he was. But that teacher backed Barry Goldwater so maybe he was just a fucking idiot.

I've taken a sledgehammer to my crystal ball. That thing's a piece of shit. Right now I don't want to speculate about the future, we'll see it soon in all it's horror.

I've deleted all the links to conservative websites that I have been monitoring. They can gloat their heads off but I don't have to see it. I'm going to tune down my news obsession for a while for the same reason, the news will be full of Republicans being insufferable.

In time I'll either reenter the battlefield to fight the good fight or hunker down hoping to survive holocaust.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Tomorrow Predictions

I've have this kind of nightmare scenario on how Donald Trump wins and what will follow. However, I've been afraid that, like chanting "Bloody Mary" three times in a mirror will call a demon, typing up this scenario might make it come true. Suffice, it's scary.

Election Day
Hillary will win, having just under 50% of the vote. Trump will take 43% with the remainder going to third parties. Democrats will take the Senate narrowly, one or two seats. Republicans will hold the House, losing 15 seats.

Hillary will win Florida and Nevada but lose North Carolina. She'll end up with 308 electoral votes with Ohio and Arizona late toss-ups.

Trump will refuse to concede. A couple days after the election Trump will hold a rally where he will vow to fight the results all the way to the Supreme Court. He will not follow through on that threat.

Hillary will nominate a Supreme Court justice who will be quickly confirmed by the Senate after they end filibusters on nominations. The Senate will fill other empty federal judgeship as rapidly as possible.

Paul Ryan will step down as Speaker of the House of Representatives and be replaced by a radical who promises to form an impeachment committee. Hearings to impeach Hillary will begin in February.

Trump will continue to hold rallies attacking both Clinton and traitorous Republicans but the attendance will dwindle and Trump will quietly stop the rallies by early summer.

Impeachment hearings will heat up for the mid-term elections but still no bill of impeachment sent to the House floor. Democrats will add one more Senate seats but lose a few House seats.

And Sometime In the Next Few Years
--> Television evangelists will declare Hillary Clinton the anti-Christ.
--> NATO will station troops, including US soldiers, in the Baltic states as a tripwire against Russian aggression.
--> ISIS will die out and be replaced by some other terrorist group to fear.
--> Some disastrous event will prove conclusively that global climate change is real and horrible. Republicans will still refuse to believe it.

Friday, November 04, 2016

This Election in a Nutshell

Rogue elements of the FBI are conspiring with Russian spies and the Ku Klux Klan to elect a neo-fascist white nationalist to the American presidency.

As a screenplay you would want Denzel Washington playing the fearless reporter for the New York Times risking his life to uncover this bizarre plot. But this is real life. There are no heroic figures coming to save us.

We have to do this ourselves. At the voting booth. Failure means we can say goodbye to such quaint notions as peace, economic security, equality under the law and say hello to war in Europe as Russia invades the NATO Baltic states, an economic depression that will follow massive import tariffs, and mass deportations unseen in the world since WWII.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Comey Syndrome

Day Four of FBI Director James Comey hiding out in an undisclosed location.

I've seen what Comey's FBI has done in the presidential election before on a local level. A district attorney opposing a candidate for city council opens a extremely public investigation of that candidate. After the election is over, that investigation is very, very quietly dropped.

It is a sleazy and corrupt use of the office for blatantly political purposes but it frequently has the desired effect of defeating the candidate in question.

Say what you will about J. Edgar Hoover, how he used the dossiers he compiled on politicians to blackmail them into doing what he wanted, but Hoover never demeaned the Bureau by obviously and unscrupulous trying to influence the outcome of an election. Hell, even Top Cop Heinrich Himmler never did that.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Non-Election Nightmares

In an election season that is certainly making Satan giggle, Halloween just seems a little underwhelming.

Best Ghost Photo Ever
Most ghost photos can be explained by double exposures, foggy lenses, pareidolia, or plan fakery. A few have enough documentation to suggest something paranormal. The image above is of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. According to legend, the lady was the wife of the Second Viscount Townshend who, in the early eighteenth century, had faked her death and imprisoned her in their English mansion for life for adultery.

This picture, taken in 1936, is supposed to be of the poor woman whose ghost has been seen for 200 years. Many have concluded it is a hoax but the photographer was a man of stellar reputation, he had a witness to the image he shot, and the Lady has been seen on many other occasions.

Best (probably fake) Witch Video

This video is allegedly dash cam footage from a Saudi Arabian border control vehicle. If it is not a real witch, the best explanation is that it is a prank that veteran agents played on a rookie, the guy screaming hysterically.

 Or maybe just a tree and shadows. Slenderman is a fictional 2009 internet meme that has rapidly become an urban legend. You can find pictures of him all over the web. Slenderman is said to be a demon that lurks around playgrounds because he loves tormenting children. In 2014, two very real 12 year-old girls stabbed a classmate 19 times and nearly killed her. They claimed there were compelled to murder by the Slenderman.

Angel (or the Flash) Video

This is said to be traffic cam footage of an angel saving someone. The flashes alone seem to be proof of a hoax.

Robert the Doll
Robert was a gift in 1904 from an unhappy maid to the son of her employers. She had cursed the doll with black magic. The child, Robert Eugene Otto, would talk to the doll who could be heard responding. When the child grew up he stored the doll in an attic room from which the doll could be seen staring out from different windows and heard walking about.

Today, the doll is an exhibit in a museum where it is claimed he has been seen moving and visitors who have disrespected the doll report their lives have been cursed and writer letters to the doll begging his forgiveness.

The Sound of Hell
According to the story, in the later part of the 20th century, Soviet scientists in Siberia drilled a borehole deep into the earth. They encountered an opening some 14 km under the surface and lowered a microphone down the hole because, why not? They then recorded 30 seconds of the sound of souls being tormented in Hell.

There is no evidence of any such hole being drilled (Illuminati coverup) and the noises seem to be from the soundtrack of a 1972 movie. But, that hasn't stopped religious fundamentalists from pointing to this tape as absolute proof of Hell.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Comey's Bombshell

For future reference, THIS is how you rig an election.

A normal investigative chief when told that his subordinates want to look into something would have asked pertinent questions (Do we have anything serious? Not yet. Do you need any subpoenas? No.) and told his people to get back to him if they find something. That chief would then say and do nothing until he had something substantial to report.

FBI Director James Comey didn't do that. Comey had been chastened by charges that he had surrendered to political pressure by his announcement that there was nothing to the Clinton email investigation. Comey was afraid of being criticized again so he clumsily elevated a probable nothing-burger into a major event.

Now, afraid of the aftereffect of his bumbling, Comey is hiding from the media and will remain in hiding. He is afraid of being criticized and afraid of having to admit he bumbled badly.

If this takes the worst possible path - swinging the election to a President Donald Trump with his alt-right Svengali Steve Bannon as White House Chief-of-Staff - then James Comey will likely go down in history with names like Philippe Pétain and Vidkun Quisling. These are men who cravenly delivered their people to fascism while mewling pathetically that they didn't know what else to do.

Why did I leave England? Political refugee status is easier to get if you are already in the country.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Back into the Maelstrom

I've spent the last two weeks as an election refugee in England. I wasn't completely unaware of news from the States (damn you free hotel wifi) but I didn't drown in campaign sewage.
I met a splendid couple from Shanghai in the English Lake District who had been following the US news for months with a mixture of amusement and apprehension. They had many questions about American elections which I answered happily until they asked me about Donald Trump. I answered that he is insane and scary.

The most memorable encounter was with a Mexican student traveling Europe I met on a train headed north out of London. He was well versed in the American election and we spent a couple hours discussing it and other topics. As I was debarking this young man looked at me and said in a compassionate and reassuring voice, "Don't worry, Trump won't win."

I think he won't but I will stop worrying on November 9th.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trump Broke the Camel's Back

In and of itself, Trump's "pussy" tape would have damaged but not murdered most campaigns. The problem was that it was piled on top of 18 months of shit emanating from The Donald's pie hole. It caused a sudden shift the American Zeitgeist. In the words of Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard, "The line must be drawn here. This far, no further."

LePage Wants a Trump Dictatorship
History will record that this week marks the official birth of the new American Fascist Party. Maine governor Paul LePage openly called for Donald Trump to impose "authoritarian" rule over the United States. The Republican Party is now officially split into a dominate neo-fascist party under Trump and Rance Priebus and a rump center-right party of traditional Reaganites like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain.

Trump Unbound
Trump has declared his "shackles have been taken off" and he is using this new found freedom to wage civil war against the party that nominated him. To mix my strongman metaphors, Trump's final act as his party's nominee will be to tear down the temple of Republicanism like the biblical Samson.

Methadone For a Political Junkie
I'm leaving for two weeks going to England, hoping the soothing voices of BBC newsreaders will re-energize my soul after the decaying rot of this American election season. Also, I am certain that things will only get worse in the coming days and distance may keep me from ODing on political bile.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

So, I Watched the Debate

  1. The biggest take away for me was Trump's pledge to have his opponent arrested and imprisoned. That is what you would expect out of fascist Italy, Stalin's Russia, or Hussein's Iraq. It is a terrifying prospect.
  2. Trump specifically said he has never groped a woman. At least two women have accused Trump of exactly that. Jill Harth sued Trump in 1997 for sexual harassment and rape and that he groped her. Temple Taggart, Miss Utah 1997, says that Trump grabbed her and forced her to kiss him.
  3. Trump again showed no contrition for his obscene statements on the Access Hollywood tape.
  4. The lurking. Trump choose to stand closely behind Clinton as she spoke in a clear attempt at physical intimidation. Clinton was clearly not intimidated.
  5. Clinton was cool, controlled, presidential while Trump was angry and a little whiny.
  6. I loved the last audience question.
And, because I need this...

Trump's Sleepless Night

The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world. ~ Leonard Cohen
Donald Trump brags about his chronic insomnia. According to Trump, his inability to sleep more than three or four hours a night is a sign of his superhuman constitution. His inability to stay focused, his poor judgement, and his forgetfulness are all signs of chronic insomnia.

But that was before the events of the last couple of days. Unless Ivanka slipped a half-dozen Ambians into his warm champagne (only losers drink warm milk before going to bed), Trump likely didn't get a wink of sleep last night.

His mind monkey was jumping frantically between all the contradictory talking points that Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway tried to stuff into his brain, mixing them up horribly. His ego was seething with anger at all the treacherous Republicans withdrawing their support. He was imagining all the vengeance he will wreak on Paul Ryan and Mike Pence.

At some point last night he remembered how much he hated Nancy O'Dell for refusing to let him fuck her. Trump probably got a small erection remembering how he tried to get her fired after she rejected him.

He got up several times wanting to use Twitter only to find that someone (Ivanka) had hidden his cellphone. He had to wait until after breakfast before he was allowed to play with his phone. He also probably got a small erection when Ivanka gave him the phone.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Trump: A Most Vile Man

Donald Trump has turned our democracy into an extended Jerry Springer episode. Nothing is so repugnant that there isn't something worse waiting to surface.

I waited to watch Trump's after midnight "apology" video. I had listened to Nixon's "I am not a crook" speech while waiting because I wanted to compare Trump's "apology" to a previous worst moment in presidential history. Tricky Dicky handled it better.

While Trump did apologize he then undid the apology by claiming he wasn't really like that. We have ample evidence from Howard Stern, Alicia Machado, reports from the set of The Apprentice, and the endless spew of misogynist bile from Trump's mouth that the Access Hollywood outtake was an accurate reflection of Trump's psychopathy. In his scripted (by others) speech there was no sign of genuine contrition.

He then buried his apology under his standard stump speech condemnation of Democrats.

This is far from over.
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from a major rally in Wisconsin. This is a huge snub which may be repeated by other Republicans.
  • Trump has hours, not days, to convince Republican leadership not to disavow him. As it is, they are looking for how to handle Trump withdrawing from the race.
  • Access Hollywood claims to have many more hours of outtakes of Trump being Trump.
  • The production company for The Apprentice is going to be under incredible pressure to release outtakes from that program showing Trump being a misogynist thug.
Then there is the debate where Trump will be unscripted and face this issue repeatedly. If Trump's "apology" video is a predictive then we can expect him to turn every question into an attack on Bill and Hillary. I have no doubt that Hillary will be fully prepared to handle this obvious tactic.

I am leaving the country for two weeks specifically to escape the most revolting period of this election. I really wish I had left yesterday.

Friday, October 07, 2016

The Siberian Candidate

Any doubts that Donald Trump is Russia's handpicked candidate for the American presidency can be put to rest.

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights gave a speech in which he criticized Trump for supporting torture. In response, Russia's UN ambassador virulently complained and defended Trump. Vlad Putin sees Trump as a convivial puppet for Russia, so much so that it intervenes on an international level to protect Trump from criticism.

Trump, for his part has:
Putin knows that the only thing needed to turn Trump into a servile puppy is a little praise. Putin called him "bright" and Trump imagined he had been called a genius. Since then, Trump has looked up to Putin as a great leader.

An American president so easily manipulated is a godsend to Putin.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Warm Bucket of Piss Debate

John Nance Garner, FDR's first Vice-President, once described the office as "not worth a bucket of warm piss." If vice-presidential debates meant anything then Dan Quayle would have sunk the Republicans in 1988. So what, if anything, can we get from the Kaine-Pence snoozefest?
The Daily Show had the perfect event graphic.

Trump's Losing
One of the clearest signs a candidate is losing is when party loyalists start wishing the Veep candidate was on the top of the ticket. Remember when Republicans wanted to flip the ticket and put Sarah Palin over John McCain? Or those loyalists saying the Veep will make a great presidential nominee four years from now. Both things are happening now.

Is Trump Jealous?
The most delicious rumor out of the debate is that narcissist Trump is livid that Mike Pence upstaged him as a debate performer. Pence's defense of Trump was tepid and most commentators agree that Pence was more interested in promoting Pence than defending Trump. Trump's campaign is denying those reports, of course, they would have to. In the immediate aftermath of the debate Trump will go along with his handlers. But if Trump is losing bigly in late October, watch for Trump to throw Pence under the bus and blame his disloyalty for any defeat.

'That Mexican Thing'
The only memorable line was Pence dismissing Trump's hatred of Hispanics as "that Mexican thing." That line will have legs. It won't flip any votes but it will be remembered.

Pence in 2020?
Failed vice-presidential candidates rarely move up.
  • Bob Dole had to wait 20 years to take his lose as Gerald Ford's second to top a ticket and get creamed by Bill Clinton in 1996.
  • Walter Mondale was Jimmy Carter's Sancho Panza in 1980 only to get humiliated as a presidential nominee in 1984.
The only losing vice-presidential candidate to later win the presidency is Franklin Roosevelt. Mike Pence, you're no Franklin Roosevelt.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Trumping Taxation

Rudy Guiliani calls Donald Trump a genius for not paying taxes. To paraphrase Donald on John McCain:
He’s not a genius, He was a genius because he lost a billion dollars. I like people who didn't lose a billion dollars.
So the proud billionaire is admitting he doesn't pay taxes. For years, Republicans have complained about voters not "having skin in the game," that poor people need to be paying federal taxes. They have even proposed that if you don't pay taxes you should lose the right to vote.
All that time Donald Trump had no skin in the game and, according to Ayn Rand Republicans, has no right to vote let alone run for public office.

As the nation's richest welfare queen, Trump certainly has a unique perspective on taxation. He wants to reduce taxes on the wealthiest Americans because, obviously, for him zero is just too damn high.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Machado Distraction and the No-Fatties League

When Hillary brought up Alicia Machado and Trump's sleazy treatment of her I figured the memorable moment would be his pathetic whine, "Where did you find this?"
This is the woman Trump says was
60 pounds overweight at the time of this photo.
I forgot what Hillary and her team remembered, Trump has the emotional maturity of a three year-old. When faced with being dissed he gets obsessed to the exclusion of everything else, including sleep.

A sane person would have handled it with a single response and moved on. You know, exactly like he should have handled the Khizr Khan story.

It doesn't really matter what that response is, the important part is moving on.

But Trump can't let go. To the point of waking up in the middle of the night (2:14 am) to send out a series of Twitter blasts. And Trump demands his surrogates obsess over the Machado story too. Those surrogates are all over the news channels pitching detailed Machado smears like pedophiles offering candy to children.

Think for a moment what President Donald Trump would do during an international crisis like Putin threatening to invade Lithuania. He'll get up at a weird hour because he just thought up some insult to hurl at Angela Merkel because of some imagined slight. When the rest of the country wakes up several hours later NATO is torn asunder and Russian tanks are moving into all three Baltic states.

Because of Trump's obsessive-compulsive behavior the Machado story will take up significant time during the Veep debate and will probably come up during the second presidential debate on October 9. And it should because Alicia Machado's weight is clearly a major campaign issue to Donald Trump.

Trump's No-Fatties League
I never thought about nor noticed this until Trump's maniacal disdain for normal sized women became apparent. Trump has several women spokespeople and they all share two characteristics.
  • They are all skinny. Kellyanne Conway especially looks like she may even have an eating disorder.
  • They are all young and attractive. To use a word we all know from that crude jock in high school, they are all hittable
There are no fatties in the Trump campaign. Conway, Katrina Pierson, Hope Hicks, and the other Trump campaign women have not been chosen for their political experience but like they were contestants in one of his beauty pageants. It's actually weird and a little disturbing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sniffles Debate

It will take a week or so for last night's debate to show up in polls. People need time to talk and think about what happened.
Everybody today is talking about Trump's sniffles. Trump, of course, has a conspiracy theory of a sabotaged mic. His supporters are blaming ragweed. I subscribe to Howard Dean's suggestion that Trump snorted too much cocaine because it explains his other symptoms like his uncontrollable manic behavior and inability to sleep at night.

Trump was going for an alpha-dog vibe with his constant interruptions of both Clinton and moderator Lester Holt. My impression is he came off more like a whiny chihuahua yipping at people's heels.
The one word to describe Clinton during the debate is "unflappable." She didn't let Trump's interruptions get under her skin, she remained calm and in control. Only time will tell whether that comes off as cool and presidential or cold and heartless.

My favorite line commenting on the debate is from a commentator on the conservative Townhall website, "[Trump] just doesn't have the stamina to fake sanity for an entire debate."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Kowtows, Nukes and Deplorables

Trump's vision of his presidency.
Trump spokesperson Omarosa Manigault has revealed that one of the most important parts of a Trump victory will be Trump forcing his critics and detractors to prostrate themselves before the Great Leader. Trump's first State of the Union address will be an interesting spectacle as members of Congress are compelled to genuflect upon President Trump's entry.

Germany had the Hitler Salute; America will have the Trump Kowtow.
A recent poll shows that Trump supporters predict a 22% chance that President Trump will use nuclear weapons. Trump himself has publicly and privately shown himself to be nuke curious saying, "If we have them why can’t we use them?"

That same poll shows that Trump supporters put the odds at 32% that Trump will imprison Hispanics in internment (concentration) camps and punish his opponents (i.e. people who don't kowtow).
Jewish refugees display Auschwitz serial number tattoos.
Trump supporters expect (48% chance) him to create a database to track and monitor all Muslims in the US.

The poll results I'm quoting are of Trump supporters. They want America to start nuking her opponents, imprisoning people based on their ethnicity, and oppressing people based on their religion. This corruption of America is what they think will be "great again." That is millions of Americans who want this country to be profoundly evil. Deplorables indeed.