The Twisted Vision of The View

One of the classic arguments for electing female candidates is that that will make the world a kinder, gentler place, but you sure as hell would never guess that from watching the flamboyantly ignorant Meghan McCain and the gang of Merry Warmongers on The View.  I don’t even get what that show is all about – a collection of female minor celebrities, sharing their ill informed opinions – I guess it is sort of the TV version of the Huffington Post.
Anyway, it was claws out the other day when they hosted the perfectly amiable congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard.  They are all in favor of more conflict in Syria, plus invading Venezuela.  Here’s the point I want to make:  while Venezuela is at least a current issue, the Syria invasion took place a while back. (Trump was not even in office yet.  That one is on Obama.)  But, Tulsi Gabbard was against it.  She pointed out that Syria is, whatever you think of their internal politics, no threat to the U.S.  Which is true.  There are no Syrian submarines lying in wait  just outside of New York’s harbor, there are no Syrian tank battalions revving their engines on the Mexican border, and not one American city has been bombed by the Syrian Air Force, like, ever.  She also pointed out that attempts at regime change invariably hurt the civilian populations of those countries, and don’t do the American citizens any good at all, unless of course you’re an executive of an oil company.  And, the main thing, the one thing that nobody should ever forget and the point of tonight’s blog, is SHE WAS RIGHT.  U.S. intervention in Syria has been a big mistake.  It has cost money, it has cost lives, and it has not accomplished anything at all.
And yet, somehow they want Tulsi to be the bad guy, because she opposed it.  That, my friends, is some seriously ass-backwards logic.

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Voter’s Guide

You know those surveys where you answer a bunch of questions about how you feel on different political issues and they tell you who you should vote for?  Yeah, well I don’t pay too much attention to them, either, but just for the raw hell of it, because I have a blog and I can, I’ve created my own little handy-dandy guide for how everybody should vote in the Democratic primaries.  Here goes:

1. If you love Bernie Sanders without reservations, you should vote for Bernie Sanders.

2. If you like Bernie’s positions, but think he’s too old, you should vote for Tulsi Gabbard.

3. If you like Bernie’s positions, but think “eh, I don’t know, he sounds so cranky and he’s always waving his finger,” you should vote for Tulsi Gabbard.

4. If you love Tulsi Gabbard, you should vote for Tulsi Gabbard.

5.  If you love Tulsi Gabbard, but think she’s too young and inexperienced, you should vote for Bernie Sanders.

6.  If you support Kamala Harris, despite her monstrous record as California AG, the fact that her largest campaign contributors are TimeWarner and Steve Mnuchin, and her own father disapproves of her campaign, just because ‘she is a strong woman of color,’ you should vote for Tulsi Gabbard.

7. If you support Elizabeth Warren because you like her economic agenda, you should vote for Bernie.  Same agenda, but Bernie didn’t stand up to clap when Trump promised to crush it.

8. If you support Amy Klobuchar or Kirsten Gillibrand because it’s high time we had a woman president (and, really, there is no other reason) then you should vote for Tulsi Gabbard.

9.  If you support Andrew Yang, because you think UBI is absolutely the most pressing issue in the world, I think you may actually be ahead of your time.  Try voting for somebody that supports a $15 an hour minimum wage and has a realistic chance at winning this year (e.g. Tulsi or Bernie), and then write them a nice letter suggesting they appoint Yang as secretary of the treasury, or commerce.

10.  If you support Joe Biden because you like garrulous, old, white haired men who’ve been in politics forever, you should vote for Bernie.

11.  If  you support Beto O’Rourke because you think it’s so  cool the way he rides a skateboard, you should vote for Tulsi.  She SURFS.

12.  If you support Corey Booker, I really don’t know what the hell is wrong with you.

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Bernie’s In

I’ve got mixed feelings about Bernie’s announcement.  Of course, he’s great, and I was a Bernie supporter before I was a Tulsi supporter.  But, I’m afraid it’s bad strategy.  Admittedly, I was hoping he’d stay out and throw his support to Tulsi, which I think would have made her unbeatable.  But also, I think it’s bad strategy.  If the DNC manages to cheat again, and you can be darned sure they are going to try, then we will have nobody left on the outside to mount a credible 3rd party run.

Damn, though, I’d forgotten a bit about what a powerful speaker he is.  That announcement speech was hot stuff.  It was a shot across the bow of the bourgeosie, it was a throwing down of the gauntlet, it was a declaration of class war.  In short, it was fucking awesome.
The part about 1 million volunteers was kind of a bold gamble, or would have been except, I suspect, he already has them.  Depends on how you count, a bit, I suppose.  If you just mean people who follow him on twitter and Facebook, it’s a soft number.  If it’s people who are willing to go door to door for him, well, he might have that to.  He raised over a million bucks in small donations within a couple hours of his speech.

On the issues, there’s not much ground between them.  Bernie is a bit more laser-focused on economic issues, Tulsi was a lot quicker on the ball when it came time to speak up against the bullshit attempted coup in Venezuela , but they are close enough that all of Tulsi’s supporters like Bernie, too, and vice versa.

So, welcome to the race, Bernie.

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Kamala’s Daddy Issue

It might not make any difference.  Both George W. Bush and Donald Trump had relatives who condemned them very publicly, who urged people not to vote for their horrible relatives, who said “Look, we know him.  He’s a total piece of shit.  Don’t vote for him,” or words to that effect.  They got elected anyway.
But, this is still the Democratic primary, so it may shake out a bit differently.  At any rate, it’s far too juicy not to report.
A bit of background: Kamala Harris admitted, on a radio program a few days back, that she’s smoked pot a-plenty.  There was a time when I would have celebrated that statement coming from any politician, but seeing as how it comes from somebody who’s built their career on throwing other people in jail for that most harmless of all possible pastimes, I am not so sympathetic.
Part of her statement was “Hey, I’m Jamaican, of course I’ve smoked pot”  or words to that effect, which, I must admit, is part of my image of Jamaica.  I’ve only been there once, as part of a Carribean cruise, but I managed to find weed within 15 minutes of coming ashore and spent the whole day high as a parrot.

Her father, however, was not pleased.  In a written statement posted online, he said “My dear departed grandmothers… as well as my deceased parents , must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”

While I may disapprove of Kamala Harris for different reasons than her father does, I’m glad he has made this public statement.  She very much does not deserve to be president of the United States.

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“Loser Teachers”

Donald Trump, Junior, said to a cheering crowd a few days ago “You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism.”  Teachers were enraged, but the general public is so used to ridiculous and offensive statements from the Trump family that it barely caused a ripple.  It was sort of like when his Dad said “I love uneducated people.  I think sometimes they are the smartest people.”  It was sort of shocking to anyone with  working brain, but uneducated people loved it.  Finally, somebody telling them they were smart.

They know their audience, you’ve got to give them credit for that.  These people, most of them at any rate, probably resented the hell out of their teachers.  Their teachers who made them feel stupid by giving them bad grades, deliberately calling on them in class when they didn’t know the answer, showing obvious frustration with their slow reading speed, and on and on.

Now, here’s somebody to tell them that their teachers are losers and they were really the smart ones all along.  Of course they’re going to cheer for that.
And it’s something the DNC can’t deal with.  Their strategy, over the past 3 or 4 decades, has been to move steadily to the right, thinking that they could appease conservative voters and those on the left would continue to support them because, no matter how far to the right they went, the Republicans were still further.
I suppose the centrist Democrats could try to appeal to the uneducated crowd, by using simpler words and not talking about concepts like Anthropogenic Climate Change, but it would be futile.  It will never be possible to out-stupid the Republicans.
The only way to beat them is to talk, and vote, intelligently.

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What Will Bernie Do?

There’s a lot of buzz lately that Bernie is set to announce his candidacy, which would shake things up for sure, but I’m not sure in a good way.
I’m a huge fan of Bernie, of course, but I don’t want him to run.  I think that he should throw his weight behind Tulsi Gabbard.  She is the obvious person to pass the torch to.  She is someone the Democratic establishment is afraid of, because they are trying to shut her out already.  AIPAC also hates her, so she’s got all the right enemies.  She is for all the same economic justice causes that Bernie is for, she is Green, perhaps even greener than he is, and she’s got the whole anti-war thing going on.  Like Bernie, she appeals to independents, and even some conservatives like her.  If she gets the nomination, she will win easily.
And I think if he does run, that sets up a split among progressive voters, which would make it much easier for the DNC to slide one of their total shitbag candidates – most likely Kamala “private prisons” Harris – into the slot, so they can lose to Trump again. Which means things will continue as they are, and the checks from the oil companies can keep rolling in, and Nancy Pelosi will remain as ineffective House Speaker until long after she’s dead, cackling away like the crypt-keeper in Tales From the Crypt.
But, a lot of people see it differently.  Some think that having two progressive candidates in the race would be good for the progressive side, that with both Bernie and Tulsi running, between them they will pull the whole field to the left and one of them will get the nomination.
My track record on political predictions is well under 100%, and I can’t read Bernie Sanders mind.  I’m confident he will do what he sees as right, and most effective.  I’m hoping he endorses Tulsi, though.

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re The Fermi Paradox

I was watching a thing on the search for extraterrestrials, which is one of my favorite things to do, and the old Fermi Paradox, which states that if there’s so much intelligent extra-terrestrial space faring life, like in Star Trek, out there in the rest of the Galaxy and beyond, why haven’t we been visited yet?
Of course, there’s something to it.  Even though maybe it just comes down to the vastness of the universe, and maybe we’re not in a particularly populated region, or maybe we’re just not up to the technological level that they consider worth contacting, and, after all, we’ve only existed as a distinct species for a hundred thousand years or so, and only a tool wielding, settlement building species for maybe 50,000 years, absolute tops, so in that scenario we are the primitive Pacific Islanders of the universe, and they’ll get around to us eventually.  Or maybe we are for some reason excluded, like not that we’re not technically advanced enough, but maybe they find us morally repugnant or likely to damage the fabric of galactic civilization, and we couldn’t really be surprised.  Or, maybe, they are just not out there.
The way I see it, there are two possibilities.  Either we discover aliens, and it makes a huge impact on our civilization and nothing will ever be the same again, or we keep on looking.
By the end of this century we will have a permanent colony on Mars, and I think that’s a conservative estimate.  Also, we’ll have a colony on the moon and we’ll be able to use the dark side of it as a dump for all of the toxic substances of Earth, which may sound a bit fucked up but it will mean a cleaner Earth.

By the end of the next century, the Martian colony will be well on the way to terraforming and scientists will have discovered a catalyst that changes the atmosphere of Venus,  so that humans will colonize our own entire Goldilocks zone.there will be mining operations on several of Jupiter’s moons, there will be a space elevator, and Earth will be receiving all of the energy it could possibly need from a solar array floating in space.  The environment will be stabilized, and the future of mankind assured.

By the end of the century after that, we will have developed multi-generational ark ships capable of reaching distant star systems.
If we still haven’t made contact by then, everything we find out there will be ours.  But, we’ll still keep looking.
There will never come a time in the history of mankind when we stop searching for aliens.  Unless, of course, we find them.  Or become them.  Maybe not even then.

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