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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Rando Grammo

Look, even people who are skilled with the rules and conventions of language will acknowledge that "grammar nazis" are, for the most part, insufferable twats. This does not absolve the gaggle of maroons who think they are above having to learn what are, if one is passably literate and reads or writes with any frequency, mostly simple and consistent rules. Even English, which has more irregularities than most other major Indo-European languages, has plenty of consistent rules that are easily internalized with, again, regular infusions of these things called books.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

The Harder They Fall

Are the rubes finally waking up to this skeevy, soulless con man, is it possible? Certainly Cruz is no better, and is in fact worse in some ways, as he is a true ideologue. But Drumpf is proving himself by the day at this point to be comically -- no, criminally -- inept, ignorant of basic foreign or domestic policies, incapable even of selecting qualified people to advise him on such matters and competently run his campaign. He has creeps working for him, sexual and intellectual perverts like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Jeff Wells knew what that was all about.

And why should anyone expect anything different from a man who kept a collection of Hitler's speeches in his nightstand, who learned at the feet of one of the most vile human beings to infest New York politics in the last century? It's no mystery what Drumpf saw in a scumbag like Cohn:  ruthlessness, belligerence, seething contempt of everyone and everything else, in a futile attempt to project manifest insecurities.

Family Values

Not just the next time, but every time some what-about-the-children wretch crawls out from under their rock to lecture the rest of us on our louche morality, remind them that of the three main assholes who headed the last impeachment of a sitting president, two of them were cheating on their wives, and the third one sucked off teenage boys when he was a wrestling coach fifteen years prior.

I mean, seriously, fuck these people.

The Fart of the Squeal

The question is legitimately asked, though not in nearly enough media outlets:  is Drumpf or Cruz the bigger dunce/loon when it comes to foreign policy? As always, it probably depends on one's perspective. It seems like a great many people, when "picking" between the horseshit-cowshit choice of Drumpf-Cruz, lean toward Drumpf because they "know" that Cruz is nuts, while The Dunnald is just marketing to the rubes with his empty woofing.

Needless to say, I beg to differ, because while I strenuously disagree with everything the unctuous Cuban Canuck says and does, at least he is predictable. He's an asshole, but he's ideologically and even intellectually consistent. Hell, every great strategy book from The Art of War to Winning Through Intimidation preaches the sacred gospel that knowing your opponent is well over half of the battle. Cruz is intelligent, but a hack all the same. Knowing which hack moves he's likely to try tends to make it simpler to create strategies to counter him (on the incredibly unlikely chance he should accede to the high office).

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Thin Skin Is In

Nothing more hilarious than an e-beef between two sorta-famous morons. On the one hand, this rapper I've never heard of needs to stop believing everything she reads in The Onion before going off on how someone needs to get gang-banged; on the other hand, it's almost pathetically charming to watch Sarah Palin act like she's the only public figure to have ever been maligned and treated rudely. Has she heard what some of the folks in her own party routinely say about the current president? Oh, that's right, as often as not, she's leading that pack.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Party's Over, Part 3: Controlled Demolition

Once the smoke clears, it might be a good idea for the little people across the political spectrum to consider just what their expectations are out of their party machinery, and if maybe there's another way. Technology has evolved so rapidly and massively, faster than our ability to keep pace with all its capacities, that it's likely that it can facilitate a political paradigm that does not require the current system of institutionalized bribery.

The grievances from Sanders supporters and Drumpf supporters are nearly identical in many respects, and mostly concern the lack of responsiveness from their elected officials. Part of this is obviously the usual chicanery and deal-making that has left a lot of people out, sending away their jobs without adequate replacement or retraining, decimating their towns and communities. But part of it, as we've seen consistently, especially with Drumpf voters but along the political spectrum, is that the people don't know what they want, or they think they do, but have no idea how it should be made to happen.

It makes sense that the largest swath of these discontented folks would gravitate toward the "none of the above" candidate, filter through his generic, anodyne nonsense to hear the self-affirming bits they needed to hear, and perceive any skepticism with outright hostility. Again, the defining characteristic of the Drumpf voter is to see opponents not as individuals with a differing viewpoint that may or may not have some validity, but as a threat, an enemy. This is a natural consequence of following a candidate who communicates mostly in authoritarian rhetoric and boastful, self-serving lies.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Party's Over, Part 2: Chaos and Discord

As violent incidents have increased at the Drumpf putsches, I have several times invoked the memory of Altamont, the infamous rock festival where security was provided by the Hell's Angels, with predictably disastrous results. So of course Drumpf now has a cadre of bikers promising to shut down protesters. What could possibly go wrong?

Between that development and what's already taken place, as well as the brewing confrontation at the party convention in July, the likelihood of the chaos that Loki-Littlefinger (heh) has sown thus far to bear fruit is increasing. It's looking more and more like Cruz will pull enough delegates to keep Drumpf from getting too close to the magic number of 1,237 delegates, and may even end up with a spread of 100-200 delegates, meaning a brokered convention.  You've seen the rallies -- do the Drumpfster divers seem like they're going to take that well?

But that is the ultimate intent of the trickster god:  to weasel his way into the process with empty promises and laughable rhetoric; to expose his opponents as frauds; to solidify his support into a hive-mind impermeable to reason; to throw the process into a state of unpredictability; to capitalize on the hostility.
 

Friday, April 01, 2016

The Party's Over: Creative Destruction

Media critics who are well attuned to the entertainment aspects of the never-ending political anointing process have rightly compared Drumpf to the Norse trickster god Loki. This comparison proves to be more and more apt as the season wends on. (A more contemporary metaphor might be that of Heath Ledger's Joker; as Michael Caine points out, some men just want to watch the world burn.)

This year's political Loki has thrived on sowing chaos in his chosen group. The only common cause Drumpf has with the Republican Party is the desire to keep every cent he's made, and to pretend he strived just as hard for it as every hotel-room cleaner or construction worker who's ever worked for him. In the process, Loki/Drumpf has thrown open the rank hypocrisy baked into every bit of the party, from the privileged dopes who run the machine, to the platform they continue to espouse, a platform that is responsive only to the donor class and "fambly valyews" morons.

So when Anderson Cooper exposes Loki's lack of knowledge or principle -- or even basic consistency -- on the subject of abortion, what also is exposed is the ridiculousness of that policy itself. Drumpf is correct in his initial proposal that, in the event of Roe being repealed, women should be punished, as well as in his subsequent demurral that it is the medical practitioner, rather than the woman, who should be punished.

This is a prime opportunity to scrutinize the absurdity of the pro-life proposal, of the practical ramifications, of this bizarre obsession that these people have with this procedure, which has steadily declined in frequency over the last twenty years, and is at any rate being curtailed state by state through other means. The bottom line is that their mission is not only to curtail access to certain options for reproductive health and family planning, but ultimately to exact punitive measures on the people who utilize and/or perform those measures. They tend to avoid talking about it in such terms, preferring instead to harp on the inane "sanctity of life" argument.

By fumbling around with his inept, ignorant unprincipled pose on the subject, Drumpf has inadvertently exposed that entire movement for the farce it truly is. They want to imprison doctors or women or both, they need to specify for how long and on what charge. And calling for "states' rights" doesn't fly; the citizens of Indiana have the same fundamental rights as the citizens of California.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tossed Salad

Der Drumpf finally sat down for an interview with the WaPo kids, and....well, let's just say that if you've seen any lengthy excerpts from the rallies, and thought to yourself, this really is a guy who cannot communicate extemporaneously, because he cannot compose a coherent thought on the fly, then you are in for a treat here. Half the time you can't cut through the thicket of nonsense Drumpf is babbling on about, and the other half you can only tell that he's trying to either evade or spin the question. It's like he has some sort of weird bet with Sarah Palin as to who can sound like the biggest fucking moron.

To be as generous as possible it is tremendously depressing to realize that a 70-year-old man who has had the best of everything for his entire spoiled existence, attended the finest schools and has had everything he's ever wanted in life, conveys his thoughts with about as much articulation as a middle-school dropout. But then, this is the same guy who thinks his large-print self-love manifesto is on a par with the Bible.

Like everything else, the interview will not change any minds -- the people who worship him will love him more, and the people who detest him will find another reason why. But the real upshot here is that, despite his bullshit claim to be an outsider, Drumpf is the literal definition of an elite. And for someone who again has spent their entire adult life at that elite level, has met countless movers and shakers and conveyors of power and privilege, and demonstrates zero knowledge of basic foreign policy and economic principles, and has no coherent thoughts on any of them, is just bizarre.

The truly scary part of it is, I don't think it's because Drumpf's an idiot. I think it's because he's the type of narcissistic personality who genuinely believes that something is true -- empirically, verifiably, irrefutably true -- simply because he says it is, when he says it. If he tells you 2+2=5, and then a few minutes later that it equals 6, and then a few minutes later that it equals 3, it's important to realize that to Drumpf, all of those things were true, for him, at the time he said them.

Situational ethics are one thing, situational reality quite another. Up to about a month or so ago, I had tempered my distaste for Drumpf with the caveat that, as bad as he was, Cruz or Rubio would be even worse, just because of the things we knew about them. I no longer believe that to be the case. Drumpf's decision-making process appears to be not merely unpredictable, but utterly volatile. Coupled with what seems to be a complete ignorance of the precepts underpinning the projection of American military power post-World War 2, and the results could be at least as catastrophic as what we got with Fredo Arbusto and his failed wars.

Cruz is an insufferable asshole, but he also prides himself on his intellectual ability and stability; you may not agree with anything he says, but you understand the consistent intellectual undercurrent whence it originates. The more you hear Drumpf try to formulate coherent policy, the more you realize he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about, and has no desire to learn. He's three pounds of shit in a hundred-pound bag, bullshitting his way through this process with nothing more than guile and bluster. He's basically Greg Stillson.