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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Teaching Fun

I had a good time teaching today.  Picking up the 2nd graders from their rooms went  a bit  smoother than usual, maybe they are getting  used to the routine.  Then, as has  happened  once  or twice  before, the room was locked.  So, I did the same as I did the time before.  I sat them all down on the window ledge that runs the length of the long, glass hallway, pulled out the flashcards and started teaching.  All the kids like the flashcards.  I can’t explain it.
I knew that pretty soon another teacher would come along and complain about us making too much noise in the hallway, and I could tell them that we were locked out.  Couldn’t just leave the kids there and go looking for somebody  with a key.

Anyway, I did something with that group that was long overdue.  I sat the two biggest troublemakers right in front of  the room, where I could keep an eye on them.  It wasn’t a total success, but it was an improvement.

The next class only had about 6 kids in it, so it was pretty easy and when I was reading Green Eggs and Ham, they started reading along with me.  Just had to slow it right down and they got into the rhythm just fine.
5th and 6th graders went just fine, I tried a flashcard variation that just popped into my head, and made them do  presentations.
9th graders had a couple of girls in the class I’d never seen before and quite a few were absent, so it was almost like teaching a different class.

 

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Moore Religious Insanity

I am often amazed at how literally fundamentalist Christians take the bible.  Like the story of Noah and the Ark.  It’s just so totally impossible on so many levels.  The huge number of animals, the impossibility of building a wooden boat big enough, the implied proximity of predator and prey, the lack of kangaroo fossils anywhere in Asia, and that’s not to mention the smell of all  that animal dung.

Then there’s the Holy Bang theory, you know, where Mary was a virgin and it was God who made her pregnant, which strikes me less as an explanation of her virginity and more a straight up question of paternity.

It seems some devout Christians in the state of Alabama may also  be having second thoughts about that theory.  In defense of rootin-tootin’ Roy Moore, the redneck judge who  loves posing with pistols and is running for the Senate, and was recently accused of raping a 14 year old girl, his friend and Republican ally Jim Ziegler said “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
So, what are you saying there, Jimbo?  Was Mary not, in fact, a virgin?  Or was  God the father, which means it’s O.K. to boink 14 year old girls because God did it, and  Joseph was just the  poor  shmoe who  married her, a loser and probably a Democrat?
Well, if God did that then he wasn’t very nice, poor Mary was only 14 and probably traumatized as hell, turning up pregnant and all.  Try  getting your friends and family to believe you’re still a virgin after that.

And I’m sure God wouldn’t get away with that kind of thing if he were around today.

 

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Lincoln v. JFK

It’s November, so it’s time once again to play “Who Killed JFK?”  My money’s on Lyndon Johnson, because cui bono mostly, but it also just seems to be in character, and it happened on his home turf, plus some other stuff, but that’s not what I want to talk  about tonight.
I just  got into a discussion about all the Kennedy/Lincoln coincidences.  First off, there really is a striking and amazing list of coincidences.  However, they are coincidences.  I don’t believe that there was  some kind of multi-generational conspiracy theory.  I’m  not  saying that’s never happened in human history, it’s basically the story  of all  hereditary monarchies.  I’m just saying I  don’t believe  it  happened  in this  case, or that aliens did  it, or anybody  with  a time machine.

It’s kind of an amazing coincidence, for  instance, that they were elected 100 years apart, 1860-1960.  It’s also an amazing coincidence that presidents elected at 20 year intervals from 1860-1960 all died in office.  Reagan broke the curse, disappointing millions.
It’s 5 in a row,  but not unbelievable.  Garfield and McKinley  were both  assassinated, sure, but officially Harding died of natural causes.   Some historians think that his doctor and/or his wife poisoned him to put an end to the scandals, but there’s no proof of  that.  Roosevelt, of course, was fated to die in office because he was just  going to keep getting re-elected as long as he lived – he was just that good.
It’s also quite interesting that Lincoln was shot in Ford’s theater, and Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln, or that Lincoln was shot in a theater and Oswald was apprehended in one (although I think he was the patsy, and they never caught the guys who fired from the grassy knoll.)
I think it’s interesting, even a bit bizarre, that both men had vice-presidents named Johnson, or that both had been Senators from southern states, but Johnson’s a common name, and approximately half the country consists of the south.
The list goes on, but at some point you get  into numerology and  nonsense, so we’ll end it right there.

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