How to Spot a Witch Hunt?

If I’m not already on the record as thinking this whole #metoo thing has become a bit of a witch hunt, let this blog be considered as such.
I just saw a friend’s update in which she said men should  stop posting in support of women because we should have been speaking up for women all along .  I saw another one earlier who listed as enemies ‘anyone who uses the word witch hunt.’  So, we’re not supposed to criticize (or mansplain, which seems to be a word now for anything said by a man), but we’re not supposed to agree and offer support, either.  We’re not being given a lot of options here.

But it’s the Al Franken case which makes me think it’s a witch hunt.  There was an article the other day in the New York Times, which is still inexplicably in existence, saying that ‘it  might not be fair, but Al Franken should resign.’  Let me repeat that.  Even if Al Franken turns out to be completely innocent (which  I  think will happen, despite the 2nd accuser – her charge doesn’t sound much more serious than the first one), the New York Times still thinks he should be forced to resign.
Then, there was a guy (Yes, a guy) who was berating me today for being sufficiently anti-Franken, saying we shouldn’t be questioning whether the charge is serious enough or not, since he has been accused and we must believe the women.
This is insane.  When the accuser is automatically believed because if someone is accused, we must assume them guilty, then it’s a witch hunt.

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The Words in our Heads

In the ‘learn something new every day’ category, it was pointed out to me today that “Mr. Mojo Risin” is an acronym for Jim Morrison.  Well, a quick second to look and check and sure  enough, yes, it is, and my view of rock history is changed somewhat and I can imagine the etymology of the song, everybody sitting around making acronyms of  their names, who knows what they  came up  with out of  Ray Manzarek (Kraazy Namer?), Robbie Krieger (Beer Keg Robir?) and John Densmore (Modern J. Shone?), but when they got to Mr. Mojo Risin, Morrison, vain and obsessive as he was, probably just started saying it over and over again, louder and louder, and the lads, being exceptionally talented and  spontaneous individuals, just started playing along.
It could be more thought went into  it than that, but I’ll bet not.  That’s how songs (and poems) get written.
One of my  favorite rock etymologies is from Paul McCartney, who apparently wrote “Yesterday” one fine morning while he was taking a poop, at least that’s  how  I  remember hearing it.   He’d just woken up and, in that hazy state of mind when you’re still adjusting to being in  the real  world rather than the dream world and things in your head are not  too fixed and rigid, the song came to him.  He said it came to him so complete that he thought he must have heard it before, and asked several people ‘where have I heard this song before?’ before admitting that he’d written it himself.
I am not a religious person, not a believer at all, but our minds are all  vessels for something, they have access to all the collected knowledge of all human history, and all the imagery and sensation of the whole world around us, and they are just turning it around and around and trying it from every different angle and, if you’re lucky, something great will pop out.

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No Surprise

Well, the  Dakota access pipeline, which so many brave people fought against, is leaking.  We are not surprised.  Pipelines leak.

Five people shot down by a crazy man with a gun in California.  Police had had  lots of warning signs.  We are not surprised.

Trump says something stupid.  We are not surprised.
There are predictable things.  The cycle of day and night, increasingly cold weather as  we move into winter, increases  in price.  Oil pipelines leak (It’s not automatic, I  suppose.  If they were actually being constructed for people who are concerned about the environment and conscientious, by people who have a clue what they’re doing, then there would be no leaks, but you can never be sure about the latter and the former is just obviously first.  If they gave a shit about the planet they wouldn’t be in the oil  industry in the first place.

Mass shootings are carried out by crazy people with high powered weapons.  This is pretty much the definition of a mass shooting.  Since we know there will always be a supply of crazy people, the only way to stop them  would be to eliminate the guns, but we know that’s not  going to happen so when the next mass shooting  happens, it will not be a surprise.

And, of course, Trump does and says stupid things every day.  It’s what one expects of a stupid person.  The surprise is when he occasionally says  or does something not  completely stupid.
It is unthinkable that the Democrats could lose to him in 2020, and yet…certainly Hillary Clinton would lose to him.  Liz Warren, hated on both the right (for her positions) and the left (for  her betrayal) would probably lose to him.  In fact, anybody who is hated by the Berniecrats (takes corporate cash, does not support universal health care) would probably lose to him.

And it won’t even be a surprise.

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Lighten Up on Al Franken, Already

I have  often criticized Al Franken, over the last couple of years, for being an asshole  as a Superdelegate and making it  very clear that  he was  a Superdelegate for Hillary even if the Democratic voters in his state, the  exceptionally beautiful state of Minnesota, voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders which they, in fact, did.
I think he needs to apologize for that.  Not for some isolated incident that happened back when he was still  a comic, and wasn’t really all  that  bad.
The old honk-honk joke?  They did that on Married With  Children, more than once.  They did a whole lot worse on Benny Hill, every episode.  It’s not very funny,  but they were comedians on a tour and just fooling around.
Anyway, he apologized, and the ‘victim’ accepted his apology, and we can move on.  I I don’t think we will, though.  I just saw a comment thread on the Al Franken incident, and it was long, really long, to the point where there was really no point in adding my comment to it.  There was no more room on the Dodgeball court to add new players.  About half were saying ‘this is not  such a big deal’ and the other half were calling for  his immediate resignation, and why should we support him just because he’s a Democrat, and any aggressive behavior on the part of men, whether verbal, comical, or merely flirtatious is absolutely at the same level of evil as  dragging a girl  into the bushes and  having sex while you hold  a knife to her throat.
So, I think it’s  not going to  be  safe out there  for  a while, guys.  Eventually, we will  reach some kind of equilibrium again, where a man can talk to a woman without fear of a lawsuit, but it won’t be the same equilibrium we  had before.
No more honk-honk joke,  anyway.

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The Ongoing Investigation

Clinton’s people want Trump investigated  for improper contacts  with  Russia, and Trump’s people want Hillary investigated for a whole  bunch of stuff,  but improper contacts with Russia are  near the  top of the list, and Bernie’s people might like to see Trump investigated, but we don’t  want to side with the Hillary people.
Here’s how I  see it.  The calls for  an investigation into Trump’s dealings with Russia are an indication that the Democrats don’t really want to impeach.  Maybe they’re afraid of Pence, or maybe they just don’t want to see impeachment established as an effective tool, because a guillotine cuts all necks  the  same and, just like poor voters who vote against themselves  on  taxation because they think some day they’ll be rich, Democrats dream that they somehow, magically, will get into power again.
If they really wanted to impeach they’d be going after him for corruption, tax evasion, sexual harassment, nepotism, lack of mental competence, lack of  psychological fitness, lack of the capacity to do the job.  Then  they’d have a winning case, by golly.
I’d be  perfectly happy to see Hillary Clinton investigated  simultaneously.

In fact, I’d like to see everybody in congress, in  the cabinet, in the White House or in public life in any capacity,  investigated.  All the time.  As a matter of course.  Their taxes should  be audited  automatically, their phones should be tapped, their movements should  be tracked.

Once a few of those  fuckers go to  jail – Democrat or Republican doesn’t matter much, but I’d like to see a few of both – then we’ll start to  see some changes, I bet.

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The World Turns

Trump tweets condolences to people in Texas after a mass shooting in California, which probably could have been prevented if the cops had taken it  seriously when the shooter-to-be stabbed one of his neighbors a while back, because  she knocked  on his door to complain about him shooting off his guns all the time; the  Clintonistas and their minions in the press try desperately to smear Wikileaks, implying that Assange is in bed with Trump, which  is kind of ridiculous;  Jeff Sessions is pretty  much totally nailed lying to congress; and Jeff Bezos is still plotting to take over the world.  One topic almost nobody on my facebook page is talking about is Robert Mugabe.

This time I’m not blaming the media.  There is no conspiracy of  silence.  I was just watching CNN and they were talking about it.  Just the  people I  know, apparently, have other priorities.  But, it’s huge news.  He’s ruled Zimbabwe ever since it was Zimbabwe, back in 1980.  He was popularly elected.  People thought he’d be another Nelson Mandela.  Instead, he turned out to be just another thieving dictator, and he’s had an iron grip on the country for 37 years.
I’m not sure how much difference it will make.  He was ousted in a military coup, he’s not dead, it’s not even 100% clear that he’s ousted because a military spokesman said they were targeting ‘the criminals around Mugabe.’  But, Mugabe’s wife has left the country and the general pattern, throughout human history, is that when the military takes control, they don’t just hand it back.  But, even if he is out, and I’m pretty sure he is, there’s no guarantee the new boss is going to be better than the old boss. (see coup, military) and, he’s in his 90s, so he wasn’t going to last too much  longer anyway.

Still, it’s nice that he’s  dethroned, it’s a reminder that no matter how  bad and desperate  things seem, they always  change eventually.  Today, that  change is reason to  rejoice.

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Retro-Futurism

I just learned a new  word.  Maybe.  Maybe it  was a  word just made up for  that article, which  is O.K., a writer is  allowed to do that, and maybe  it’s just putting together two  word  parts  in  a way  that makes obvious sense, like semi-liberal or pseudoblogger.  The word is retro-futurism and it was defined thus: “broadly refers to the exploration of outdated visions of the future.”  But, I guess it’s different than steampunk, which seems to go back to  the 1890s or so for  its inspiration, and the picture accompanying the article looked more like a 1960s motel, lots of big, orange beams, and plexiglass and balconies.
It’s a cool concept.   It’s good to look into the past and refresh our minds about what we thought the future would be.  Then we can laugh (or cry)  about how deluded we all were.

Back in the early days of the internet, I had very high hopes. I thought it would shatter the glass ceiling and end racism because, you know, anonymity.  Well, we’ve made some progress in  those areas, but had some pretty dramatic setbacks, too, and I’m  not at all sure the internet has been a positive influence.  I thought that, as a place where people could  discuss and debate any topic, that it would  lead to resolutions, town  hall style, to all our problems.  But, we’re shouting slogans  at each other more than ever.

One thing that surprised me was the huge number of cat lovers out there.  Dogs, you  always knew about.  They bark at you as you walk down  the street, they poop everywhere, they are outdoors, they are obvious.  Cats usually stay  at home, and the homes of people who have cats tend to have fewer visitors  from the  outside world than the homes of people with  no cats.  You know, cat people.  Also, when you are over visiting a cat person (maybe you didn’t even know), the cat will stay  hidden.
I’d like to go back to the  idea of having intelligent conversations  with each  other until solutions to  all  the  world’s problems have been found.  We could try  and figure out  where the internet veered off course  on that one, and maybe get things moving in the right direction.

Because the future is still the future  if we haven’t accomplished it yet.

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