Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

Once, on Morning Joe

Somebody posted a video of Russell Brand on Morning Joe on my Facebook and I was about to write my blog about it, but then, while watching it, I got very confused.  First, one  of the panelists got confused between Russell Brand and Willie Brandt, which is pretty egregious for a pundit, but then Russell Brand didn’t seem to know who Willie Brandt was, which is not so horrible for a comedian but he does have pretensions to being knowledgeable  about politics, so it was kind of an all around stupid fest, and then he (Brand) started going on about Bradley Manning, and I was thinking ‘Who the hell is Bradley Manning?’ and then I realized he was talking about Chelsea Manning and I realized that the video was very old, like years old.  So, not such a good topic for a blog.  But, I don’t have a good topic for a blog and Russell Brand had done something a bit earlier in the routine that I thought was significant.
At one point, he turned away from the panelists and looked at all the staff in the adjoining area and said “Are those people working?” and Mika explained that, yes, they were Facebooking, and Tweeting, and indeed that was their job.  Then there were a couple of jokes about whether they were allowed to watch porn, and could they maybe keep it down a bit, they were trying to do a show, etc…, and everybody missed the point.
Right there, in plain sight, and not even trying to hide it, are professional messagers, paid trolls if you will, and there’s nothing illegal about it and nobody even thought for a second “Well, damn, this is wrong.”
The internet is supposed to be a place for the free exchange of opinions, linking all the minds of the world so that we can find solutions to all of our problems and usher in an era of ecological stability, explosive innovation, massive advances in research in every direction, and peace and love and justice for all mankind.  But, the dickheads who run MSNBC apparently think the opinions of MSNBC should have more weight than the others.  Probably all the networks do it, actually.
So, what chance does the average keyboard warrior have of being heard?  Some, of course, which is better than before the internet, when it was none.  But, still, the system is rigged against us, and they don’t even need to hide it.
And I guess I just wound up writing about a stupid years old video after all.

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Feminist Bullshit

On Tuesday, the New York Times ran a story which clearly was written deliberately to freeze Tulsi Gabbard out, but that’s not the theme of this blog.  It had, right there on the front page, large pictures of Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand, none of whom has as much chance of being the next president as Tulsi Gabbard.  But, that’s not the theme of this blog.
The headline was: “Voters prefer ‘Likable’ Women, Reinforcing Gender Biases.”
Sorry, ladies, but this crosses the line.  This is where ‘feminism’ becomes ‘feminist bullshit.’  Of course voters prefer likable women.  Are we supposed to prefer unlikable women?  It’s right there in the adjective.  Likable women are likable.  Unlikable women are unlikable.  Sometimes there’s a reason.  Elizabeth Warren talks a good game but is nowhere to be found when the chips are down, so that’s kind of unlikable.  Kamala Harris has made a career out of supporting private prisons.  I find that downright despicable.  Amy Klobuchar, reportedly, tends to throw things at her staff.  I don’t know much about Gillibrand.  She’s certainly no Tulsi Gabbard, but maybe she’s likable.
But, it’s not just women.  Voters prefer likable men, too.  It’s why Beto O’Rourke is so popular, despite the fact that he’s an oil industry loving tool.  Hey, he can ride a skateboard and eats hamburgers.  Very likable.  George W. Bush, one of the great war criminals of the 21st century, was elected because he was the kind of guy ‘people would like to have a beer with.’  People who are idiots, anyway.
So, you don’t get to cry sexism because voters (women included) prefer likable women over unlikable women.  That’s the way it works.

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Qualifications

About a week ago (although I just read about it a few minutes ago) Michael Moore said he wished they would lower the age of eligibility for the presidency so that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez could run.
I suspect he wasn’t entirely serious.  It’s sort of like people saying we should change the ‘natural born citizen’ part so that Arnold Schwarzenegger could run, or wanting to eliminate the electoral college because their candidate lost the last election.
I am not against any of those things, but they would require constitutional amendments and those are really hard to get, so I’m not holding my breath.
In fact, I think we should be making it harder to run for president, and not easier.  After Trump, I certainly think it’s reasonable that any incoming president should be certified by a neutral board of psychiatrists as being sane.  How to ensure the neutrality of that board, I don’t know, but then you run into a quis costodiet ipsos custodiandem type of quandary, and it’s turtles all the bloody way down.  I, personally, would like to see them take an I.Q. test but a lot of people might holler discrimination at that one, and cultural bias.  Maybe they should at least have to take a citizenship test – what are the 3 branches of government, how many stars are on the flag, that sort of thing.
But, of course, we don’t have those requirements and it’s just up to the people to make sure that there are no clinically insane people in the race.  You can sometimes spot them.  They are the ones who say stuff that isn’t even close to true and don’t act even a little contrite when they are proven wrong.  Ensuring a candidate’s intelligence might be a little trickier.  But, if they don’t know how to spell hamburger, it’s kind of a dead giveaway.

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Ilhan Omar is Right

Although she has apologized (with a bit of a rider at the end, saying nonetheless, lobbying groups like the NRA, and AIPAC, and the fossil fuel industry have too much influence), I think she was right.
She wrote “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby” and the pro-Israel types, including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer immediately jumped all over her, as if it’s a mortal insult to say that money talks, and sometimes it speaks Yiddish, with a funny old accent.
“It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” is a phrase that probably gets repeated on twitter and facebook thousands of times a day, in many contexts.  And it can’t be wrong to point out AIPAC’s huge influence on American politics.

Can Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer honestly say they have never received campaign donations from AIPAC or its members?  Can they say they have never courted the support of wealthy Jewish donors like Sheldon Adelson and Chaim Saban, who put Israel above all else?  Can they say they have never given a speech at a fund raising dinner where most of the guests were Jewish and they spent a large portion of their speech talking about how wonderful Israel is?
I’ll bet they can’t.  And if they can’t, then they are the biggest hypocrites in the world, because that proves her point right there.
And if they can, if they are totally not beholden to Israel for their worthless political careers, then maybe they can explain why the U.S. DOES have such a servile relationship with that tiny land?  Why does the U.S. give them billions of dollars a year?  Why does the U.S. congress vote on clearly unconstitutional legislation which actually makes it a crime to criticize Israel, and to refuse to buy from them?
Because “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” sounds about right to me.

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Green Dimension

I read an interesting article today, in a break between frenetically reading and responding to headlines, as I am wont to do, about the things people say when they are dying, not just famous last words, which can be entertaining but it’s like with anything else.  The vast majority of people’s last words are probably rather mundane, like “I don’t feel so well,” or “What the fuck was tha…” or the ever famous “Oh, shit.”  There are only so many Oscar Wildes in the world, so it gets boring after a while.
No, this was more one woman who recorded her father’s steadily progressing dementia until his death, in a scientific study of cognition.  One of the phrases (meaningless phrases, I believe she said) that he blurted out with occasionally and inexplicably, was “Green dimension!  Green dimension!”  Could mean many different things I suppose.  Perhaps he was misremembering the name of a band, or two.  Maybe he was saying ‘dementia’ instead of dimension, and he was trying to say “I know I’ve got dementia, do you have to record everything I say?”  Perhaps he was making a poetic statement about how much he’s always loved the outdoors in the spring or summer.
But perhaps, just perhaps, he had had a glimpse of another dimension, perhaps an afterlife to ours, or a parallel universe.  If so, is it called the Green Dimension because it’s environmentally perfect, the water in all the streams is drinkable, the air is so clean you could get high just breathing it, and the birds are singing in the trees which are everywhere, or just because everything, like people even, is green.
If so, we may never know.

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The Green Fantasy

I seem to be seeing a lot of right wing and provocateur trolls on Facebook lately.  I suspect somebody’s paying them, because I don’t think I’ve significantly changed my friend’s list lately, and I suspect that the number of right wingers v. the number of left-wingers actually tends to remain constant, even across nations.  About 25% of the people are going to identify with the right, 25% are going to identify with the left, and 50% of the people aren’t going to have any political identification at all.  They might identify themselves as teachers, or heavy metal fans, or alcoholics, or gardeners, or cat lovers, or anything at all, really.
Anyway, in a discussion of Nancy Pelosi’s snippety little “Green Dream or whatever” comment, this gonzo bonehead pipes up and says “Well, Pelosi is right.  It is only a fantasy.”

That pissed me off.  Only a fantasy.  Every good idea is only a fantasy until somebody has the gumption to make it a reality.
But, also, fantasy is obviously from the same linguistic root as fantastic.  Do we want a society which is fantastic?  Damn straight we do.
I have a fantasy of a world in which all of the power the world needs is generated by solar panels and windmills, taking the power that is freely given to us by the universe, which is our natural birthright, and using it to power human civilization in perpetuity.  Cars will be electric and every gas station will become a recharging station, and maybe they can upgrade their restaurants a little bit while they’re at it.  In my fantasy large swathes of the planet are covered in forests, and orchards, and most city streets are shady, tree lined lanes, romantic places for young couples to go walking.  In my fantasy there are urban gardens, every high school should have one, and there are buildings and even community with so many plants growing in them, and on them, and from them that their carbon footprint is negative.  There are high speed trains powered by magnetic levitation, or maybe running in vacuum tubes.  Pesticides have been banned, and the bees, and monarch butterflies, are making comebacks.  There is food for all in abundance.  There are public drinking fountains everywhere.
It is a very nice fantasy.  It would be fantastic.  And we have the technology.

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Bezos Exposes Pecker!

Bezos Exposes Pecker! screamed the headline of the Washington Post which is (coincidentally, I’m sure) owned by world’s richest man and supervillain archetype Jeff Bezos.
The incident is that this guy Pecker (David Pecker?  I think so.  It’s late at night and I’m not going to look it up) threatened to expose naked pictures of Jeff Bezos.  The articles I’ve read did not say whether or not aforesaid pictures included Lauren Sanchez, Bezos main squeeze.  I don’t know if it’s relevant or not, but it would certainly make them interesting to a wider demographic.  Seriously, nobody wants to see nude pics of Jeff Bezos.
All Pecker was asking, as a ransom,  was that  Bezos issue some kind of statement  about political impartiality.  What it  boiled down  to is  that Pecker (who is the owner of the National  Enquirer and a good buddy of, and possible witness against, Donald Trump) thinks the Washington Post (i.e. Bezos) is being too mean to his Trumpety Wumpety.
I’ve got mixed feelings about this.  Some may think that a guy named Willie should be a bit more sympathetic to people whose names are going to be dick  jokes.  Not at all.  I didn’t cut Weiner any slack, and Pecker’s no different.
Seriously, though, mixed feelings.  First, it is definitely a clash of Titans and might be amusing.  Second, if the Washington Post was really ragging on Trump, I must have missed it.  I  mean, everybody  in the world reported it when Trump misspelled hamburger.  The Washington Post I’m sure was no different.  They haven’t exactly condemned the rush to fuck-up in Venezuela (I don’t think, because nobody has.)  I generally don’t read the Washington Post unless somebody links to it.  Third,  even  though he’s an  evil  oligarch who didn’t start paying his workers a living wage until Bernie called him up and said “Hey, dude….”, good for him for not paying the blackmail.  Fuck this Pecker dude.

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