Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

Punks v. Old Indian Dude

I am using the word punks in the old 50s and 60s use of the word, somebody with a loud mouth that couldn’t back it up, somebody who thought  they were a big shot, but they were a scared, little wimp inside and everyone knew it.  That kind of punk.  I mean no  disrespect to fans of the Ramones and anybody who’s ever sported spiky hair.
So, the punks in the news today are a bunch of kids wearing MAGA hats from a Catholic High School in Kentucky, confronting an elderly native American man who  was banging a drum and chanting.  Most of them were shouting and jeering, lots of them were laughing, a few of them were taking photos, and one extremely  creepy  dude was right in the old man’s  face, just staring creepily, the way  creeps do.
Certainly, they are horrible kids, their parents (who  are  undoubtedly smug, rich racists their own selves) should be deeply  ashamed.  Oh, how do  I know they were racists, you  ask?  As I said, they were wearing MAGA hats.  I’m tired of saying “Not all  Trump  supporters are racist.”  Hell they ain’t.
They should probably be expelled  from  the school, especially  creepy dude, he should probably also be followed around for  a while and maybe have a few sessions with the school shrink.  He looks like the type who  kidnaps and abuses animals.  Of course, I don’t  know the  boy personally, so I’m not making any allegations, he just looks like that.  You know, creepy.
But, I doubt they  would be.  There were probably about 15-20 kids involved.  At $10,000 a year tuition, the school  would be out $200,000 for  the year.  I’d be happy if they at least expelled creepy dude, though.  He should have that on  his record.

I don’t expect it, though.  There wasn’t actually any legal infraction.  They were being rude and abusive to an old man, but it was at a  political rally  where many  sides were involved, some confrontations are almost inevitable.  And, to a large extent, most of them were just acting the way uninformed, immature, high school  boys with a pack mentality always  act.  They follow the  worst among them and they all feed off each other. It’s not a new thing.  It’s just that now everything gets  filmed.  So, it can be remembered forever.
Yes, these kids behaved badly.  But, this incident will  fade from the public view in a couple of days, and maybe that’s even  a good thing.

Some of them may still  grow up  to  be  good  kids.

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Leading With Love

I have been a huge fan of Tulsi Gabbard ever since she resigned as vice-chairman of the DNC.  I thought, this is a person with rare political courage.  Also, since she was on board with Bernie, you could see she was for most of the things I’m for, and against most of the things I’m against.
But there was one little personal quirk, or so  I  read it at the time, that bothered me.  It was the way she was constantly bringing up ‘Aloha’ and it struck me as a little bit off, a little bit soft, and airy, and other words you  don’t want associated with your campaign.
I must say, I enjoyed it maybe more than  what it was worth when she tweeted “Being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not Making America Great Again.”  I thought, aha, now she’s catching fire.
Well, I was just watching a video  of her, from a while back, before she’d announced, certainly, and she was doing her standard explanation of what aloha  really means and I suddenly realized: she totally means it.  She’s not just joking around with her Lead With Love slogan.  This is more than a buzzword, more than a slogan.  This is a powerful statement, this is a defining message, this is why she’s running, and it’s revolutionary.
Imagine a society where the leaders actually lead with love.  Universal Health Care is obvious.  If you love people, you want to take care of them and not let them die.  You want to preserve the Earth so that people younger than ourselves can have a future.  If we had leaders that truly believed in, and practiced, love and respect for all the world’s peoples, what today is  settled by war might be settled by a couple of phone calls, in a way that benefits everybody.
She is strong, and obviously well-informed, on the issues.  But I’ve never heard a politician stressing quite so much that  everybody should just be a little bit nicer to each other.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s a powerful thing.

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Work in Progress

I woke up this  morning with the beginnings of  a poem in my head, well, not just like that, it didn’t come to me in a dream or anything, more like I  was lying in bed this morning thinking about what I should write next and that is a very good time of day for me re creative thought.  First I thought ‘Well, I should make it something like a  double dactyl, because that’s a rhyme scheme I like very much, it’s fast, it’s energetic, but I don’t like sticking to it too strictly because it’s really hard (sort of like this diet, but I’m actually not doing too badly), so I was thinking, like, da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da sooner or later, and that was the first line, sooner or later, but it will probably go somewhere in the middle and then gradually the idea grew and some key elements are the double helix of the DNA and how that’s a spiral and how a forward pass in American football is a spiral motion, and a spiral staircase also, so there’s a connection between American football, spiral staircases, and DNA, and somewhere ‘Stairway to Heaven’ fits in there, and the overall idea is that all in the universe is connected (the lesser, the greater and sooner or later da da da da da da da da da da da, but it takes time, it takes time not only to understand the universe but even to perceive it, so that’s as far as I’ve got, will work on it this weekend.  Peace out.

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More Thoughts on the Tulsi Candidacy

…and you can expect this to be a common theme over the next two years.  Even though the shitstorm that greeted her announcement has been shocking and awesome, a firehose of flaming horseshit, a tsunami of negativity, she will be a major force to contend with, and I’m predicting right now that she’ll be the next president of the United States.
As a friend of mine put it today “If she can weather this, she will be absolutely invulnerable.”  And weather it she will.
Of course, we all get our information from different sources, so it’s possible I’m not seeing the same reality as some other people.  I belong to a couple of Bernie groups, a couple of Tulsi groups, one group that calls itself The Progressive Party, and one group which calls itself Alliance Against the Democratic Party’s Hypocrisy, or something like that.  So, when I see the criticisms of Tulsi, I also see the rebuttals happening pretty much instantly.  There are plenty of voters who are a lot less involved, who get their news from CNN or Fox, who are seeing all the smears against her, and none of the counter-points.  Still, we’ve got two years to set them straight, some of the charges might actually work in her favor, and as long as she’s in until the debates, she will come out of them as strong as hardened steel.
Take the charge that she is homophobic.  Anybody who follows her knows it’s complete bullshit, most people in the gay community seem to be very supportive of her, and the disconnected voter is probably not that interested in the issue, so that won’t sway them one way or another.  The charge that she is too close with Prime Minister Modi of India is easily debunked, so people in the know know it’s no big deal.  People who are getting their news from main stream media are probably scratching their heads and saying “Who is Modi and why should anybody care?”  The charge that she is pro-Israel has been balanced by the simultaneous and equally hysterical charges that she is anti-Israel.
So, I think she’s going to come through it just fine.  They have already hit her with their best shot, and all they’ve done is to increase her name recognition.

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1000 Hamberders

Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House.  Because of the Shutdown I  served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders etc.  Within one hour, it was all gone.  Great guys and big eaters.  – Donald J. Trump, president of the United States

It is traditional, of course, to entertain championship sports teams at the White House, although I don’t know  why.  It’s not as if  they  are astronauts, or  scientists, or have done something to advance society.  Still, all  presidents do it.  That’s not  the problem.
A lot of people are focusing on the president’s ridiculous misspelling of hamburger.  As one person pointed out, it is actually a difficult mistake to make.  Hamberder gets a red line under it and auto correct will correct it.  Still, plenty of people will defend him, saying “It’s just a typo.”  I’m not buying it.  The d for a g is a likely typo, they are not too far apart on the keyboard.  An e for a  u is a bit less believable.  I’m pretty sure he  was actually trying for  hamberger.
But there is so much more  wrong  with this tweet, and this situation.  One of the players was overheard to say that at first they thought it was a joke.  You don’t really expect to be served fast food at the White House.  It’s not like they planned a casual atmosphere.  They still  used  the fancy plates and stuff.  It all just looked a bit ridiculous.
Then  he says “because of the shutdown” while neglecting to add “which I caused.”  It’s not  like he’s a victim in this situation.  I’m sure he and his family are still  eating.
There’s the 1000 burgers lie (it was about 300) which was absurd and unnecessary.
Then he insists on pointing  out that he paid (which I  doubt, but for arguments sake let’s assume that he did.)  He’s a billionaire.  Are we expected to be impressed that he splashed out for a few hundred burgers  and some pizzas?
Also, it does not compensate  the government for  all the times he’s charged the secret service for their rooms at Mar-A-Lago, where I’m sure people  weren’t eating hamberders.
The tweet (and the whole situation) show the president to  be classless, illiterate, dishonest, and sort of offensive.  Nothing we didn’t already know.

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Diet

We started a diet today, my wife and I.  I don’t know all the details, she’s got a whole schedule written out, every day of the week.  I’ve never actually dieted like this before.  Oh, I’ve made vague resolutions – to cut back on the sweets, to eat more vegetables – but, when you’re not specific, it’s easy to backslide.
This diet doesn’t seem to be too fanatical, so I should be able to live with it.  Breakfast was muesli with yoghurt and strawberries, which wasn’t terribly filling but it was delicious.  Lunch was a bit of skinless chicken and a portion of corn  and peas.  I cheated a bit and had an afternoon  snack.  I was hungry  and I’m not going to go  nuts with this.  Dinner was a vegetable salad.
I’m sure it sounds like  I’m slacking off already, but, for me, today was a huge  reduction in my calory intake, and I’m sure if  I can  keep it up for a while, I’ll lose weight.  The problem will be keeping it up forever because there’s the whole  thing of gaining weight  massively whenever you  go  off a diet, because you’re body, your fat body, defends itself.
On the positive side,  maybe  since we’re doing it together, there will  be  enough mutual reinforcement to keep  it up.
My copies of “The Quest for Enlightenment and Everything” showed up today, so I  went over to Shakespeare and Sons, which was a lovely walk through Prague, I  took the Metro to Narodni Trida and walked from there, across the river, through Kampa Island, and it was a beautiful day, not beautiful  in  the sense of pleasant, it was bitterly  cold, but beautiful in a stark, wintry way, and the river was high and rushing over the weir.
Dropped off my books, but of the ones they already have in stock, they’ve only sold one in the last 6 months or so, since I was there last.  One is better than none, I  guess.

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A Rose is a Rose is a Rose x 25,000

Nobody seems to know exactly how much money Nancy Pelosi has.  When I googled Nancy Pelosi net worth, I saw estimates ranging from $29 million to over $100 million.  But, it’s a lot.  Her and her husband own a vineyard in Northern California, as well as a million dollar home in San Francisco, and I doubt she’s living in squalor in D.C., either.
As a politician, some people (DNC loyalists) love her, and some people (progressives) hate her.  The DailyKos, an internet forum which  was once thought of as  liberal, apparently  just loves the shit out of her.  They just spent  $85,000 (which they got their readers to donate) to send Nancy Pelosi 25,000 red roses.  Now, I’m not up  on rose prices, but that’s over 3 dollars a rose, and I imagine they could have negotiated a better bulk rate, but that’s not the point.  If you wanted to say how much you love her, or thanks for something specific, a dozen roses is enough.  Anything more is comical excess.
Also, it comes at a time when a lot of Federal workers are not getting paid, and some of them may lose their homes.  As someone else pointed out, there are homeless people living within a short walk of Nancy’s office, on the streets which can’t be pleasant in this weather.  $85,000 might have helped them a lot.
They say that there is a language of flowers, and of course that’s true.  Every gesture you make has some meaning.  And the meaning of these flowers is, quite simply, “Fuck the poor.”

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