Sunday, September 17, 2017

Unpredictable?


Still laughing over the Republicans writing off Trump's dealing with Democrats as merely an example of his "impulsive and unpredictable" nature. Really? Nothing could be farther from the truth. Everything, everything this narcissistic megalomaniac does is calculated to be for his self-aggrandizement. Once you understand this simple pathology, the disgraceful demagogue at the head of our country can be clearly seen as the most predictable man in the world.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

LOGIC

One of the great things about logic is that, like mathematics, it is independent of of the climate, people's opinions, and anything else in the world. It's a useful tool for reducing seemingly complex problems to simple truths:

1. Humans have motives for what they do.
2. Do climate scientists with diverse national, ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds have a motive for creating a global-warming hoax?
3. Do polluting corporations and the politicians they finance have a motive for claiming that global warming is a hoax?

Have a nice day.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Slippery Slope

As a part-time public school teacher, I'd like to thank Secretary DeVos and those members of the Alaska State Legislature who are making the effort to put Creation Theory into our science classes. It's a slippery slope. Keep Creation Theory out of science classes, and before you know it we'll be keeping Stork Theory out of sex education classes.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Still Crushed Under Plymouth Rock

Q. Why is this the only civilized country without universal healthcare?
A. Because it's the only country founded by radical Calvinists, the descendants of whom can't sleep at night for fear that someone might be getting something for nothing. They would rather see millions, including themselves, suffer than allow one single person to scam the system and get something he doesn't deserve.

Okay. This is America, and our Pilgrim legacy demands free-enterprise medicine. No one is gettin' healthcare without payin' for it! But how about this: Instead of paying monthly premiums to useless insurance companies, why not make the payments to your local medical provider? When you're sick, you're taken care of. When you're well, the money goes to nurses' salaries, hospital maintenance, new medical equipment, etc. rather than lining the pockets of this guy:


"Hi, I'm Mark Bartolini. Remember me? I appeared in the Report back on Jan. 4th--check it out. As the CEO of Aetna Health Insurance, I take your hard-earned money and use it to pay myself $48,000.00 per day. Have a nice day--I'm sure I will!"
                                                  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sorry, But Here's One More Thing That You MUST Boycott

Given the current administration's disregard for the environment and an emperor lacking both clothes and taste (the presidential palate tends toward the world's most expensive cuts of meat cooked well-done and slathered in ketchup), there is faint hope for an official ban on the twin horrors of farmed and GMO ("Frankenfish") salmon.

It's up to the public at large to BOYCOTT these two species of "salmon." (Alaskans, including women, would be shorn of their beards and plaid shirts before purchasing these abominations.) Despite the threat to the environment, the fishing industry, and consumer health, these products are probably already in your fish store or supermarket. Tell your local fishmonger that you will only buy REAL salmon and that if he insists on selling Frankenfish, he might get a visit from a couple of those guys he's seen on The Deadliest Catch--and, trust me, these are not always guys that you might wish to encounter on dry land.

Like Big Oil, Big Fish doesn't care about the planet or its people. That's why we have to hit these folks in the only place that matters to them--their wallets!

Please, resist the effort to turn salmon into the same tasteless, unhealthy, crap that passes for chicken and beef in most supermarkets. Buy only the REAL THING. If you're not eating wild-caught salmon, you're not eating salmon.

We already have REAL salmon. If genetic engineers want to invent something useful, how about an avocado without the pit or a turkey with more drumsticks-- OR AN AGRI-BUSINESS EXECUTIVE WITH A CONSCIENCE!






Sunday, March 19, 2017

DeVos, Pence, And Sessions: A Holy Trinity For Trashing The Constitution

Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos have been outspoken in their opposition to the strict separation of Church and state established by the U.S. Constitution. They both believe that their religion supersedes the law.

This is troubling enough. But their radical views are shared by Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, the man entrusted with our nation's highest office for--enforcing the law!

Sessions claims that the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the Constitution has been "overinterpreted." (The Attorney General speaking in tongues?)  That it is an "extra-constitutional doctrine" and "a recent thing that is unhistorical and unconstitutional."

Really, Jeff? Let's look at some Constitutional doctrine and history:

CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION--The U.S Constitution.
"The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."--John Adams
"I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another."--Thomas Jefferson
"The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State."--James Madison

Sessions has gone so far as to mix religion with policy by declaring Trump's illegal Muslim ban to be "Biblical."
Mr. Sessions, the test for legality in this country is the Constitution--not the Bible. Upholding the Constitution is your job. If that job conflicts with your religious views, perhaps you would be happier in some other line of work. I'm sure it could be arranged.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Attention Patriots:


This week we celebrated the birthday of James Madison, Founding Father and our fourth President. Present-day patriots, who claim the words of the Founders for support, should heed those of Madison.

"The separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries."

"The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief, nor shall any national religion be established."

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

"The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended."

"To the press alone, the world is indebted for all the triumphs gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression."

"The executive has no right to decide whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

"War should only be declared by the authority of the people, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits."

Friday, March 17, 2017

Snakes--Are They Really So Bad?

Happy St. Patrick's Day--the holiday celebrating the man who drove the snakes from Ireland  in exchange for converting the island to Christianity.

I don't know if this transaction can be accomplished in reverse, but as a resident of America's only snake-free state, I sometimes fantasize about it.
.










Sunday, March 12, 2017

American School Children Denied 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week Non-Stop Prayer. The Persecution Continues!

To Betsy DeVos and her fellow evangelists who have either neglected to read the Constitution or chosen to ignore it:

Let's do some math.
Kids in America attend public school approximately 30 hours out of the 168-hour, 7-day week. Considering official vacations and unexpected absences, this means that on the worst possible week for school prayer, your kids still have 138 out-of-school hours to pray--an average of 19.7 hrs./day or 82% of their free time that can be devoted to full-voiced communion, recitation, chanting, ululation, genuflecting, speaking in tongues, snake-handling, gargling with poison, self-flagellation, or any other outward display of worship without risk of offense to others.

If your sons or daughters still need to cut into school hours for sufficient prayer time, they are probably beyond being helped by even divine intervention

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rogue Enough Yet?



I'd like to offer a challenge to the leadership of the NRA:

For eight years, the NRA rallied to your claim that President Obama was "the greatest threat to gun ownership in American history"--even though he did nothing during that time to restrict gun ownership. Nothing. He never signed one single bill restricting gun ownership. No guns were confiscated under his presidency.

Clearly, your members will believe anything you tell them. How about telling them that there is more to the U.S. Constitution than the Second Amendment? There are twenty-six other amendments and the current administration in DC is doing an excellent job of trampling on nearly all of them.

Your organization wields a tremendous amount of influence. Could you possibly address this real threat to our freedom with some of the passion you have exercised in tackling the non-existent threats to gun ownership? Maybe something along the lines of giving up the Bill of Rights "when they pry it from my cold, dead hands." Do you think you could do that, huh?

The NRA has presented itself as protection against a government "gone rogue." Okay. The President of the United States is a paranoid, delusional megalomaniac and pathological liar so detached from reality that he is still campaigning two months after being elected. His closest advisors, including the Jewish ones (!), are Nazis. The head of EPA wants to abolish the EPA, the Secretary of State is an oil tycoon with ties to Russia, the country's chief law-enforcement officer just committed felonies, the Secretary of the Treasury is a notorious Wall Street predator once celebrated as the "Foreclosure King," the Secretary of Education wants to turn the U.S. into an Iranian-style theocracy, the head of Housing and Urban Renewal thinks that his black ancestors arrived in America on a holiday cruise, and Congress has officially declared healthcare to be a luxury reserved for the rich.
IS THAT FUCKING ROGUE ENOUGH FOR YOU?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday

What's with the Catholic Church these days? Back when popes were racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialists, they were infallible.

Now that we have a pope who supports LGBTQ rights, religious freedom, income equality, environmentalism, climate science, and Evolution, he's just another guy with an opinion.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sole Music: When Bad Music Happens To Good People

I woke up this morning humming a horrible pop song that I must have accidentally heard somewhere. Ever happen to you? Have you ever found yourself humming some mindless jingle or a song that you actually hate?

I am constantly struck by the similarity between hearing bad music and stepping in shit--you pick up the stuff by accident, and then can't get rid of it.

Lately, I feel as though I'm walking through the musical countryside in Vibram-sole boots.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Contemplating Upon Some Quotes During A March Blizzard In Juneau . . .




"March comes in like a lion, leaves like a lamb" Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)

"Liars should have good memories" Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (35-100 )

"I have a plan, a very secret plan to defeat ISIS in thirty days." Donald Trump (1946-)



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Riches To Rags, Alaska's How-To Formula

Q. What happens if you turn a government over to anti-science religious fanatics, extreme right-wing ideologues, and corporate stooges?

I live in Alaska. We tried that here, so I can tell you.

A. You get the biggest crisis in your history.

Under the leadership of the above-mentioned lawmakers, Alaska went from being the nation's wealthiest state to a financial basket-case facing a deficit in the billions, and cuts to education, infrastructure, employment, healthcare, social services, and everything else that matters.

This needs to be a warning to the rest of the country. The people who did this to Alaska are doing it to America. Our new administration in DC is dismantling everything that has served us well in the past--and replacing it with whatever puts more money into the pockets of our richest 1%, or serves ultra-conservative ideologues that care only about their own agenda. As in Alaska, this is leading to disaster on every level.

The solution is in the hands of We The Voters. No administration can succeed without the support of Congress. If your representatives support the radical high-jacking of our democracy currently taking place in DC, confront them--AND VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.

Something needs to be done. If it doesn't happen at the ballot box, it's going to happen in the street. And it's not going to be pretty.     

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Soliloquy

Sunday, time for some more thoughts on religion.

We are experiencing an increasing number of natural disasters. The "leftist scientists" predict that it's going to get worse.

This means that I will continue to be baffled by images of pious survivors standing amidst the rubble of their destroyed homes and praising God for . . . . killing their neighbors instead of themselves?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Generation Zzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .

Einstein's predictions in the world of physics were earth-shaking, but I wonder if this might not be his most prophetic legacy:


"I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots"










Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pin-Up

Here's a copy of the one "pin-up" hanging in my bachelor pad. Today is the birthday of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), the poet who gave us:

"I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for death."


Monday, February 20, 2017

Washington And Lincoln Are Spinning Today Faster Than Sean Spicer At A Press Conference

Mr. Trump, here's something you could do to convince the world that you were really elected:
YOU COULD STOP CAMPAIGNING!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Religious Ruminations

Sunday, time again for some thoughts on religion.

The persistence with which people cling to the religion of their families has always baffled me. If you are born into a Catholic family, you are Catholic--if a Lutheran family, you are Lutheran. It's as if religion were inherited like the color of your hair or eyes.
How can you inherit beliefs?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Last Gasps

The main difference between the conservative and progressive mind-set involves the ability to accept change. Right now, we are facing two big changes in America:
1. The end of the fossil-fuel era
2. The end of the WASP era

The current rise of anti-science reaction and racism are simply last gasps against the inevitable.

At the start of the 20th Century, blacksmiths became mechanics and financiers moved their money from timber to oil. The world changes and you can either change with it or be left behind. Reactionaries of the period who clung to the horse-and-buggy were left behind.
At the start of the 21st Century, oil-well riggers might have to become wind-turbine riggers and wise speculators will move their money from coal and oil to solar energy. Reactionary fossil-fuel investors might still make some quick bucks for a while, but they are ultimately pissing in the wind that will power our future generators.

"Alt-right" extremists clinging to their fading era? I suggest that they trade in their copies of Mein Kampf for hummus recipes and salsa-dancing instructions.


                                     Sorry, but the times they are a-changin'

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My God Can Beat Up Your God

"People killing each other over who has the better imaginary friend."
This is Napolean Bonaparte's definition of a religious war. Napolean knew a thing or two about war, and he understood the insanity of religious war. I wish that our new ideologues in Washington did.

Steve Bannon and his alt-right thugs are goose-stepping us into what they see as a glorious showdown between Christianity and Islam--a Ninth Crusade.

Our own, homegrown jihadists are a greater threat to this nation than ISIL could ever hope to be. They are willing to trample the Constitution and destroy every principle our American democracy was founded upon to prove that they have the "better imaginary friend." We are being dragged toward the possible killing of millions because some little boys with their toys want to show the world that Jesus can kick Allah's ass.

These lunatics have to be stopped.

Monday, February 13, 2017

And The Prize For Dumbest Member Of Congress Goes To . . .

It's a crowded field. My own lone representative, who has distinguished himself by referring to gay men as "butt-fuckers" in a high-school commencement speech, and threatened a female environmentalist on the floor of Congress with a club made from a walrus penis, is clearly in the running. No list would be complete without Sheila Jackson who is proud to be serving in a "four-hundred-year-old government" and happy to see "the two Vietnams living peacefully side by side, north and south." We can thank Sen. Hank Thompson for warning us that a new military base on Guam would put too much weight on one side of the island and cause it to "capsize." And, of course, there's the pride of Oklahoma, Sen. Inhofe, a serious contender after famously disproving global warming by making a snowball.

I don't think that anyone will ever surpass Michele Bachmann, who praised the Founding Fathers for putting an end to slavery. But among the current crop of lawmakers, the prize must go to . . .
REP. ROB McCASKILL (R. TEXAS)
Rob has responded to satirical Borowitz Reports as if they were real news and to the "Bowling Green Massacre" as if it were a real event. He is cheering on Betty DeVos to "eliminate leftist science" from our schools, and has declared global warming "beneficial"--while damning it as a hoax (?!) McCaskill vehemently supports Trump's election and inaugural delusions, adding his own purely fictitious "stats" about both abortion and Muslim immigration. Naturally, he's Congress' biggest fan of Vladimir Putin.

But last Friday, McCaskill really outdid himself with:
"I can't wait for the next 9/11 so leftist 9th Circuit ruling judges will wish they didn't roll over for our enemies wishing death to America."

By being too stupid to keep his twisted thoughts to himself, McCaskill has given us a glimpse of how badly some right-wing extremists in Washington want to provoke a holy war against Islam--a war that would deliver us right into the hands of the Trump/Bannon agenda for an emergency, fascist takeover of America.
Mr. McCaskill is the real "death to America." If his words don't scare the hell out of you, they should. Maybe they will scare his 238 Democrat and Independent colleagues into standing up and offering the resistance needed to save our country.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Religious Reflections

Reserving Sunday again for theological questions, here's a couple:

Were there dachshunds on the Ark?

Why can a woman become a saint but not a priest?



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Don't Push It

It's official. After much debate, I'm proud to announce that Alaska will now celebrate Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. An excellent idea and overdue. Still, it's strange that there's been such controversy over the naming of that day while I've never heard any concern over something else named for a 15th Century Italian explorer--our country!

Amerigo Vespucci may not have been the most prolific explorer or the first European to visit the New World, but he was definitely the best PR man. By relentlessly glorifying his own exploits, he was able to put his name on two of the world's seven continents. Non male!

So, will we remain America, or will this re-naming campaign catch up with Vespucci as it has with Columbus? It may someday, but for right now maybe we should just settle for what we've got.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Even You Could Be The Next . . . .

I've been desperately trying to tune out Trump's cabinet confirmations. It's like the first round of American Idol auditions, and those are the ones who won

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Which Side?

The President of the United States is mentally unstable. He has no idea what he's doing. Donald Trump can't see past his own swelled head, but he is being manipulated by an inner-circle of ideologues with a definite neo-fascist agenda. If they aren't stopped in the courtroom or the floor of Congress, they will have to be stopped in the street--and things could get very ugly.

Of course, a street fight is just what strategists like Steve Bannon want. By provoking dissent, they can create the crisis necessary for invoking Emergency Powers and suspending the Constitution--the next step in a classic fascist takeover, as I've mentioned in a previous Report.
AGAIN: If the words Emergency Powers are heard, Americans will need to drop their hammers and wrenches, leap from their tractors, stream out of their cubicles and hit the street to fight for the preservation of our democracy.

And here's where it really gets interesting. We have all these citizens that have been screaming about the Second Amendment and hoarding guns for fighting a government gone rogue. If the battle to save our country as we'eve known it were to hit the street:

Which side would they be on?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kellyanne Simplex

Damn! Started my morning by bolting across the room to turn off the radio. I've conditioned myself to zone out the voice of Donald Trump, but I haven't reached that point yet with Kellyanne Conway.

Trump and close aides like  Steve Bannon are cancers that have invaded our democracy.

Though also a part of the Trump inner-circle, Kellyanne is more like herpes--a relatively benign but highly annoying affliction for which there is temporary relief but presently no cure.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Thoughts

It's Sunday again, time for theological musings.

I think that some of the most damaging passages in the Bible are those about God giving Man "dominion over the beasts of the field," etc.--the ones that separate us from the rest of Nature.
The idea of Man's unique status in Creation can be too easily interpreted by "pious" entrepreneurs as an excuse for having their way with the environment--and trashing it.

Why would God create passenger pigeons and then give humans the right to blast them into extinction?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"No Joint? That's Detention For You, Mister!"

The state legislature has just convened again here in Juneau. There are many fine people in that crew, but Alaska is a red state and its government includes some of the most ardent creationists and 19th Century capitalists to be found anywhere.
These reactionaries are very concerned with education--mostly in recognizing it as a dangerous thing that must be doled out cautiously. Drug and sex education in our public schools has drawn their particular interest.
Through an incredible exercise of "logic," they have determined that if you teach kids about drugs, the kids won't take drugs--but if you teach them about sex, they will all immediately start humping like bunnies. Therefore, sex education has no place in our schools.
To understand this feat of reasoning, keep in mind that these are the same people who claim that Alaska's oil was put in the ground all at once 6,000 years ago, and that the rising sea water destroying our coastal villages is the result of a hoax.

I would like to propose my own plan for a combined Drug and Sex Ed. class to be taught in our high schools. It would be a very short class.
The teacher holds up a condom in one hand: "When you want to have sex, use this," and a joint in the other hand: "When you feel like shooting someone, smoke this. Have both of these on you at all times. Class dismissed."

I'm serious.

My teaching job sometimes has me working with teenagers. This class would be a realistic step toward keeping the angry and horny safe and un-pregnant.





Thursday, February 2, 2017

What Could Change In 228 Years?

Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, is being lauded by his supporters for being both a strict "originalist" and "textualist." This means that he believes in sticking to every little detail written by the founders of our country over two centuries ago.

Is this such a wonderful thing?

Once again, I find myself wondering:
Could it be that maybe, just maybe, it might be okay for a generation that writes with computers to re-examine some of the things written with a feather?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I'm With Stupid

Lying is not illegal. Lying under oath is. The easiest way of removing Donald Trump might be to get him into a courtroom or in front of Congress. Having him lie would probably require little more than questioning him beyond his name. He could be impeached, and possibly removed from office.

I disagree with those who fear impeaching President Trump because we would get President Pence. Trump is mentally unstable. Pence is merely an idiot. We have already had an idiot president this century and survived. Can we survive a crazy president? I'm not so sure about that.

"Mission accomplished."
"Global warming is a myth."
"Grab them by the pussy.You can do anything."



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

By The Book


FASCIST TAKEOVERS
So far, Trump has taken his agenda right out of the big yellow and black book:

Attack the press--check
Discredit scientists, intellectuals, and artists--check
Create non-existent threats--check
Form an inner-circle to take over national security--check
Target immigrants and minorities--check

WARNING. If Trump continues to follow the book, and I don't believe he has the intelligence or imagination to do otherwise, his next move will be to provoke a "national crisis" in order to grant himself Emergency Powers. (The best example of this is Hitler burning the German parliament building, the Reichstag, and blaming the arson on his opponents.)
In our country, Emergency Powers would mean suspension of the Constitution.

If this happens, Americans will need to drop what they are doing and immediately flood the streets in protest. We will have reached the point where the government has to be stopped--by whatever means necessary. Our freedom to continue as a democracy will depend on this.


Monday, January 30, 2017

What Goes Around . . . Nah, Screw That!

Although I am somewhat a product of 60's and 70's counter-culture, there is a belief in that culture that I've never been able to embrace. I do not believe in "karma."

My reason for rejecting karma can be summed up in two words:

Mitch McConnell

In an interview yesterday, our current Senate Majority Leader looked straight into the camera and accused Democrats of obstructing confirmation of Trump's appointees. This from the man who presided over the eight-year Klan rally posing as a legislature; who bragged that he would reject anything proposed by President Obama simply because he proposed it, and who made history by refusing to even vet Obama's Supreme Court candidate.

If hypocrisy is a building, Mitch McConnell is the Taj Mahal. If hypocrisy is music, Mitch McConnell is Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. And if there were such a thing as karma, instead of enjoying his comfortable life, Mitch McConnell would be living in a mud hut and picking undigested seeds from animal dung for his sustenance. The caricatures depicting him as a turtle are an insult to reptiles.

No, I don't believe in karma.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Reflection

As usual, I like to reserve Sunday for addressing theological issues. I woke up this morning wondering:

In light of some current events, could it be that it's still the seventh day and God is just resting?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Art Of The Real

I just saw some clips from a TV interview with President Trump that aired earlier this week. In one exquisitely embarrassing segment, featuring an outburst of self-aggrandizement not heard from a head of state since Louis XVI, Trump shows some of the "art" he has brought to the White House--including a picture of all the loving admirers at his inauguration.

Here is a picture that I would like the president to add to his collection. It shows a building in the Alaskan village of Shishmaref tumbling into the rising sea water caused by global warming.

He can hang it between the portrait of Vladimir Putin and the "Dogs Playing Poker."


Thursday, January 26, 2017

North Korea, Zimbabwe--And Us

President Trump has found some threats against our country to be so dire that they require immediate attention. During his first days in office, he has authorized:
1. A wall to stop illegal border crossings from Mexico
2. Harsh immigration laws to prevent foreign terrorists from entering the U.S.
3. New measures to fight voter fraud

1. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, illegal entry from Mexico is at a 50-year low. Better border security and a rising Mexican economy have dropped illegal crossings to 10% of the 2005 level. Most of the undocumented Mexicans now living here have arrived legally.

2. Since 9/11, 24 Americans have been killed by foreign-born terrorists. (14 by the same man.) 98% of terrorist attacks here have been from American citizens.

3. .0000001% of votes cast in the 2016 presidential election resulted in convictions or guilty pleas for voter fraud.

Currently, 31 Alaskan villages are in the process of moving or planning to move because of rising sea water. The Trump administration has shut down the EPA and is preventing it from releasing any figures on global warming.

We blinked, and the government of the United States joined Kim Jong Un's North Korea and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe as a country manufacturing "reality" in order to legitimize its agenda. We thought it couldn't happen here--it just did.








Wednesday, January 25, 2017

No More Chances

Incredibly, some are still asking us to give President Trump a chance.
Hey, give me . . . a break!

Has anyone in the world ever been given more chances than Donald Trump?

Born into wealth and privilege, educated at the best schools, Trump started life with more chances for success than  the majority of people in the country. When his first chance came to serve that country, he not only dodged the draft but bragged publicly about the fun he had while others served. Bankrolled with millions in family money, Trump had a chance at becoming a respected businessman but bungled his way through fraudulent ventures into six bankruptcies and thousands of federal, state, and civil lawsuits. Running for president, he was given the chance to unite and inspire the country. He used it to insult immigrants, veterans, and the disabled-- and to alienate half the population of the earth with his misogyny.

As president, Trump was handed the chance of honoring his campaign pledge to "drain the swamp." He packed his administration with the same Wall Street millionaires whose policies have spelled financial disaster for ordinary Americans. The chance to lead civilization against its biggest challenge in history has been met with his claim that "environmentalism is out of control." America lost all chance of maintaining its leadership in world diplomacy with his reckless saber-rattling that has provoked both our allies and enemies around the globe.

Perhaps the biggest chance blown by Donald Trump has been his chance to change--to change from a petty, narcissistic, con-artist bully into someone deserving our respect as President of the United States. Clearly, that's not going to happen. The inner-strength and grace projected by our previous leader has been replaced with paranoia and delusion. Facing all his new responsibilities, our president remains obsessed with his self-image and the need to continually reaffirm the boast of an adolescent boy that:
"MINE IS BIGGER THAN YOURS!"
Pathetic.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Welcome To Heaven, Here's Your Penis

It's Sunday, which seems an appropriate time for theological musings.
Here's something I've been wondering about:
Male ISIL martyrs are rewarded in heaven with a multitude of virgins. But so many of the suicide-bombers are women. What's their reward?

1. Nothing, they're just women.
2. 72 male virgins. Great! 72 awkward, pimply-faced boys poking them in the wrong places for 30 seconds and asking "Was that good for you too?"
3. Freedom to choose one of the heavens of non-sexist religious zealots--if they can find one.
4. Simply being released from the earthly ties to a gang of sadistic thugs that includes male-dominated sexual mayhem against women in its vision of paradise.
5. The supreme reward--transformation into a man! Upon entry into heaven, the female martyr is given the required male body parts and 72 girls to ravage.

Infidel martyrs might have to settle for just a harp.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Raise Hell. Please.

Call it pre traumatic stress--our Titanic of a new president has set sail, the Hindenburg of his cabinet is preparing to land. Our anxiety is well-founded. I can't help recalling Hunter S. Thompson's warning that "There is no such a thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment."
But here is another quote--one that may offer some much needed encouragement at this difficult time:

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


These words of 18th Century philosopher and statesman, Edmond Burke, ring truer now than ever. I'm sure that he was calling on all who seek justice, and that he would join in our pride at the sight of all those strong women now gathered in Washington, doing what needs to be done.

Be careful, marchers. You are confronting a callous, dangerous bully, but please . . . RAISE HELL!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It's Alive!


Forget all the pundits and politicians. I think that scientists, from several different fields, should be focusing their attention on our new president. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study a phenomenon so remarkable that no evidence for it has ever been recorded. With each passing day, Donald Trump is presenting himself more and more as something previously thought impossible to exist in nature:
AN EGO DISCONNECTED FROM A BRAIN.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Face Washing?

The Senate confirmation hearings over presumptive CIA head, Mike Pompeo, have reopened the waterboarding controversy.
A little research will show that waterboarding is an ancient, widespread, practice. Surely, if only by accident, at some place and time a recipient of waterboarding has died.
The claim by many in the U.S. government that this practice is merely "virtual torture" has me asking two questions:

1.) If one of our prisoners were to die while being waterboarded, would he be "virtually dead"?
(Despite the current zombie craze, for argument's sake let's define a dead person as someone who has stopped moving and breathing and will stay that way.)
Now, since a person can fake death for only so long, it seems that we would be faced with an actual corpse that was produced by virtual means. We would have to conclude that a simulated procedure, if applied too vigorously, can have real results. Perhaps if the race car you're driving in a video game crashes too many times, you could actually get a concussion. Who knew?

2,) But here is the really important question--one that I have never heard asked:
If waterboarding isn't torture, WHY DO IT?
A prisoner is taken from his normal cell and brought to another place (the non-torture chamber?) where specialists proceed to not torture him for a while. WHY? Exercise for the guards? Relieving boredom? Washing the prisoner's face?
If the object is gathering information, why not just go to the prisoner and ask him what you want to know? Of all the methods of interrogating a prisoner without torturing him, what's so special about waterboarding?

Quite simply, if waterboarding isn't torture, WHY THE BLOODY FUCKING HELL WOULD ANYONE BOTHER DOING IT?!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Keeping America Safe For Drunks, Gamblers, And Hookers

One of the obstacles to better medical care in America is fear of "socialized medicine." Of course, many of our institutions are already socialized--but only the important ones.

Every bottle of liquor sold in the U.S. is distilled under a federal license. How about gambling? It's only legal when run by the government. Some parts of Nevada allow prostitution--if overseen by . . . the government.

We don't mind the government controlling booze, betting, and hookers, but draw the line at medical care--we wouldn't want this government-control thing getting out of hand.

So watch out if you ever find yourself stumbling drunk on government-guaranteed wholesome whisky between a government-certified healthy whorehouse and a government-certified honest casino. If you get injured and the medical bills start pouring in, those free market insurance companies are going to have you at their mercy.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Good Morning, We're Here To Spread The Good News About Pornography."

I indulged my curiosity this Sunday morning, as I occasionally do, and tuned in some TV preaching. I was informed by one prosperous-looking evangelist, before he begged for money, that our country is being "bombarded with pornography."

Funny, but I've never answered the door on a Sunday morning and faced a family of strangers trying to sell me porn.
I've never checked into a hotel and found that a national organization had left porn in the nightstand.
I've never seen one page of a twenty-page hometown newspaper or two out of three local TV stations devoted to porn once a week.
Sessions of my federal, state, and local government have never begun with opening words from a pornographer.
I've never walked through an American town and found the landscape adorned with enormous pornographic symbols, erected on tax-exempt property.

If you are a non-religious person in this country, which it is your right to be, you are being "bombarded" all right--and not with pornography.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Spot Quiz!

For all the "very talented" new arrivals in Washington that oppose both the reality of global warming and new immigration to the U.S.:

Q. Will ignoring the effects of global warming decrease or increase immigration pressure on the U.S. and other countries?

Clue: The Ganges River, which is drying up because of shrinking glaciers in the Himalayas, is the sole source of water for over a billion people.

Note: MY "SLOW-LEARNER" SECOND-GRADE CLASS NAILED IT.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Starting The Day Off Right

Reading about the Senate's confirmation hearings this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself agreeing with our prospective Attorney General. Jeff Sessions claims that the U.S. was built on "Biblical principles." Yes, genocide and slavery are found throughout the Bible.





Monday, January 9, 2017

My Cold, Dead Hands

People have been asking me to comment on the Fort Lauderdale shooting.
Well . . . . Okay.

What is there to say? We live in a democracy and the people have spoken. Apparently, the majority of Americans would rather risk getting shot than risk what they see as even the slightest chipping away at our sacred gun rights by prohibiting a mentally-ill terrorist suspect from flying with a gun.

Fine. Deal with it.

BTW: Like most Alaskans, I am a gun owner. I believe in sensible gun controls and I'd join the Girl Scouts before I'd join the NRA. I'll stop using this laptop to argue for a sane approach to gun ownership in America when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Putin Envy . . . On The Rise

There's much speculation going on over Trump's infatuation with Vladimir Putin. He is undoubtedly impressed with Putin's macho bearing and autocratic mode of operation. Putin's reckless aggression in Ukraine and Syria might even meet with Trump's approval, but probably holds little of his interest--along with anything else in the world that doesn't relate to himself.

I'm guessing that Trump is more taken with Putin's imprisonment of Pussy Riot. The all-girl band was sentenced to two years in jail for merely singing songs that poked fun at their nation's leader. Now that's something that our misogynistic, humorless, self-obsessed president-elect can understand.

If Trump could have his way, I'm sure that he'd have the cast of SNL whisked off to Gitmo.
And the scary part is that a growing number of Americans wouldn't object. For many of our countrymen, democracy has come to mean electing an iron-fisted dictator who thinks exactly the way they do--the formula for fascism throughout history

Putin Envy among some of our "patriot" groups claiming to support American democracy isn't just ironic--it's a real cause for alarm.

Just A Pushy Pair O' Pussy Pokin' Peas In A Pod

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Leap Of Faith

One of the interesting ironies of the modern world is that it's rapidly requiring a greater "leap of faith" to believe in science than in religion. Strangely, I have no trouble accepting the science, but I can't accept religion.

I am told that the seemingly solid desk I'm writing on is composed mostly of empty space with some invisible particles randomly whizzing around. This sounds ridiculous and is contrary to what I perceive with my senses. But I believe it. The Big Bang, black holes, unseen dimensions, and anti-matter are even stranger ideas--but they are part of modern science and I believe in them too. The ultimate nature of reality as described by Einstein, Hawking, and other physicists features concepts as fantastic as the parting of the Red Sea or any other miracle in the Bible. Still, I am able to make the leap and accept these scientific principles--while dismissing Biblical stories as fairy tales.

Maybe it's the personnel.

Watching Stephen Hawking slumped in his wheelchair, I am more willing to accept his mind-numbing idea of a 13-dimensional universe than anything coming from a big-haired televangelist in a $5,000 suit and Rolex watch begging me for money.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trickle Down On Me Once, Shame On You. Trickle Down On Me Twice . . . .

Q. What's the difference between ISIL's War on America and Donald Trump's new Tax Plan for America?

A. ISIL targets all Americans for destruction. Trump's Tax Plan targets only 99% of Americans.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Don't Let This Make You Sick . . . You Probably Can't Afford It

Congress came back yesterday, which means that you're going to be hearing a lot about fixing or gutting Obamacare. You're going to be fed a huge load of crap about why our medical care is so expensive.
Here are a few of the real reasons:

Aetna CEO, Mark Bertolini, salary . . . . . 17.3 million
Cigna CEO, David Cordani . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.3 million
United Health CEO, Stephen Hemsley . . 14.5 million
Anthem CEO, Joseph Swedish . . . . . . . . .13.6 million
Humana CEO, Bruce Broussard . . . . . . . .10.3 million

The annual salary of just one of these parasites would pay for 20 MRI machines or 300 nurses. The next time you need a high-tech diagnosis or a dressing changed, go see Mr. Bertolini (below)--I'm sure he'd be a big help.

Until we decide as a nation that the purpose of medical care is making Americans well, not making insurance companies rich, IT'S ALL JUST PISSING IN THE WIND.

$48,000/Day
$43,000/Year

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Divine Intervention . . . Thanks!

I see that one of the nation's leading homophobes, Franklin Graham, is back in the news. He has declared that the "hand of God" is responsible for the election of Donald Trump. Apparently, Reverend Graham expects the new administration to be more appreciative of his relentless gay bashing.

People like Graham fascinate me. Given the opportunity, I would ask the reverend one simple question:

Do you really believe that homosexuals are perverts--but people, like yourself, that spend their lives preoccupied with homosexuality are normal?

Monday, January 2, 2017

To Those Of You With A Personal Home Arsenal Big Enough To Arm A Small Country But Continue Ranting About Your "Gun Rights": Please, Shut The Fuck Up. Thank You.

The Big Lie, a lie so pervasive that it has become accepted as the truth, has been used to manipulate people throughout history. In America, one of our Big Lies is:
"They're coming for our guns!"

No one is coming for our guns.

After two and one-half centuries of hearing this battle-cry, and still no one coming for our guns, isn't it time to see this propaganda for what it is? I know how much fun it must be to puff up your chest and shout slogans like "From my cold, dead hands!" but the simple fact remains:

No one is coming for our guns.

With two weeks left in his presidency, if Obama were going to confiscate all our guns, don't you think he would have started by now?
And exactly how would this be accomplished? Would he or any other president personally go door to door and grab our guns? Or would this be done by the army, local police, the Illuminati (whoever the fuck they are), the Girl Scouts, a secret horde of Muslim terrorists that has been hiding in the White House? And where would the collection sites be for the guns? Who would oversee that operation, and what would be done with the guns, and what would happen to the citizens resisting this seizure . . .
When you try picturing the actual nuts and bolts of confiscating 300 million guns, you can instantly see the absolute absurdity of this conspiracy theory.

In his eight years in the White House, President Obama did not sign a single law limiting gun rights. Not one. None. Zero. As a matter of fact (hang into your NRA hats!), the only gun bills signed into law by President Obama have expanded gun rights (1.The right to carry in national parks. 2.The right to transport guns on Amtrak.) That's right--as Obama explained in a recent speech, it is now easier in most states to own and carry a gun than before he was elected.
These are facts, and the nice thing about facts is that they can be checked. Go ahead, you're already on a computer, try to find the laws President Obama has enacted to limit your gun rights. But I'll save you the trouble. There aren't any.

No one is coming for our guns.

The Second Amendment makes the U. S. unique among nations. In most states, an American citizen can buy almost any kind of gun he wants, and as many as he wants, and carry them almost anywhere he wants. If that isn't enough gun rights for you, I guess it will just have to do!
Currently, many of our other rights, the rights at the core of our democracy are being threatened. If that democracy is to endure, we need to stop being sucked into the gun rights conspiracy, and other smokescreen issues, and concentrate on the rights of free speech, assembly, privacy, religion, and all our Constitutional rights that really are under attack.