A Strategic Suggestion for the Democrats

Dear Hillary Supporters: If this argument between us is just over who’s to blame for the increasingly likely Democratic defeat in November, go ahead. Blame us. We’re certainly going to blame you and I wouldn’t expect anything different.
But if it’s actually about how to defeat Donald Trump, I have a suggestion. Remove Hillary Clinton from the ticket. It’s not just that we Berners find her repugnant, although that’s a factor you might take into consideration; we feel about her as a victim of theft feels about thieves which, if you are paying any attention to the class action lawsuit by Sanders supporters against the DNC, you will have noted that they admit to being.
It’s that she’s just not physically capable of campaigning on the level it might take to win this thing. Videoconferencing isn’t going to do it, and she sounded absolutely terrible in that one she did with some union the other day. A few carefully scripted talk show interviews may help her a bit, I hear she did O.K. with Zach Galafanaikos (sp?), but they’re not going to put her over the top. A stellar debate performance might do it, but it doesn’t look like too many people are going to be watching the debates, unless Stein and Johnson are in them. Getting thousands of avid Hillary supporters going door to door encouraging independents to vote for her would be a reasonable tactic, if she had thousands of avid supporters willing to do that, or if she had support among independents.
Basically, though, she’s going to have to talk to large crowds at some point, she’s going to have to answer questions and not stay hidden from the press and the public, and I doubt she has the physical stamina to do that.

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Lesson Plan

Today’s lesson plan was the  order of adjectives – you know, the reason why we say a beautiful, green lawn and not a green, beautiful lawn; why we say a small, Japanese car and not a Japanese, small car – because I find it fascinating how all native speakers adhere to this  rule automatically without even knowing there was a rule.  (the rule is opinion/size/shape/age/color/pattern/origin/material/purpose)
It went fairly well.  In my first class, which is the largest, I wound up just talking about it so much that as we got to the exercise portion, the bell rang and that was that.

In the second class, my most argumentative group (which is a good thing) I discovered that the problem is not so much that there are exceptions to the rule (there are almost always exceptions to the rule – it’s English), but that it very often is difficult to decide which of these categories an adjective falls into.  Is ‘fat’ a matter of opinion, size, shape, or condition?
The beautiful, shiny, metallic starship, however, led to a good discussion about the greatest TV show of all time, and, as I reflect on it now, it’s impressive that my trekkie student is a lover of the original series, as it was off the air decades before she was born.
By the 3rd class, I was getting a bit bored with  the lesson myself, but I’d still say the lesson was a success.  We talked about Moby Dick, and  how ‘interesting’ is definitely a matter of opinion.
In the last group, more than half the class was missing.  I’m not sure why, but I think this school is just way too lax on attendance.  So, I ditched the lesson entirely and just read Tarot Cards for everybody instead, which is always popular, and they learn a little bit of English vocabulary, but they’re an advanced group to start with  so I’m not too worried.
It was a successful enough lesson that  I’ll probably do it again some day, just not this year at that school.  Once is enough.

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Trump and Hitler

I wrote a comment on Facebook, back in May or June, that if Hillary got the nomination all we were going to hear from August through November was ‘lesser of two evils.’  I have never been more right about anything.
I just read an article (from ‘CommonDreams.org) entitled “Vote for the Lying Neoliberal Warmonger: It’s Important.”
Well, that argument may convince enough people to vote for Clinton to make her  president.  Maybe not.  But, the point is, even some of the people who are voting for her admit she’s a lying neoliberal (I think that means ‘not really liberal’) warmonger.  It’s a hell of a thing.

Another aspect of this election (which I failed to predict) is that Godwin’s Law has  been so blatantly violated by both sides that it’s pretty  much meaningless any more (Godwin’s Law:  first person to accuse their opponent of being like Hitler loses the argument)  The Common Dreams article totally went there, and I’ve  heard plenty of other Hillary supporters comparing Trump to Hitler.

So, let  me  point out some of the differences. (warning:  Hitler generally comes off better in  these comparisons.  That does not mean I’m endorsing Hitler. I’m half Jewish, and I keep that fact in mind.)

  1. Trump dodged the draft with a bullshit medical excuse.  I don’t  blame him, actually.  I dodged the draft  by  just forgetting to register until after  it was canceled, which happened shortly after I turned 18.  Nobody wanted to go to Viet Nam.  But, Hitler served  in WWI.  He served in combat, he was injured, and he was one of those weird individuals who actually sort of got into it.  He was a war monger and an inhuman monster, but  he  wasn’t hypocritical or cowardly about it.
  2. Listen to  their speeches.  I don’t  even speak German, but I can hear the flow, the cadence, the way the words and the gestures go together in Hitler’s speeches.  As a speechmaker, he ranks right up there with Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, or maybe even Martin Luther King, Jr.  An artist.
    Donald Trump, on the other hand, has a smaller vocabulary than Kanye West.  He just repeats the same stupid shit over and over again.  He is so deep in  Dunning-Krueger territory that anybody with an IQ of more than two digits realizes he’s  a moron.
  3. Hitler did, once  elected, kick German industry into high gear.  He invented the Volkswagen, limited access roads, and made rocketry a big thing.  Everybody admits this – the  space race began with Hitler.  Donald Trump, on the other hand, managed to lose money running a casino.  A casino.  A  place where customers come in and put quarters into machines, one after another.  If Hitler had been Trump, his invasion of Poland  would  have wound up in Albania,  lost and wandering in the mountains.
    In short, Donald Trump is no Hitler.  More like  George W. Bush.  Which is pretty  horrible, but not enough to get me to vote for Hillary Clinton.  She’s the one I’m afraid of.

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Not a Good Day in the World

Brad and Angelina are getting a divorce.  Nobody is particularly surprised.  Although they’ve been together for over a decade, and have kids, it is Hollywood, after all.  They have tons of money, jobs that allow them to meet lots of other hot people, the hottest people in the world, people who get paid excessive amounts of money for being hot.  Acting ability may play a part in it but, seriously,  Angelina Jolie is not Meryl Streep. She has the career she has because she’s hot.

They have options, they have temptations, and that’s the way it goes.  It’s his 2nd divorce, her 3rd.  It probably won’t be the last for either one.

In other, darker, more horrible, but equally unsurprising news, a racist cop has shot and killed an unarmed black man and been caught on camera.  As frequently as this happens, do you ever stop to wonder how often it happens off camera?  This time it was in Oklahoma, and the victim was on his way home from a community college class when his car broke down.  He could have used a bit of police assistance, he deserved a bit of police assistance, that’s what the police are supposed to do, but instead, the officer just shot him dead, while his hands were in the air, while he was posing no threat at all.
In a twist to the tale, it was a lady cop.  A young, pretty, smiling, white lady cop.  She should spend the rest of her life in jail, but probably won’t.
Actors divorce.  Cops get away with murder.

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Facebook Quizzes

You may be a whiz at the
internet quizzes
and still not know shit from shinola
as such
They make them easy
so everyone can be
an internet genius
without knowing much

I don’t really object to the Facebook quizzes that much, I occasionally even take  one when  I’m in the  mood.  Just wrote a cynical little poem because I’m in a cynical mood, what with the world going to shit and all.
The little personality quizzes, at en.name, sometimes get me curious enough to click, against my better judgement.  You know the ones, which 19th century literary figure are you, what’s your spirit animal, stuff like that.  I don’t usually post the results, because that would  be an admission that  I took the  quiz, and I don’t expect it’s actually  going to get me any cool points.  But I want to know, and I sort of delude myself into thinking they actually know something, and are not just throwing out one of a random set, which is totally what  they’re doing.

The one I took today was “What is your headline?” and my result was “Willie is First Person to Meet Extraterrestrials,” which is not bad because I am a bit of a science geek, mostly a science fiction geek.

The thing is, though, with all Facebook knows about us, far more than anybody reading your horoscope or Tarot  cards, you’d think they’d be able to do these kinds of quizzes for real, give you dead accurate readings, reach inside your soul and give you personalized words of wisdom that would change your life.

But they don’t.  And it’s just plain laziness on their part.

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Things Seen on Facebook

Somebody wrote something today (on Facebook, mind you) along the lines of “In the hour when you lay dying, you will look back on your life and regret the number of hours you spent on Facebook.”  That could be true, I suppose, but for sure I am not going to spend THIS hour thinking about what I’m going to be thinking in the hour I lay dying, which is almost guaranteed to be the least productive hour of my life anyway, certainly not one which will have a great influence on my future.
Then there was a meme, of a frequently seen variety, of a log cabin in a pastoral setting, saying ‘would you live here, without TV or internet access, for a whole month, for $100,000?’  What a dumb question.  There are actual, unpleasant things that I would do for $100,000.  It’s not even a dilemma.  If they’d asked ‘Would you sleep in a bathtub full of snakes for $100,000?’ or ‘Would you let somebody smash your kneecap with a sledgehammer for $100,000?,’ I’d at least understand the question.  So, I guess memes like that are just clickbait and I shouldn’t respond to them, but sometimes I do.
Then, since I’ve got mostly writers on my friend’s list, things like this occasionally pop up: ‘when do you find time to write?’  That was actually fortuitous, because it was 5 minutes ago and by the time I’d finished typing my response, I realized I had my blog, all ready to cut and paste, and here it is:

There is the actual touching of pen to paper, fingers pounding away at the keyboard type of writing, which you have to find a bit of time for, and then there is the actual writing, which goes on in your head and can happen any time, while you’re walking down the street, as you’re just coming out of a dream in the morning, the real writing.
Did you know that Paul McCartney wrote Yesterday while he was taking a dump? True story. At least, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Paul said it was a true story, and who am I to question it?
I saw a great quote from Henry Rollins today, in meme form. I’m not going to go looking for it, so this is a paraphrasing: there is not such thing as down time, free time, spare time. There is only time.
And that is my deep thought for today, even though I borrowed it.

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The Dialogue of Dolphins

Yes, it is definite.  Dolphins have language.  We don’t know what they  talk about.  We don’t know if they have poetry, and music.  We don’t know if they have folk tales, passed down from generation to generation.  We don’t know if they talk about humans and what assholes we are for putting down all those nets.  We don’t know if they have some words that only adult dolphins are supposed to use.  Scientists haven’t figured out very many individual words yet, there is no Rosetta Stone or anything equivalent.  There is a word they  think means fish, or it might mean ‘something good to eat” or “Hey, look, over here.”  A bit of work remains to be done.
However, the thing with language is that once you’ve go a bit of it, it becomes correspondingly easier and easier to learn, with  each passing word.  So, we’ll start off by figuring out ‘fish’ and work out from there.

I can just imagine the conversation dolphins have:

Are you hungry?
Yeah.
Whaddya wanna eat?
Fish.
Fish!  OMG, that’s my favorite, too.  What do you like to do in your spare time?

Oh, I dunno.  Swim around and stuff.
Wow!  That’s so cool.  We have so much in common.  You are really hot, btw.  You look like a….

Like a dolphin? Thanks, so do you.  so does everybody else.
Oh.

And I suspect that’s about all they ever talk about.  But, seriously, I’d be  very happy to find out it’s more than  that   That would be awesome.

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