Sunday, March 27, 2016

One Man's Lie is A Moron's Outrage

Cloud Cuckoo Land

And another asinine right wing post has declared that Obama has banned the American flag from the White House. Conservatives are outraged.

I asked in response: My question, and it's not rhetorical, I really want to know, is how otherwise intelligent people who actually know how to tie their shoes and how to blow their own noses believe this crap? Because they do believe it. I know hatred shuts down the higher functions of the mind in a rush of neurochemicals, but what's next? Headline news! Obama feeds Christians to his pet lions!

I think conservatives would actually believe it.

I mean, after all, there are lions in Kenya!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hulk Angry! Hulk Dance!

Cloud Cuckoo Land

In response to a very popular right wing post in which Breitbart declares that we need a real president to defeat Isis, not one who dances the tango, I posted the following. Then I couldn't stop going on and on because it's just so damn funny. So I have added a bunch of addenda down at the bottom for any of you read only my original Facebook post.

He is defeating ISIS, in the real world, not Breitbart's version of Star Wars. How exactly do you think refusing to dance until Isis is defeated will help defeat Isis?

I mean, honestly, I expect stupidity and mindless hatred from the right wing news media but not doing a dance will magically attack Isis?

I can hear it now. Isis commander: by the Beard of the Prophet! We must now evacuate the areas we have conquered because the President of the United States refused to do a dance! When did he get so smart?

Of course, I must admit that George Washington was tried and convicted of treason for doing dances during the American Revolution. I mean, come on! We could have beaten the British in three months if only he hadn't done all that dancing!

Look in the mirror, conservatives. Your hatred is becoming so mindless that it has degenerated into the truly bizarre. You have replaced concepts of strategy, logic, and even rationality with, "Hulk angry! Hulk smash!"


Just a few more thoughts because this is so utterly Cloud Cuckoo Land that I just can't resist adding on. PS, that's because it's fun.

Breaking news from Breitbart:

In response to our brilliant article, the War College and the American military academies are now requiring all students to learn how to win a war by not dancing. "This will be the greatest new weapon in the history of new weapons," said an unnamed general. "If only we had thought of this before!"

Historical fact: When he received the shocking news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt immediately responded in his beautiful upper-class accent, "Gentlemen, until we have won this war I shall never set foot up on the dance floor. I shall not dance until victory is ours!"

And he didn't. Which is why we won. And you shut up! Polio, wheelchairs, and leg braces had nothing to do with it. It was a moral decision he made 'cause he was a great president, unlike like that awful man, Obama who dances -- sometimes -- to be polite.

Also, this has nothing to do with being jealous because I have never been able to master the tango. I will have you know that I don't want to master the tango. I've never even tried to master the tango. So there.

Another historical fact: It was a common, is rather crude, jest of the Civil War era that, "Bluebellies can't dance." In fact this was the actual, real rebel yell. "Bluebellies can't dance! Charge!" They yelled it a lot. Historians don't know if the accusation against Billy Yank was true or false because, of course, no Union officers, including the commander-in-chief, ever danced during the Civil War. Jefferson Davis and all of his officers went to grand balls and dances at every opportunity. That's why they lost the war. I mean, it's not like they were fighting for a really bad cause or that it was stupid to start a war with somebody who had a vastly bigger population, huge manufacturing capacity, almost every armaments factory in the entire nation, or any of that sort of totally unimportant strategic and tactical stuff. It's because they danced during the war.

Final note: I have a suggestion for Breitbart. I think they, like Scientology made a mistake when they changed their original name. It's true no one was interested in joining a religion called Stupidology, but at least it was honest. So I'm suggesting to Breitbart that they go back to their original name, at least for the sake of honesty, from now on they should call themselves Dumbass.

I must get control of myself. I must stop going on and on about this. It's just that the straight line is pure gold. It absolutely begs for smart ass responses. I mean, how can I resist? It's becoming an addiction. Help me! Someone help me! If you love me, make me stop!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Sea Change

Washington Journal's opening headline today read:
Speaker Ryan: "Don't lose faith in government".

This is a statement which would have been utterly unthinkable and considered to be a death sentence for the political career of any Republican just a few weeks ago. CSPAN Twitterers and callers were shocked that he dared to say such a thing, many noting it seemed unbelievable.

You all know I was convinced that Ronald Reagan was one of the worst presidents in American history and how happy I was when Bill Clinton, a liberal Democrat, became his replacement (although I despised Clinton, It seemed that he had to be better than Reagan). You also know how bitterly upset I was when one of the first things Mr. Clinton said was that, "The era of big government is over."

It was a capitulation. It made it clear that from now on Democrats would act like conservative Republicans. It was a declaration of their complete cowardice. It was the equivalent of the Emperor of Japan declaring to his people that, "We must now endure the unendurable." Like Clinton and Ryan the Emperor lacked the courage to simply say the truth and had to wrap it up in obscure phraseology. He didn't come out and say "Hey guys, guess what? For the first time in 2000 years, Japan lost! See, it turns out that we are not the island chosen by the gods to gloriously rule the world, we're the island that just got the crap beat out of it by the gaijin , the blue-eyed, hairy stinky, racially inferior barbarians. I hope you're not mad about all that war stuff I got you into."

From the time Clinton crumbled, Democrats were terrified to do anything except pretend to be conservative Republicans. It was disgusting the way they pandered to their new masters. And then Barack Obama won the presidency. And he said in effect, "The Reagan revolution is over!", because he said the government wasn't automatically bad. He said the government of the people, by the people, and for the people was good as long as it met the needs of those people and served them well.

Republicans of course kept right on chanting "Four legs good; two legs bad!" No wait. Wrong chant. They chanted about how government was automatically bad and smaller government was automatically good.

So did the terrified and cringing Democrats. It was so bad they even tried to distance themselves from the successful president of the United States during elections. Those Democrats often found themselves losing those elections. The few Democrats with the courage to stand up for and stand with Obama had a better chance at winning. The Reagan revolution was finally weakening.

Now that the GOP has so successfully terrified a large segment of the American populace, split America into old white men against everybody else, made so many Americans believe that feelings of terror and rage were much more real than mere facts or reality itself, even the Republican leaders are realizing just how much they've damaged this country.

I repeat, Speaker Ryan today declared the foulest and filthiest possible Republican blasphemy. He declared that we must restore trust in government.

Just as Bill Clinton's declaration removed the spines of his fellow Democrats, Mr. Ryan's declaration is an admission of failure. He even criticized identity politics, among other issues. Identity politics is all the Republican Party has offered since Ronald Reagan was running for president by opposing welfare queens.

The Republican Party has destroyed itself just as the Democratic Party destroyed itself when Democrats gave up on what they believed and began to pander to the new masters in Washington. Pail Ryan's declaration sounds much like something a liberal Democrat would have said. It marks the recognition among the Republican leadership that they have destroyed not only this country, but their own party.

The coffin of the Reagan revolution has been nailed shut. It's now on display for mourners to parade by and express their sadness over the death of their beautiful conservative dreams.

The question now is whether the Republican Party can reform itself as the Democrats managed to do (although it took them decades) or whether the party will go the way of the Whigs and the Know Nothings.

There's actually a bigger question. How long will it take us to repair the damage the GOP has already done to America and how much more damage can they do before they recognize that zombie Reagan is no longer a good leader for the party?

I don't expect the fanatic Republicans become as submissive as the Democrats did. They will not go quietly into that good night. Nevertheless, even their own leadership can now see the wreckage Republicans have made of their home states (Kansas is a good example). Reality has this fact about it. You don't have to believe in it, but it's still there and it will deal with you, even if you refuse to deal with it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Trump Card

Years ago, I read an interesting article in the LA Times. It observed that while the Communist Party was beginning to show signs of turning away from communist doctrine, Chairman Mao was still an adored and even idolized figure throughout the country. Dictatorships always seem to have at their core a cult of personality. The idea that the great leader is a miraculous superhero (what the Greeks would have simply called a hero) is used by these countries the way high schools use sports teams to encourage "school spirit".

However, once the repressive government falls, there is often a concerted effort to degrade the former great leader into a despised monster. Khrushchev's deStalinization is an example of this effect. It isn't always entirely successful. It is not unusual in Russia today to see some individuals during street disturbances raising signs expressing their wish for a return of Stalin. This may say a great deal about the popularity of Vladimir Putin.

In contrast, Chairman Mao remained popular in China. While even to this day it is difficult to get an accurate or open response from the Chinese people, outsiders can tell the difference between genuine affection and a terrorized pretense. We only need to look at North Korea's spontaneous expressions of love for Kim Jong Un to see how obvious it is that the people are turning out in response to terror rather than adoration.

The Times article, remember this was several years ago, made an attempt to discover why the Chinese people seemed to acquiesce to their government's insistence on the continued adulation of Mao. The response seem to be the same almost whoever was asked. It came down to the belief that Mao had certainly done terrible things and the people being asked the question had often lost family members to his purges and excesses, but Mao was seen to have done something which could not be denied and which was a such supreme importance that it made him a hero, a great man, in spite of his obvious failures and flaws.

What he had done was to make China great again.

The Chinese people were well aware that their country had once been one of the greatest civilizations in history. They were also well aware that the country has been reduced to state of desperate poverty and Third World status. Whatever atrocities and sufferings he had created, Mao made China great again. The whole world once again respected Chinese power.
Sound familiar?

Not all of Donald Trump's followers are racists or fascists. Many of them genuinely believe that America has ceased to be as powerful and respected as she once was. The fact that, unlike China's position, this is a fantasy is irrelevant. They believe it. They act accordingly. They vote accordingly.
Decades of Republican propaganda, of right wing media's disinformation and agitprop, of changing demographics, and failed economic polices have had their effect. There are those whom Donald Trump insults, and who intensely dislike many of his policies and behaviors, who nevertheless support him. His flaws seem minor compared to the promise of America becoming great again.

Job Security

Nick's post:

Lunchtime deep thought:

While standing in line at Home Depot, I overheard a man loudly complain about self-checkout machines, and how they were taking away jobs from people. He was expressing a larger, common fear: machines taking our jobs, which often is joined at the hip with foreigners taking our jobs (via free trade).

It is true that machine and foreign competition do change our labor markets, and they do so in ways that threaten the livelihood of our most vulnerable workers. But the worry about "losing our jobs" to machines or foreigners is misdiagnosing the real problem:

Our society has plenty of work that is desperately needed, and plenty of people who desperately need work, but we prefer rich people to pay low taxes.

Just look around. There is work everywhere that needs to be done. There are roads, bridges, and pipes to be fixed. There are railroad lines to be built. There are homes to be constructed. There are solar panels to be installed. There is massive amounts of infrastructure needed to be built to mitigate the dangers of global warming. There are children that need to be taught. There are working families who need someone to provide day care. There are the elderly who need care. There are case workers and public defenders who are extremely overburdened. Work is needed.

There are even things we don't yet know we need or want, but which only exist in the mind of someone overburdened with debt and trapped from starting their own business and realizing their dreams.

If we had a healthy economy, we'd celebrate losing low paying jobs to machines and foreign competition, as it would bring lower prices, leaving more money to be paid in higher wages to workers doing more important work.

While we are a wealthy economy, we are far from a healthy economy. Instead of taxing the immense wealth within our country to lower debt and pay wages to people to do the things we need, we collectively decide to avoid "class warfare" and instead blame the machine or the foreigner.


My response:

Nick, I've said for years the goal of the Republican Party is to turn America into Mexico. A very tiny ultra wealthy privileged class, the Dons, rule a huge class of impoverished, desperate peons and just enough of a competent middle-class to provide the rich with their needs.

Ironically, Mexico is beginning to show the signs of a growing middle-class, something that was always an American right -- until Ronald Reagan happened. He reignited the class war that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had won for the majority. That counterrevolution has been incredibly successful. With the death of Antonin Scalia and the presidency of Barack Obama, we might be seeing the beginning of the Restoration.

Hmmm...The French Revolution would be a better example. But I'm too tired to change the Restoration into one of the Republics.

PS, although I did mean "Dons" in the strictly Spanish sense, it does make pretty good pun.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Blessed Am I, For I Deserve It

The original post:

One girl’s Tweet about having dinner with her grandfather is going viral and breaking hearts around the world because of its gut-wrenching backstory.

Kelsey Harmon, from Oklahoma, posted this photo of dinner with “Papaw”, saying that he’d invited his six grandchildren over but Kelsey was the only one to show up.
dinner with papaw tonight...❤️ he made 12 burgers for all 6 grandkids and I'm the only one who showed. 😢 love him

My response: I feel your pain, papaw, literally. Four of my grandchildren do this to me every holiday and every day because I wouldn't disown the rest of my children and grandkids in favor of them and their mom. In fairness to my beloved Lost Lambs, their mother, Four square copastor that she is, says I should obey her, my "true daughter". (The family she wanted me to disown may not be genetically mine, but ALL my children and grandchildren are mine; they are totally mine now and forever.)
Two of those 'not true' grandkids are spending the weekend and driving me crazy. They are real grandkids to me and I cherish every precious moment with them, their siblings, their cousins, their parents, their aunts, and all those my Prodigal Daughter wanted me to disown. And, yes, in spite of years of emotional neglect and abuse, I love my Prodigal Daughter and my neglectful Lost Lambs just as much.
No amount of neglect or hurtfulness will ever tarnish my love for all of my children and all of my grandchildren. I choose every single one, even when that choice brings suffering from the Pharisee branch of my family.

1 Col 13:4,13. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Please pray for my Prodigals. Their judgement and rejection of the family that loves them is a sickness that eats at their souls, even as they puff up with pride at their self declared piety.

Updated Comments:

I love you Poppy ! I'll always be your daughter

Dad I want to say that you are one of the strongest men I know your my hero have been cast aside because of you loving us kids as your own ....even though we're not fruit of your loins we are fruit of your heart ... I'm appalled at the way you are being treated and how your lambs are lost ...I wish that they would wake up and find out what a wonderful father papa and poppy you could be if they would allow you too! I will promises you this ...I will never wonder ...I will never not be there for you as you have been as I when was a child and now ...I will never disrespect you forsake you or stay away ...I may not be your real daughter but I am your daughter .... Enough said Poppy ....I love you! I choose you all them years ago ....I knew you would be my perfect dad !

Me: The best love is love returned. Real family is the family that stands beside you and delights in your joys and carries you through your pain. Whatever the hurt caused by those who have abandoned us, the rest of us stand together and love together. You all keep me going, whatever strength I have, it is rooted in all of you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two Poems



Wet day, rainy day
Last fire of the season day
Mountains on the right
Hide behind the cloud walls
Mountains on the left
Bright and shady
Beneath their clouded crochet day
Bored dogs sleeping
Timeout keeping
Sun slipping under
Not breaking out day
Day to cherish those so near
Day to miss those self exiled
Those who held the pots together
Those who broke them to ostraka
Those who held the whole together
Those who wrote themselves away
I love you all day


Slaves enslaved
Caught and held and forced
True enough so far as it can go
Enslaved enforced by others
Enslaved enforced by God
Enslaved enforced by self
Cast out all the snakes
And leave the island open
For all the rats and shrews
To gnaw your heart and brain
I've always hated slavery
No matter who the slaver
It hurts the slave
It hurts the slaver
It does no one any good
No amount of gain
Is worth the loss of soul and self
When the slave enslaves himself
It's the saddest kind of all
All I have to buy your freedom
Is the love you will not take
That which has no value in your world
Is all I have to spend

Half A Poem

Short version for distribution



Wet day, rainy day
Last fire of the season day
Mountains on the right
Hide behind the cloud walls day
Mountains on the left
Bright and shady
Beneath their clouded crochet day
Bored dogs sleeping
Timeout keeping
Sun slipping under
Instead of breaking out day
I love you day