Sunday, November 29, 2015

Headlie News

Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog has a nice catch, very similar to what I mentioned the other day, about these conservative weasel sites putting up inaccurate and deliberately misleading headlines. This is not an isolated phenomenon, it is becoming increasingly common and shameless.

And it's not a small thing, either. When you have a party and a movement whose two current political front-runners for president can be best characterized as having a very casual relationship with facts and accuracy, it's a problem. Not just or even primarily because of the candidates themselves. The problem is that the followers know and don't care. The notion of even basic intellectual honesty is eliminated by their terminal case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, which borders on late-stage dementia at this point.

It's only a matter of time before the bozos that run these disinformation entities, from Fixed Noise on down, realize that there is literally no downside to pursuing these lurid headlies to their logical conclusion. Why not, for example, post something about the Obama family eating brined and barbecued fetuses and decorating the "holiday" tree with parts, thanks to a timely donation from EVERY PLANNED PARENTHOOD? It's what their illiterate crowd believes anyway.

[Update 12/2/15:  Also, too.]

Saturday, November 28, 2015

And the Home of Depraved, Part Three: Season's Bleedings

Here's a feel-good holiday fable involving a gun being used at a Waco Wal-Mart. Talk about coals to Newcastle.
A woman who fired a pistol as a suspect fled in a purse-snatching incident Friday outside a Wal-Mart store in Bellmead appeared at the police station late Friday afternoon to identify herself.

No charges have been filed against her, Bellmead police said Saturday.

Police plan to sit down with the woman for a more in-depth interview in the upcoming week, Bellmead police Detective Kory Martin said.

He said it appears, at least initially, that the woman fired into the air, not at the man.
Even for Texas, this is fucking nuts. Is this what we've fallen to, gunning down petty thieves in the street? Worse yet, she's just goddamned lucky she didn't hit one of the pursuers, an innocent bystander, a kid sitting in a car across the street, etc. This is a busy area in a downtown commercial district. Anything could have happened.

This is a textbook case of "the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" thinking -- except, of course, this bad guy had no weapon at all, and while he's obviously a failed turd of a human being if he's purse-snatching little old ladies a couple days before Thanksgiving, again we do not have the death penalty for such crimes. [Ed. -- Yet.]

So what you have is some dingbat trying to be the hero of whatever revenge-porn narrative is on a loop in her head, a fever-dream mishmash of Making A Difference and Stopping A Criminal. The worst part of it is that she probably has no clue that life turns on a dime, an inch here or there, a second earlier or later, and that it is just the purest of luck that she didn't hurt or kill someone with erh incredible incompetence and negligence. This is not Starsky & Hutch, you stupid twat, this is real life, and people get killed when untrained, unqualified morons go around thinking they're Yosemite Sam or some shit.

That, not to mention most of the comments in the article, is bad enough. There's an interesting cherry on this particular cake:

The man accused of attempting to steal a purse from a shopping cart, Andre Dawson, 27, remained in jail with a $10,000 bond late Saturday under a misdemeanor charge of theft of property and a felony charge of credit or debit card abuse. Martin said if the purse contained a credit or debit card, it would have triggered the credit card charge.

Now that's just a perfect example of how the law has been perverted to become more absurdly cruel, to the point where people are up for charges on crimes they very clearly did not commit. Dawson didn't get away with the purse, so not only did he not have a chance to use the debit and credit cards, he never even found out such things were in the purse.

Again, it's hard to feel sorry for someone who picks on octogenarians, but such measures are clearly in place for no other reason than to give a hardliner judge an additional mechanism to completely shit-hammer a perp he just doesn't like. And if Dawson had physically harmed somebody, anybody -- the old lady, a bystander, a child, a stray cat -- it would make more sense. But he's a fucking dumbass who got caught in the commission of a particularly stupid crime, though not especially lurid in the overall scheme of things.

In the end, it won't matter -- this is Texas, after all, so Dawson will get tagged with a felony charge for a crime he had no chance to commit, while the shoot-'em-up dunce who will never know how close she might have come to killing someone over a fucking purse won't get charged with anything at all. This should be unacceptable, but hell, she'll probably still pack heat to the damned Wal-Mart, even though by all accounts she does not have a license to carry a concealed handgun.

It's no small indicator of what this nation has sunk to, when a nation of people whose great-grandparents came here fleeing various forms of violence and persecution, are much more concerned about Syrian orphans fleeing a government that drops barrel bombs on their houses, than the day-to-day dangers lurking in plain sight. I would be much more concerned about the fat fuck trying to make some bizarre "point" by taking his AR-15 to Target to buy Oreos, or the Helpy Helperton suburban dipshit indiscriminately shooting up a crowded parking lot over a relatively minor property crime, than some "durka durka Mohammed jihad" shenanigans. But try telling that to the yahoos in the comments section, who inexplicably feel safer knowing that there are armed idiots in the supermarkets just itching for an excuse.

And the Home of Depraved, Part Too: Dipshit Boogaloo

As more information on the horror at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood yesterday comes in, one thing is clear:  it would be a mistake to focus on the gun-control aspect of the case. Unless this asshole literally bought his weapon out of the trunk of some other asshole's car in a cash transaction -- and probably even then -- nothing will be done. The usual bloviators will do their thing, and America will go right back to what it was doing.

We seem to have collectively "agreed" that these now-routine events are the cost of doing business, as well as (rightly to some extent) that's there just no percentage in penalizing the majority of responsible gun owners because of the actions of a growing number of psychopaths. You may not agree with that, yet still recognize that it's the way things are, and they're not likely to change. This is not exactly a surprise or a secret.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is that they took the gunman alive, even after he killed a cop (who was also a Christian minister). I can't be the only person to wonder that if this fool had been black, they would have turned his dumb ass into Swiss cheese. Do we even need to guess about that one, given that black men get shot into the double digits just for maybe having a knife, or trying to buy a BB gun? But they took this cracker motherfucker alive. If you didn't know better, you might start to think that some lives matter more than others.

But what really makes this one a bit different is that there is almost certainly a direct line that can be drawn from the (to put it mildly) creatively edited stealth videos designed to put Planned Parenthood in the worst possible light in the summer, to the (to put it even more generously) fact-challenged speechifying from most of the Gooper clown car over the fall. Obviously, this is a highly emotional issue, and the anti-abortion movementarians seem to be an emotionally turbulent group of folks, unmoved by appeals to logic, reason, common sense, or even just the basic idea that adults should be allowed to make their own medical decisions without interference from the basement case picketing on the sidewalk.

It's even more nakedly cynical than that, as there is at least enough of a plurality in the Republican party that is pro-choice, to make the repealment of Roe v. Wade very unlikely. It is a false carrot dangled by the party establishment, like gay marriage, to gull the "social conservative" maroons into voting for something that doesn't affect them in the first place (until, of course, as inevitable as the sun rising in the east, of their kids comes out of the closet or needs a "procedure"). Even then, it doesn't matter, as the right to choose has been gutted throughout most of Jebusland, thanks to the Democrats' complete inability to convince broke-ass dopes to vote for their own rational self-interest.

So there was no practical reason for those PP videos to even be made, as the issue has no national traction, yet is succeeding already at the state level. They just did it to do it, again to consolidate the vaunted base. But the ramped-up inflammatory rhetoric aimed at the aforementioned emotionally turbulent target demo takes it to another level. They were asking for it, and now they got it; an irrational person responded irrationally to an argument that was irrational in the first place. Who could have predicted such an outcome?

Maybe someone should ask Cruz and Fiorina and Huckabee and the rest of the short bus crew how they like their wedge issue now.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

For Those About to Mock

Hey, if bullshit antics like this are what it takes to get the dopey corporate media to stop giving Trump a free pass, then I suppose we'll have to say it's worth it. It's time to stop with the usual "opinions vary on shape of earth" coverage, and call the man out for what he is -- a liar, a fraud, and a bully.

Part of this problem, unfortunately, is Serge Kovaleski's own fault. When he answered that he "didn't recall" seeing any such video that Trump was talking about, with "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey "cheering" 9/11, thinking that would serve as a polite way of saying that Trump was full of shit, he should have understood what sort of prick he was dealing with. Kovaleski should have said, "If such a video exists, then Trump should be able to produce it and show us all. Has he not heard of the YouTube? His kids can probably show him how it works."

Let me put it this way:  Donald Trump is to the media what ISIS is to Europe and America -- a noisome, toxic presence, built up in part by the very forces it attacks, that needs to be shut down already, before it does any more damage. The vile sentiments that Trump unleashes from the shit-brains who support him are getting worse and worse, and are bound to erupt at some point.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Enema Within

The circus comes to town, and more hijinks ensue. Violence against protesters has already occurred at several Trump rallies, mostly in the south, which more and more is looking like an area we should have either let go in the first place, or completely eradicated every trace of traitor-slaver existence. It's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or worse.

These yahoos mean business, and by "mean business" I mean that these Horst Wessel rallies provide emotionally retarded morons an opportunity to be their true selves. And that means that if someone browner than themselves is at the rally, they're up to no good, and must be stopped by any means necessary. You know, pointing out that every word out of Trump's asshole-shaped mouth is a lie, including "and" and "the", makes the baby Jebus cry blood.

Not that they care if anything their hero says is true or accurate, or is even grounded in reality. It affirms their bullshit, it validates what they knew all along. There is no perceivable benefit to pointing out that Trump is a liar and a fool, that Ben Carson is even more so. These people don't care about facts or reality. They want what they want. They think Trump is the guy to give it to them, good and hard.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Hos Before Bros

Apparently noted call-girl aficionado and diaper enthusiast David Vitter is running for governor of Louisiana, and in an uncharacteristic display of smackdown from a Democratic challenger, Vitter's past is being smacked across his face like a dead mackerel:

Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards has cut a TV ad attacking Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter specifically about Vitter’s prostitution scandal for the first time during the Louisiana gubernatorial campaign.

Though Edwards has questioned Vitter’s character on the campaign trail and in advertisements, the new ad is the first time Edwards has addressed the scandal specifically and runs counter to Edwards’ tactics so far.

A photo of a young Edwards in his U.S. Army Ranger uniform appears first in the ad with the narrator saying, “The choice for governor couldn’t be more clear. John Bel Edwards, who answered his country’s call and served as a ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division …”

And then, a photo of Vitter wearing a dark trench coat with a cellphone to his ear appears on the screen with the narrator saying, “or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute’s call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.”

“David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots,” the narrator concludes. “Now, the choice is yours.”

It probably won't help Edwards' chances, but it's fun all the same. These family values assholes need to be called on their lies and hypocrisy at every opportunity. Regardless, few things make me smile more than knowing that every time Wendy Vitter sees her husband, for the rest of her life, she has to mentally eat her sanctimonious crowing at Hillary Clinton. She'll never admit it, but it's there all the same, she knows it, and more importantly, she knows that we all know it. I despise people like the Vitters, people who claw their way into power and fortune by bearing false witness and riding their high horse. And the only saving grace is knowing that they have to live day-to-day with the burden of being the awful human beings that they are.

Thanks But No Thanks

Well, you can't say the headline doesn't try to warn you, but yeeeeaaahhh, I don't think any of us really needed to see Kim Davis' emails to know that she really is a narcissistic loon with a persecution complex. Ordinarily you might figure that at least some Kentucky taxpayers might resent their tax dollars going to keep such a clearly unqualified fool employed in any capacity.

But then, this is the state that, despite being one of the most unhealthy in the nation, overwhelmingly voted for a governor whose main promise is to dismantle Obamacare in the state. So fuck 'em. May they reap exactly what they sow.

Do Your Duty, Flush Twice

Here's just a few of the more outrageous instances of police misconduct and brutality in recent days. Let's take a quick spin around the dial:

  • In Loozyanna, a coupla Deppaty Dawg types moonlighting as "town marshals" took it upon themselves to fire upon a truck containing an unarmed man, who may or may not have had a warrant out for his arrest, and may or may not have backed his truck up toward the "marshals" in an attempt to evade them. We'll give these discount motherfuckersfine upstanding Christian men a chance to get their story straight, but in the meantime, one thing is indisputable:  in addition to shooting the alleged perp (who is still barely alive in the hospital), they also hit the man's six-year-old son, who was buckled into the passenger seat, five times, killing him instantly. Good job, guys. You can rationalize it any way you want, but you murdered a first-grader.
  • In West Virginny, a state trooper who took it upon himself to be the neighborhood asshole, and had a couple local kids leave wet underwear on the hood of his car as a prank, went over to the home of the kids' friend, and tried to arrest him (because leaving underwear on a car is a capital offense or something). Anyhoo, the kid "resisted arrest" (in other words, questioned Officer Friendly's authoritah to arrest people for nothing), and so of course was summarily pepper sprayed, beaten with a baton, tackled into a ditch (with assistance by a helpful neighbor, since after all, the cop was only half a foot taller and fifty pounds heavier than the kid -- who again, did absolutely nothing wrong in the first place), and finally shot dead like a fucking dog. This actually happened in June of last year, but since prosecutors declined to their job and get this fucking animal out his uniform and into a jail cell, the kid's family decided to file a civil lawsuit. We'll see if they manage to live long enough to see it through.
  • Quentin Tarantino got himself on the radar of the Fraternal Order of Police, after having the nerve to attend and speak at a rally against police misconduct. Apparently we have First Amendment rights, as long we don't say something cops disapprove of. Don't be too surprised if QT gets pulled over in the next month or so, and they just happen to find a brick of heroin in his wheel well.
  • Finally, we have the story of one Charles Joseph (aka "GI Joe") Gliniewicz, a police lieutenant in the village of Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was the third cop to be shot over a particularly violent weekend at the end of August, and his death sparked a huge manhunt, not to mention countless sanctimonious graphic memes from your uncle who does nothing but masturbate on Facebook over "those people".

    Gliniewicz had the perfect story for breathless "cop lives matter" coverage by the lazy media -- military veteran, decorated cop, family man with four kids, ran the police youth auxiliary fund. They had this guy nominated for sainthood before they even had him dropped into the ground. Funny thing about all that, though:  turns out GI Joe was stealing from the youth fund, and had a personnel file full of complaints about groping and threatening his colleagues -- when he wasn't pressuring his subordinates into sucking his cock to keep their jobs. Gliniewicz even tried to hire a gang member to assassinate a city administrator who had gotten wise to his embezzlement scheme.

    So after weeks of sanctimonious posturing by the usual media assholes (i.e., the slack-jawed mutants at Fixed Noise), it turns out that Gliniewicz, seeing the walls close in, decided to take the weird way out, and killed himself after calling in a foot chase of non-existent perps. It fit in perfectly with the mythical narrative of a "war on cops", even though the violent crime rate and the rate of officers dying on the job have both been steadily declining. They have been notably quiet in the wake of the revelations about Gliniewicz, though. What a surprise.

Oh, and the first officer who was murdered on that fateful weekend in August, shot while pumping gas in Texas? Turns out this fine family man had his mistress in his squad car -- off-duty by the way -- when he was shot by a mentally ill  man who was immediately characterized as a Black Lives Matter activist, although of course that was not at all true. It gets even better -- during the investigation, Goforth's mistress then hooked up with the investigator. Even in Texas, this sort of thing is kinda frowned on. I'd say more, but I'm afraid this cock-gobbling skank might put down whichever knob she's servicing at the moment and try to give me her HPV.

The problem here is one of accountability, of course. As always, most cops are decent people doing difficult work. But I don't want to hear anymore about how tough it is, and we just don't understand. The beauty of living in a (relatively) free country is that you are able to pursue pretty much any line of work you want. So if it gets too tough to be a cop, do yourself and society a huge favor and be a fucking plumber, or a mechanic. The last thing anyone needs is some asshole with a badge, a gun, and a wildly aggrieved sensibility about How Unfair Life Is.

This goes for the people who work with these assholes every day and know something's up. Everyone who had worked with Gliniewicz for years knew he was bent, a corrupt pervert who bullied silent complicity out an institution that he knew was pre-aligned to take his side in the instance of any complaints. They knew GI Joke was a fucking turd, and refused to flush, until it was too late. The state trooper in West Virginia got away scot-free with murdering a kid in his own front yard for no goddamned reason; the best you can hope for there is that the civil lawsuit bankrupts that piece of shit so that he's living on a sidewalk giving handjobs for crack. But we all know that won't happen. The cops who killed that kid in Louisiana, they'll get away with it, the cop who shot that guy in the back in South Carolina and tried to plant a gun on him, he'll get away with it. Just you watch.

In a just and fair world, these clowns would all do the decent thing and eat a fucking bullet, simply because of the burden of living with what they've done. But they won't, because they don't need to. They know they'll get away with their misdeeds. And it happens because they won't flush these fuckers, they never do. They wait and wait and wait until these bent cops snap and kill someone, then do damage control and find a way to get the charges dropped or lowered. Even the WV trooper, he's not going to pay a dime, unless they're able to get him on the civil lawsuit as well. But chances are they'll just hit the deep pockets, the city and county and state. So the West Virginia taxpayers will pay for this murderous turd, and he'll continue to work until he cashes out with a 90% pension.

The argument is not whether cops lives matter; of course they do. The problem is that cops have come to think that their lives matter more than yours or mine; they no longer regard themselves as servants of the public interest, but a specialized class of paramilitarized guardians who can do whatever they want, and demand only compliance and obedience from the public. Anything else gives them license to kill, and they are all too happy to use that license, since they can do so with impunity.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Question of the Day

Which part of the race to the bottom between Donald Trump and Ben Carson is more hilarious -- Trump's continued insistence that he doesn't need a teleprompter, even though he extemporizes like old people fuck; or Ben Carson's Scarface-to-Urkel redemption narrative becoming unraveled with each tedious retelling?

Look a few months down the road, folks; this is how the Gooper field gets narrowed to Rubio. Rubio should send Trump a thank-you card attached to a $10k/night call girl for cockpunching Yeb?! into irrelevance, exposing him as dickless, a political Ken doll. Trump and Carson are not running for president, they're running for something with more money and fewer headaches -- a book tour, a teevee show, some tiresome bullshit soaking their moron fan bases out of their unearned cash (it is axiomatic that if you're spending any money or time on anything from Trump or Carson, you didn't work nearly hard enough for it).

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Trump and Trumper

Not that his moron fan club will notice or hold him to it, but this pitiful attempt by His Douchiness to pick a fight with John Oliver is bound to backfire. First, and most obviously, Oliver does not have guests on his show, certainly not in the conventional sense that Captain Fucktard is used to. I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode of Last Week Tonight so far, and the only interview guest I recall is a gay-rights activist from Uganda last year. Second is in the context of the interview Trump says that he finds Oliver's show boring, then follows up with the assertion that he's never seen the show.

Again, these are small but telling features that will do him no damage with his base, because they are truly stupid people, who cannot distinguish between beliefs and facts. They cannot think critically, or they would listen closely to any of Trump's interminable stemwinders, and realize that not only can the man not extemporize nearly as well as he thinks he can, but that there is no substance at all to what he says.

But here's perhaps the most telling thing, the feature that might actually get picked up by the dipshit press that's enabled this toxic asshole from the word go -- Trump's reasoning behind picking at this week's scab is that he doesn't like to let things go. This is the proverbial character flaw that is a feature to his believers, but it's a flaw all the same, and a nasty one.

Look, there are certainly things in life that you don't just "let go" of, and move on with your life like nothing happened. In the personal realm, losing a loved one or a home in a disaster, catching your spouse cheating on you, that sort of thing. In terms of world events, terrorist strikes fall into that category; nobody is letting go of, say, 9/11 anytime soon. (Although there should be a way to move forward from such things, and not get caught in an endless feedback loop of meaningless commemorations. I mean, next year will be the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, think there'll be some media monkey-spanking over that?)

In this instance, however, we're talking about Trump being unable to "let go" of John Oliver supposedly lying about trying to book Trump on his HBO show. This is the guy you want with his hand on the nuke button, a guy who spends every waking hour guarding his vaunted brand like a Faberge egg, a guy for whom no grudge is too small to hold in a raging death grip?

I've said it a million times, but bears repeating -- there's something weird, something off, about a nearly 70-year-old man who can walk away from it all a thousand times over, but prefers to spend his time pinballing between media tools responding to slights. I'm telling you right now, at that age and with even one-hundredth of that net worth, I'd be a fucking ghost, on the yacht anchored off Majorca with carrying capacity of hot Russian chicks, surf-and-turf and Ketel One. Most good politicians have a narcissistic streak, but there's no streak here -- if there was a meter that measured that personality trait, Trump would have it pegged at all times.

Credit where it's due -- Trump has done a good job in trash-talking and schoolyard-bullying prepster rival John Ellis "Please for the love of gawd, call me Jeb" Bush, who has been reduced to begging his meddling nonagenarian parents for help. Sidelining that useless dynasty troll is the one decent thing Trump has done since June. Quitting his bullshit campaign and going back to pushing around Penn Jillette and Gary Busey would be the second.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Beautiful People

One of the more bemusing, played-out memes in this wondrous clusterfuck of a nation is what you might call the "what's wrong with 'murka" schtick, the tired-ass notion that if only kids were beaten more, forced to pray in school, and we had the Ten Commandments posted at every stoplight, the way it all useta be, we'd be better off.

The subtext is that the reason "those people" don't know their place, whether it's uppity knee-grows or smartass teenagers, is because now you have cameras everywhere to record when nutjob cops go off on them in, say, a classroom.

The reflexive counter to that is to point out that anyone supporting that dumbass cop in the South Carolina classroom is the problem. (More to the point, I know at least two people who have been to state prison, who vocally support that dumbass school cop. Talk about complete cognitive dissonance.) And indeed, they're part of the overall problem.

But it's really people like this who are the fucking problem -- a dopey second-grader being pimped by her star-fucking parent for an assclown pretending to run for office. Why am I supposed to care what this kid thinks about anything, much less the complex issues that make up politics? They're after "publicity"? For what? There's nothing interesting about them, other than that the mother needs to do a better job coaching up her seven-year-old on what to say and how to say it, and the sign is wrong. It's MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, dummy. The AGAIN is there for a REASON, dammit.

"Reality" teevee has utterly ruined what culture this country might have had, not just because of the ubiquity of it all, but because of the genre's preening insistence on taking completely mediocre people with no discernible talent whatsoever, and putting them in front of us until we know their names and faces. They are, by the current definition, famous at that point.

The best we can hope for at this point is that their scheme goes awry when mom is caught on video blowing a security guard to get into a Trump speaking engagement, and the kid ends up in -- wait for it -- public school. Yes, I would like fries with that.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

What You Wish For

The maps and demographics don't lie, and it doesn't matter. Red-state rubes insist on voting against themselves, again and again, and you can never talk them out of it, because rebel-flag-y'all or whatever. So they get what they get, and maybe if enough of them die younger and dumber than they should have, enough of them will be left to finally sit up and take notice.

Or they can go down to the local snake-handler in their state-subsidized Rascals, gobble their gubmint pills, and repeat the chanted mumbo-jumbo. I'll be goddamned if I can find room to care anymore; I am only interested insofar as their pervasive stupidity doesn't infect the rest of the nation.


Of course China's one-child policy had a lot of side effects. Those problems were entirely predictable, and you can bet the Chinese leadership saw them coming. And allowing for a second child now will alleviate their coming demographic slump somewhat.

(Although, quite frankly, if the spam section of my various websites is any indication, I assume China's number-one industry now is spambots hawking shitty knock-off merchandise. No, asshole, I'm not going to buy a counterfeit designer handbag or NFL jersey from your 55-character-URL shitball website. I mean, if that's all they're going to do, why the fuck do we need more of them? Fucking die already.)

But nowhere in the linked interview is the acknowledgement that the one-child policy was a demographic as well as an economic necessity, and that China still has close to 1.5 billion people. The current populations in many of the East and South Asian countries right now is unsustainable, and have adversely affected their environments. What will it look like in another generation, with India and China approaching 2 billion each, with Indonesia pushing half a billion, Pakistan and Bangladesh around a quarter billion each?

At this very moment, one out of every three human beings currently alive resides in either China or India. One in every two -- every second person -- is in Asia. This concentration has already had a negative impact on those areas, as has Africa's population explosion. The U.S., with just five percent of world population and over three million square miles of territory, is comparatively blessed with low population density. But we still manage to have an outsize effect on the environment, both at home and in the countries that produce our consumables.

But it doesn't really matter who or where, so much as how many overall. We're over seven billion, nearing eight, predicted to be between nine and ten billion by 2050. Just as there is a physical limit to which we can push, for example, the ppm rate of carbons in the atmosphere, so there is also a carrying capacity of humans that the planet can handle, all of them eating, drinking, shitting, fucking, dumping their garbage, building houses. Many of them live super-size lives, consuming more, driving gas guzzlers, sport-hunting endangered species, and so on. There is a point of equilibrium to these things, and you don't generally find that point until it's been crossed, and it's too late.

I'm not ready to go completely antinatalist, here or in Asia. But there has to be some shared responsibility at some point in managing this; the world population cannot continue to grow infinitely. Depleted freshwater aquifers, ravaged wildlife and environment, and a whole host of social evils, from religious-based oppression to slavery, are all consequences of too many rats stuffed together into too small a cage. The cruel and ruthless subjugate the pliant and weak, perpetuating suffering as much as anything else for many.

It will be looked at as yet another instance of Western imperialist encroachment, and perhaps it is. But overpopulation is something that affects everyone around the world, and as the world gets ever more interdependent, it will more and more become everyone's problem.

The New Normal

For the past four months or so, I've been talking an awful lot of neck about one Donald John Trump. (Actually, it's gone on much longer than that, of course, but let's say the topic has gained some traction since he came down the escalator and told us all he was going to save us from ourselves.) Now, I think I make at least a token effort here to have links that are relevant to the point I'm making (which in this case, of course, is that Trump is a full-blown tool), but last week presented an opportunity to take that a large -- yuuuge, you might say -- step further.

Trump's recent rally in Jacksonville had gotten some press, and I decided that instead of cherry-picking pull quotes from some mainstream media source, let's listen to the entire speech unabridged, and see what all the fuss is about. Who knows, I might gain some insight not only into the man, but the fans.

After all, despite the polemics and snark by which we mostly communicate these post-irony days, experience teaches us that most people -- and even most politicians -- are neither entirely good nor bad. The ones we tend to like or agree with can be assholes about some things, and the ones we despise probably at least care about something, their families, their vision of 'murka, whatever.

So maybe there would be some redeeming quality lurking in the thicket of Trump's semi-improvised bluster, something that might provide some sort of clue as to what inspires such adulation among his faithful. It's unlikely, given that Trump has been something of a national media fixture for a good thirty years or so, but it's possible.

Or so we thought.

Reader, I shit you not when I say I expected very little from this, and it still didn't even hit the low bar I set for this little exercise. It wasn't entirely futile, in that now I know that my previous perceptions of Trump and his flock were off only by a matter of scale and degree -- he and they are much stupider than I had supposed.

Trump is stupider like a fox, of course -- whatever his net worth actually is, it's more than most of us combined, and truly stupid people don't get and stay that wealthy for very long. He is notoriously free of the baser vices -- drugs, alcohol, pussy -- that seem to plague many second and third generations of wealthy families into dissolution and louche behavior. He has considerable strengths as a salesman, and even as a trash talker, which is an underrated skill, and perhaps the most important to his particular fan base.

But that's about the extent of his skill set. In the nearly ninety minutes of the Jacksonville speech, I would bet serious money that a good seventy-five minutes of it was just basic dick-swinging -- every talk show I go on to plug my campaign gets record ratings; I'm drawing record crowds; I built this casino and that golf course, and they were the classiest ever; and on and on.

It's just sad after a while, watching an old, bitter man with fucked-up hair and a fake tan trying to convince "thousands" -- despite a decent amount of searching, I could not find even a ballpark number as to how many people attended this rally, or even what the capacity at Jacksonville Landing is -- that he has a three-foot cock. How many "thousands" -- two, ten, five hundred, one-point-three? Who fucking knows? More to the point, if it was a large number, the accounts would be much more specific; in other words, if it was 50,000 you'd never hear the end of it, but they're not going to brag about 1,500 people, or specify such a number.

For someone who famously eschews teleprompters, Trump really should consider using one. His opening schtick consists of how he doesn't need or use them, but there's no coherence or structure to his arguments that come afterward, and everything just naturally digresses back to his giant cock, which apparently his crowd wants to suck before they vote for it. He throws a little red meat by way of talking tough about trade policy with China and nuke deals with Iran, but provides zero detail on how those negotiations would actually work. He seriously banks on the premise that the Chinese and Iranians will get into the room with him, and just be so intimidated by Trump's enormous cock, that they'll have no choice but to suck it as well, and give him whatever he wants.

Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan is pitch-perfect for his crowd, who to a person appear to be very much like Trump himself -- old, bitter, white. He's definitely got the Archie Bunker crowd locked up. Throughout the speech, there are several spontaneous chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" at random intervals, usually when he's saying something completely baseless and impossible to either confirm or refute (such as his threats to impose a trade deal on China that's more favorable to the US). You almost want the camera to turn and show the crowd, just to see if there are a couple of shirtless flabbos, faces and guts painted, one holding a "D" and the other holding a piece of picket fence. These jabbering idiots really do sound like little more than slightly more advanced feces-throwing zoo monkeys.

It would be one thing if the chanting and cheering were occurring during the precious few moments were Trump is making what passes (for him and them) a salient point, and they do. But they also do it when he talks about his golf courses and his ratings, things that have fuck-all to do with running the country. These mouth-breathers seriously believe that leading a huge nation is exactly like building a casino in Atlantic City.

Which brings me to my real point here:  just how far and fast the bar has been lowered. There is a direct link from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin to Ted Cruz, and now to Trump. Each step along that unholy path, we thought it couldn't get worse, or stupider. But it continues to get worse, as reliably as the sun rising in the east. The mistake the media tend to make is focusing on the candidates, but the candidates are merely escalating symptoms of the problem.

The problem, of course, is the base, the voters themselves, the perennially discontented group of nincompoops who continue to wonder where their country went, and as a result get gulled repeatedly into voting against themselves, every damned time. With each successive cycle, their fandom gets weirder, more incoherent, less balanced. They seem determined to live out Mencken's quote about every complex problem having a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong.

Times change, people generally don't. Trump will eventually get tired of this game, if he hasn't already, and surely already knows that even if he's serious in his effort, he's signing up for an impossible amount of headaches for a pittance. I'm sure that Barry O would be more than happy to warn Trump that being president mostly involves trying to do the impossible for the ungrateful, that Russia and China and Iran are the least of your worries when you can't even get Congress to work with you.

Trump's trainwreck of a candidacy is being billed as some sort of societal indicator of widespread discontent, but it really should be seen as a warning and a reminder, of just how stupid and venal people can be, and that they can always find a way to get even worse. Wait till one of the Gooper moneybags assholes gets their own -- incrementally worse than even Trump -- for the 2020 cycle.