Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Well, You Could Knock Me Over With a Fucking Feather

It's like you already knew, it's like I've been saying for so many years, more so the last couple years -- they define themselves by their opposition to the caricature in their brains. Cleek's Law is as real as the First Amendment. Don't doubt it for a second. At least they're becoming more honest and upfront.

That's because they -- to use what they would consider librul jargon -- feel empowered, emboldened, encouraged. His belated demurrals make the indecent feel embraced, as if he's speaking to them in a code only they can understand, while the rest of us are left bemused, bewildered.

This is what they count on, what they subsist on. They're not even bothering to hide behind some book or Austrian economist or some such. This is pure fuck you, whaddaya gonna do about it?

And you know what? They have a point, however demented it may be. How's that "when they go low, we go high" shit been working out for everyone? Look at your state house, your congressional reps, your executive and judicial branches. They drank our milkshake while the Democrats were haggling over bathroom rights. Awesome.

Most of all, this is proof positive that Fuckface Von Clownstick is merely a symptom; the Republican Party is the end-stage (as Charlie Pierce puts it) prion disease that comes from eating the monkey brains. Clownstick is the culmination of decades of work, and as such, even if we find a way to get rid of his incontinent, doddering ass, they'll just find a smoother, sleeker version to pimp the same asshole message.

But the main point is this:  they are able to simultaneously buy the premise that the country is a flaming hellscape needing serious expertise to repair it all, and hand the job over to a moron who is months away from smearing his old-man, KFC-smelling poop all over the Oval Office walls. There is truth to the idea that a sophisticated mind can hold two contrary ideas at the same time; this becomes inoperative when both ideas are completely awful and stupid.

This is where, once again, we may collectively want to look past the current threat of Clownstick's ape-like mendacity, and realize that he's simply the current avatar of what that entire party is thinking, and we'd better get with the program fucking quick-like, or they're going to finish that steamroll job they've been doing. Fuck these assholes; fight or die.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

It Was At That Moment That He Truly Became Dear Leader

"And the Internet was such a jumble of false and true factoids that no one believed what was on it anymore, or else they believed all of it, which amounted to the same thing." -- Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood, p. 293

Let's explore a small but important footnote from Tuesday's Two Hours of Hate in Satan's Asshole, better known as Phoenix. At the usual "fake media" attack point in Snowflake's babbling greatest-shits nonsense, he observed that there were several news cameras filming and recording the lies for the bafflement of posterity. He then asserted that because he was talking shit about them, some of them were stopping the filming, that camera lights were going out.

It doesn't need to be stated for the record that that wasn't at all true, right? And yet, despite him telling them to look, and presumably them doing so, and seeing that the cameras were not in fact being turned off, many people in the (admittedly small, perhaps even smaller than Snowflake's tiny wittle doll hands) audience, grumbled in agreement with their dark lord.

In other words, despite being able to see for themselves a very simple empirically verifiable fact -- the lights are either on or off -- these folks looked, and listened, and decided that whatever Snowflake said must be the "truth," simply because he said it. These people have lost their fucking minds. They are more than happy to drive off the cliff with him.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


This made my day. Watch the video. Good stuff. Fuck that cow and whatever's incubating inside her.

Flaw and Ordure

A frequent gag on The Simpsons consists of showing what's going on in Homer's brain in a given moment. Generally it's what you would expect - monkeys picking bugs off each others' asses, Homer eating a sandwich, that sort of thing.

It's not unreasonable to assume much the same thing going on between Emperor Snowflake's dried-apricot ears. In disgraced Arizona "sheriff" Joe Arpaio, Snowflake has made a point of pardoning what he clearly sees as a kindred spirit, a fellow birther-conspiracy dirtbag. No surprise there; Snowflake pretty much telegraphed his intentions at his half-attended stemwinder in Phoenix last Tuesday.

The moral cretinism underpinning this move, coming as it did while everyone was focused on Hurricane Harvey getting ready to slam into Galveston, cannot be overstated. Since Arpaio may be one of the few people in American public life who is even more of a vicious asshole than Snowflake, it makes a warped sort of sense.

But strategically, it makes no sense at all. Yes, like everything else he's done, it's a big middle finger to libtards, sure to whip up the proverbial base. But that base is starting to wear out a bit, and is only going to continue to do so as this moron continues stomping his way through everything. Even these drooling meatbags have to start seeing that he's a one-trick pony, and it's really not much of a trick, especially when some of us are making a point of laughing at him -- and them -- rather than recoiling in horror.

Additionally, it draws a wedge between Snowflake and his own party, who are rapidly getting tired of dealing with his erratic, impulsive incompetence. If Fatboy wants to throw his cameltoe behind Chemtrail Kelli Ward in the GOP primary against Jeff Flake, let him. It will be an excellent test of exactly where his level of support really is. But the bottom line is, there is almost no way that pardoning Arpaio just to be a dick turns out to be anything but counterproductive for his own agenda. It's like he did it just because people advised him not to. Fuck you, you can't tell me what to do!

Let's not put too fine a point on it -- Arpaio is not just a racist, he's a sadist. He delights in inflicting pain and torture on his inmates, many of whom, let's recall, are still awaiting trial, and are hence technically not guilty of anything yet. He frequently referred to his tent-city sweat box as a "concentration camp," took perverse pride in cheap punitive stunts such as banning newspapers, eliminating salt and pepper.

Hundreds of people have died in his concentration camp, from heat exhaustion, beatings from guards (surveillance cameras caught an inmate tied to a restraining chair and beaten to death by fourteen guards, because the prison screw's spirit animal is the cowardly but vicious hyena), hanging. Hundreds of sex assault cases, including dozens of children, went uninvestigated because Arpaio waned his deputies focused on harassing beaners. He's cruel just for the sheer joy of inflicting cruelty on those he deems deserving.

He's a bastard through and through; the reason Arpaio's mother died giving birth to him is that she wanted to get away from what she knew from the start would be a shameful legacy. When he does finally kick off, he should be dragged into the desert and left for the vultures.

The good news hidden in this is that the acceptance of a pardon is by definition an admission of guilt for purposes of civil suits. That means that this 85-year-old shitbird may very well spend the rest of his rotten life having damages incurred against his personal assets. Maricopa County has paid out somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million over the years from his abuses and excesses, which provides a number of precedents for future civil suits on Arpaio personally. I hope they nail his greasy ass to the wall. It's a goddamned shame he won't do any time in his own jail. Let him sit in a 135-degree tent in pink underwear. It won't happen, but watching him die broke and harassed would be some consolation.

The more troublesome aspect of this, of course, is that the pardon is not just a middle finger to libtards, it's a middle finger to the rule of law. It's a clear, deliberate expression of the emperor's contempt for any law or rule or norm that runs counter to what this doddering psychopath wants at a given moment. These are classic moves out of the dictator's playbook -- threatening the media, encouraging fascists by equating them with their opponents (really, people who hate nazis are as bad as nazis?), doing absolutely nothing to reach out to the majority of the population who did not vote for him, consolidating and rallying his base support.

The reason he got this far is because no one in any position of power or responsibility took his insurgency seriously enough to smack it down before it could gather momentum. That has changed; people from the Capitol to the street are slowly but surely starting to mobilize. There are people who want their country back. We'll see if there are enough of them. In the meantime, maybe we all need to mass-mail as many congress-critters as possible that they need to step up and resist this asshole as well.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Thirteenth Step

[Post title because I'm currently listening to the Perfect Circle album of that title, but it's also relevant to the topic at hand.]

Since Hillary Clinton's account of last year's fiasco is coming out imminently, so are the virtual pitchforks and torches (tiki and otherwise) in response. It is rapidly becoming another Smug-ageddon between rump factions of erstwhile Clintonistas and ever-hopeful Berniebros, with the latter group wond'ring aloud why she refuses to kindly fuck off already, and the former group offering to kindly help the Berniebros over the nearest cliff.

As someone who voted enthusiastically for Sanders in the primaries, and nearly as enthusiastically for Clinton in the general election, let me offer some perspective in good faith. I don't begrudge at all Clinton knocking out a book as a commercially viable catharsis, for her and perhaps for many of us. Some are annoyed about the "timing," as if that were under her control, or that there would ever be an ideal time under the current reign of error.

In fact, I would say the timing of the book's release is damn near ideal. Consider the following:
  • Senatorial leather gimp Addison M. "Turtle Fucker" McConnell may be heading into a death embrace over Reichenbach Falls with Emperor Snowflake. McConnell and soulless henchman "Better Call" Paul Ryan thought they had this one in the bag, that they could steer this "outsider" doofus into doing their bidding. Now it is starting to dawn on them that a bull in a china shop just means a lot of broken plates and bullshit everywhere. Hoocoodanode? At any rate, McConnell is "privately" (in other words, leaking to the Fucking New York Times) musing that Combover Caligula's dumbfuckery is bad for the Goopers' main business at hand, which is always and forever separating working people from their money and handing over to rich assholes who use it to keep score against each other.
  • Apparently Congress will only be in session for twelve days next month, because it's only the end of the fucking fiscal year, and major portions of the budget, including the debt ceiling, are still being figured out (in other words, deciding whose poopchute the thing gets rammed into without lube). Herr Kanzler wants some money set aside to start that wall that the Meskins were are going to pay for. It is safe to assume at this point that his master plan is to get them to pay for it by hiring a Mexican contractor to build it, and then not pay them.
  • Hillary Clinton, whose political career is truly over and done with, and who now has no conceivable thing to lose, is going to flood the zone promoting her book. She has absolutely no incentive to hold back with her opinions, and has already leaked a piece describing Shithead as a "creep." Oooh, shots fired!
At the heart of the criticism of Clinton (I think) is really the sinking feeling that the Democratic Party has failed to provide a sense of direction -- and more importantly, a new central figure around which to rally and take cues from. Patience (certainly not one of my strong suits) is the key here; yes, it's frustrating that the Dems are content to play prevent defense for now, but all eyes are on the guy down the road setting fire to his ammo shed, and there's not much they could say to draw attention anyway.

We all have this sensation of time accelerating lately, because that seems to be the overall dynamic anymore, and because none of us are used to having to worry several times a day what the occupant of the White House is up to. The corollary to that psychological effect is that it seems like it's taking forever to get rid of this motherfucker. And it is.

But he hasn't gotten a single meaningful thing done, and doesn't look to in the near future. His sole accomplishment in seven months is filling a SCOTUS seat that was stolen for him by the aforementioned turtle fucker. No health-care bill; no wall; no tax reform, as we head into the holiday season. That means that by the time he gives his first State of the Onion speech [rolls eyes], he will have exactly jack-fucking-shit to hang his hairpiece on. And that's only if Bob Mueller's team hasn't nailed his fat fucking diapered ass to the wall by then.

The Dem dynamic since November has been a weird muddle of contrition and bewilderment -- they're very sorry about fucking the dog, but they're not sure why, or even what breed the dog was. It's very difficult to apologize for something when you're not sure what you did, or if you disagree with people who tell you what you did wrong.

No matter, what's done is done. They need to move on, and do so with deliberation. The first thing they need to do is abandon this limp-dick "when they go low, we go high" bullshit. FUCKING STOP ALREADY. Look, people are pissed off, and not entirely without some justification, and many of them cannot articulate exactly why. They need catharsis. This is true on both sides.

It doesn't mean you send out Gavin Newsom (or whoever) to recite a laundry list of made-up anecdotes, like Snowflake. That's the beauty of it -- the Democrats don't have to lie at all, they can just point out the ugly truth. But they have to pack a punch now. They need to step up when Snowflake lies and flat-out say, That's a goddamned lie. He keeps lying. Why do people let this asshole keep lying about every motherfucking thing?

They need to look at this like it's a straight-up marketing campaign. Who are our rock stars for next year? Let's get them on the Sunday morning jerk-off chat shows, as much as possible! Get Kirsten Gillibrand (or the aforementioned Newsom) in there to tune up Poor Ol' Straight Talk or Huckleberry Closetcase or whatever dipshit warhorse they haven't shipped off to the glue factory just yet. Get an experienced media presence like Al Franken in there to fuck some people up with his impeccable timing. Let loose the House dogs, like Seth Moulton and Adam Schiff.

That's a big part of the frustration of the anti-Hillary crowd. It's not that they literally need her to disappear from public life, it's that they need to see where the party is going, and who's going to lead it forward. Someone under retirement age, for fuck's sake. That is not ageism, it's the simple fact that technology is altering the workforce and careerism much faster than our system has kept up, and there are some serious tectonic changes coming that Grandma Feinstein has no clue about, unless her great-grandchildren have told her about it during Murder, She Wrote reruns.

Seriously, I do not for the life of me understand the inner workings of the Democratic Party. They could crush these fuckers with a modest amount of coordination -- one or two personalities and messages to rally around, and they could kick this outhouse over. The Republicans, despite their numerical dominance, are on the verge of electoral collapse. The health-care fiasco proved it; they had seven years to come up with anything, and they thumbed their dicks. They're a shoddy operation, they're on the ropes.

Finish them off, this time for good. Sweep the knee, you fucking pussies. Either that, or recognize that both parties are good and dead, nothing more than shambling husks that don't know it yet, and adjust your social network strategy accordingly.

In Other News

Best wishes to compadre Outis Niemand, as he recuperates from a nasty bout of pancreatitis. These things happen in threes (that just science, folks), so I'll be looking over my shoulder for some time.

Dwindling Swindle

Again, by all means, the fake news media should keep up the rigorous fact-checking and parsing of every detail. It won't matter to his diehards, because they're morons and proud of it, but it matters to him, because he watches CNN, and he can't stand it when they call him on his LIES.

But what gets under his orange leather even more is when it's pointed out that far fewer people show up to listen to him whine -- and if you have the stomach, go find one of the streams of last night on YouTube and give it a spin. JESUS H. CHRIST, WHAT A FUCKING WHINING CRYBABY. It was 107 degrees in Phoenix yesterday (but it's a dry hate, ba-dum-bum); save everyone the headache and just buy some billboards saying THEY WON'T STOP PICKING ON MEEEEEE!

Biggest. Goddamned. Whiny. Bitch. Ever.

I can't imagine that he's a poker player, much less a competent one. He bluffs like old people fuck -- like he fucks. He has way too many tells -- verbal tics, hand gestures, body language, facial expressions. Even an average player like myself would fleece him out his decrepit Batman tower in about an hour.

Because he broadcasts to the world what angers him. He did it literally on his inauguration day, the day we for some reason decided to give this fat fucking assclown an official investiture, and not do the right thing and ship his ass to Russia where he belongs. And what angers him the most is people not validating his self-conception of Awesome Perfect Greatness. People not showing up in droves to listen to him whine for an hour about how hard governing is and how unfair the lying liars of the lying media are for recording the words he says and playing them back. Waaahhhhh!

So to go along with the fact-checking, the media would do well to check the venue capacity stats, talk to the fire marshals, get a reliable attendance vs. capacity comparison, and include that level of specificity in the article. He seems unable to go more than a few weeks now without traveling to a safe space and sucking up to the tardcore base. Include a count every time, every venue he hits. He'll either stop or snap. Either way, 'murka wins, to the extent that it actually deserves to.

But from photographic evidence, it looks like they were at half-capacity at best in the building, and outside the venue counter-protesters outnumbered supporters at a level comparable to Boston a few days ago. And even some of them were paid shills, because everything with these people is projection. They assume the counter-protesters are paid by George Soros because that's what they do.

But one of the most basic facts the media can provide is a reliable estimate of attendance. It's important. Lamely saying "thousands" tells people absolutely nothing. How many thousands? Two? Ten? Fifty? And how many "thousands" does the venue hold, did they pack the hall or was it only twenty or forty percent?

Qualitative analysis is all well and good, but ultimately pointless. We know he's going to lie about fucking everything. Bokay? This is never in question; it was never in doubt before he got into politics. He's been a fucking liar about every little thing since the dipshits in the New York media started taking his calls. It's important to chronicle and archive the lies for posterity, so future generations can see the abject nonsense some of our fella 'murkins marinated in, but for the time being, listing the lies won't move anyone on the dial. Everyone on both sides already knows he's full of shit; the difference is that his base is fine with it, so long as it pisses off the right people.

At one point in the Phoenix rally, Snowflake gestured out toward the media cameras across the hall, filming the podium, claiming that they wouldn't film the rally, that the lights were going off. The audience looked across at lights that remained as they were, not going off, and they jeered all the same. They are all in, fully vested, full-throated accomplices in what will be looked back on as a slow-motion crime, or a gathering muck ball of a million little crimes.

This is the logical outcome of people who become cult members with a narcissistic asshole as its center of gravity. Some of them will literally never back out, no matter what, because his failure is also their failure, and because they can't own the hard fact that they failed long before they ever cast their sorry lot with this moronic charlatan.

So the qualitative analysis only gets you so far. It's the quantitative analysis, even the modest perspective lent by actual numbers versus capacity, that will give us information, and let us know that whatever spell he cast on these fuckin' morons, it's finally starting to wear off on at least some of them.

Let 'em Eat Fake

Rather than dumping on Mrs. Munchin for down-punching a peasant on her Instagram feed, maybe we should thank her for her candor, at least in that she doesn't try to conceal her inflated sense of self-regard.

Of the many things I fail to apprehend about Today's Ute (or society at large, for that matter), it is the idea that anyone would "follow" someone like Louise Linton, or any of the Kardashians, etc., in their virtualized adventures. These are people who, as the old joke goes, are famous for being well-known; i.e., no one knows what they do because they don't actually do anything.

It's easy to understand why such useless, charisma-free z-list personalities would indulge the urge to turn every waking moment into a brand-building calisthenic, but it's incomprehensible why a rational, sentient human who presumably has their own life to lead would bother with this sort of nonsense.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Drumpferdämmerung; Or, Appetite for Distraction

After seven months that feels like an eternity, it is possible to hear a swirling sound, a rushing of water into a bottomless chasm. This toxic floater of an administration is on the verge of being flushed, and the world will be the better for it, if the clear majority of this country steps up and keeps its collective momentum. Who coulda seen it coming?

The media monkeys are welcome to chase their daily fixations for the time being, because it is important that our putative leader fails to clear even the lowest of ideological bars. The theater exile of porn/meth magnate Steve Bannon back to his propaganda post fools no one. The alcoholic slob is better able to do his real job back on the outside anyway, free from pesky oversight and pernicious leaks.

These people campaigned on being "outsiders" because that is how they function. Every breath they draw, everything they say and do, is designed to be an act of defiance. It makes sense that they would go back to focusing on how beleaguered they think they are (yes, with the Very White House, both houses of congress, and two-thirds of the state legislatures, so very persecuted). When your team is always girding for an epic battle against an implacable foe, it's much easier to distract from the sheer ineptitude that characterizes the team's operations.

But the numbers don't lie, no matter how much one's accounting ledgers resemble cookbooks. All the corporations populating the great dealmaker's bidness councils have scrambled over one another to flee, forcing all of them to be disbanded. Corporate events at the Maga-Lardo are being cancelled as well. People -- most importantly, people with money -- are leaving in droves.

Even Fatboy's best partner-in-crime, corporate-raider asshole Carl Icahn, probably the true eminence grise behind the gold-painted shitter, has joined the rest of the rats overboard, even after pocketing a half-billion clams in just a few months. Pretty good work if you can get it -- which you can't, unless you suck up to this fucking loser.

This has all happened in the last few days, while Emperor Snowflake has been on vacation. There's no other way to put it -- this is enormously fun to watch, the downward spiral of these fuckers. If you know of a  publicly-traded popcorn company, you may want to consider buying stock in it.

It's a mistake, though to ascribe this impending failure to toxic ideology. Clearly the US has no shortage of toxic people who are fine with having a white supremacist (more accurately, a brainless old bigot) in charge. No, this comes down to incompetence, pure and simple, and these people are so goddamned incompetent, their own voters oughta sue 'em for malpractice. And it's important to keep pointing this out. Emperor Snowflake is the epitome of the idiot who shoots himself in the foot repeatedly and sues the gun company.

Incompetence is also, incidentally, an ideal area for the Democrats to focus on in the midterms. The Russian treason being unearthed plank-by-plank by Mueller's team is part of the picture, and a significant one at that. And per Napoleon Bonaparte's sage advice, it's understandable that the Dems don't want to interfere with an enemy intent on destroying himself.

But if there's one lesson they should have learned from last year's debacle, it's the old (but true!) football advice that prevent defenses prevent you from winning. So the Democrats need to market their product better, and get better pitchmen. Who will be the face of the Democratic Party in four, eight, twelve years? What will they stand for, and what will people think they stand for? Narrative, logline, protagonist, sales pitch -- goddammit, storyboard that shit and find a fresh face to push it.

This is not complicated, and it's nothing against Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi or DiFi, but those three names add up to over two hundred years in age, most of it spent pushing stones uphill in DC. A grateful nation appreciates those years of honorable service, but maybe it's time to hand the reins over to someone below retirement age. For Christ's sake, Feinstein appears to be running for re-election next year, when she will turn 85 about five months before the election. It's probably the safest Senate seat in the country; maybe it's time to hand it off to someone who can lead the party forward in a time that, whether or not Snowflake does the right thing and abdicates, is going to get weirder and worse before it gets better.

People have chosen their own realities and their own facts, and some of these bozos will back Snowflake no matter what the Everest of evidence against him looks like. Against all logic, they will presume it's all a conspiracy to a coup, and some of them will act accordingly. Bet on it.

In the meantime, though, the money is leaving, and that's critical -- especially when you consider that despite winning more than five times as many counties as Hillary, there's still a 2:1 disparity in economic output. This will be a much bigger decider than ideology or racism, of the midterms and 2020. Follow the money.

Don't Stop Believing

The carnage continues --  not only is it possible that Emperor Snowflake may be responsible for the breakup of Journey (and hey, how surprising is it not only that he has a "spiritual advisor," but that said "advisor" is willing to admit to that?), but his earthy rubes are "embarrassed" by him.

To which I would say to those rubes:  hey, the rest of us are embarrassed by you numbskulls, and I am truly sorry that I have only two middle fingers to wave in your general direction. As long as he's too stupid and weird to get anything meaningful done, he can stay for all I care, and the more it reminds these idiots that their dying towns are still dying, the better. Choke on it, assholes.

In Other News

Best wishes to Freddie de Boer, and to anyone enduring a similar struggle. It seems like mental illness is on the upswing in this country, or maybe we're just hearing more about it these days.

I seriously think that a lot of it has to do with how the US is run in general:  banana republic levels of wealth and income disparity; consumerism as an unofficial religion; superstition passing for science and knowledge; "reality" being whatever people feel it should be, a vacant, toxic emotionalism taking over for basic empiricism and a shared epistemology. We used to have those things, but as Carlin memorably put it, we traded them for jet skis and flat screens.

Anyone who allows themselves to care with any level of sincerity about those and other social issues sets themselves up for being driven up the wall by this country and many of its inhabitants -- those who are proud of their ignorance and stubbornness and rage, who want nothing more than to tell others to fuck off, just for the joy of doing so. We strive to be conscious and aware in our lives and outlook, all the while knowing that truly total consciousness and awareness would be emotionally crippling.

Good for de Boer for recognizing what he needs, and taking care of himself.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blut und Scheisse

We can't honestly say we weren't warned, nor can we honestly claim to be surprised. This is who he's always been -- not just bigoted, but stubborn and vain past the point of rational self-interest. People are welcome and correct to focus on Clownstick's insistence on both-siding with nazis, the most slam-dunk of all political oppositions to take.

He's sunk so low in approval ratings, and the bar has been lowered so much for him, he literally would have gained credence and political capital just by beating on the white power assholes. And of course he couldn't do it -- every single time he tries to speak spontaneously, he reveals and projects exactly who he's always been. He's incapable of doing otherwise. I will never not be utterly baffled that so many people couldn't see that characteristic. It's not like he ever tried to hide it.

At some point there will be some sort of political reckoning, if for no other reason than that he's making it easier for his congressional compadres to distance themselves from his poisonous agenda and toxic personality. In the meantime, keep on diggin', fucko. By the time this is all over, even Fixed Noise won't have his fat back, and the world will be boycotting his name, and everything it's plastered on.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Promises Made, Promises Kept

I don't know if Charlottesville will turn out to be the Fort Sumter of the current "cold civil war," as all the kids are calling it, but things seem to be heating up, slowly, surely, inexorably. The joke has been that maybe Clownstick ran over an old gypsy woman, and she cursed him to live out all his peanut-gallery tweets at Obama. The truth is that Yeats was a prophet, and we are all living out his warning. Clownstick may be Orangemandias, faded glory that never was in the first place, but the Pepe-the-Frog Jew-baiting douchebags are the falcon to his falconer.

These racist assholes and their racist bullshit are being normalized right in front of us. They are not bothering to conceal it at all, you have to give them that. David Duke is a loathsome tool, but when he's right, he's right:
“This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back,” Duke said. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”
Yes indeedy. They got their panties all up in a wad every time the Black Lives Matter folks blocked traffic, but in the meantime, these small racist rallies have been going on all over the south, and you know what you have not heard of? Some random BLM activist pulling a Mr. Mercedes and running these losers down.

Plz Moar Tardz

Well, it's about that time again, time for the lamestream media's periodic ass-spelunking tour into dipshit country, to reinforce Emperor Snowflake's rapidly dwindling coterie of ball-lickers that somewhere out there, there's a derpelganger jes' lahk thaym:
Out on Colorado’s eastern plains, an agricultural region where voters went overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump, the response to the president’s remarks was one of support, with little fear of repercussions.

“He needs to step all over that little twerp,” said John Stout, 71, who sat with three retired friends over coffee at the Sinclair gas station in Wiggins, Colo., on Thursday. The other men nodded in agreement. “If it had been me up there,” Mr. Stout continued, “I’d have done it a lot quicker.”
Sure you would've, old man. Everyone's a fucking tough guy when they have no skin in the game. Why, I recall the last time I played a Civilization 4 campaign, I finally got bored and decided to finish off the last AI opponent -- Korea -- by nuking....wait for it....Pyongyang. Then I smoked a cigarette. [cough cough hack] So satisfying.
Mr. Stout said he did not fear for his safety, and hoped that [Fuckface Von Clownstick] would take action to “take out” the North Korean leader’s nuclear abilities.

“Hell yes,” he said. “And they can pinpoint it to where they are not killing a lot of innocent people. That will be the big goal there.”
The worst thing this country ever did -- and continues to do, through its estimable coven of city-mouse scriveners -- is ascribe some sort of earthy wisdom to random jabber, simply because it comes from the piehole of a fist-shaking codger in a dumpy shithole town.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


John Holbo over at Crooked Timber asks what is turning out to be the defining question of this wondrous new millennium:
What do I think the really important, consequential issues are for humanity for the next hundred years?  Climate change and environmental destruction generally; the threat of some catastrophic, global war and/or the use, somewhere, of weapons of mass destruction. I guess number three would be: inequality and the threat it poses for the stability of societies and political orders, long-term.
I would agree 100% with all of those. I would also note for the record that the primary cause for these issues is generally the same across the board:  overpopulation. We have reached the carrying capacity of our planet, for the lifestyle we wish to lead. If we don't mind living asshole-to-teakettle in urbanized stack flats, invest massively in desalination, irrigate every hectare of arable land with perfect seasonality and soil management, stop raising beef and pork, and eliminate every non-essential species over 100 pounds, then sure, we could probably stuff another few billion in. Why the fuck not?

To answer Holbo's question about whether to be pessimistic or optimistic about the next hundred years, I am extremely pessimistic about the near future (to 2040 or 2050), and very cautiously optimistic about the longer term (2050-2100). I'll sketch out some ideas further down, but the proverbial elevator pitch is one of my all-time favorites, which any regular reader here has seen many times (but like so many things, bears repeating):
People do not change until they realize that the cost of not changing is greater than the cost of changing.
I'd love to lie to you and say I coined that one myself, but it's been such a long time I honestly don't recall where I first encountered it. I'm pretty sure it was at The Oil Drum, but I couldn't tell you which writer; whether they poached it from some organizational theory seminar is anyone's guess. The main thing is that it's true and it applies so well to so many issues going on right now.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Clear and Present Danger

One thing should be starkly apparent to all, as tensions ramp up with the Hermit Kingdom:  civilized nations cannot sit idly while an erratic, impulsive man-baby with ridiculous hair, who surrounds himself with sycophants, and who believes his own hype and nothing else, has his tiny hands on the nuclear trigger.

Rock the Vote

Looks like Jester's got the answer:

It might get in the way of Supergeeeenyus Snowflake Von Clownstick's tireless efforts to write off the three million more people who legitimately voted for his opponent, but them's the breaks.

Consider:  since the founding of the republic, between stuffing and/or tossing ballot boxes, voter intimidation, literacy tests, poll taxes, crooked or "broken" machines, deliberately shorting busy districts in order to create three-hour lines to frustrate voters, and on and on, this nation has almost certainly never had a one-hundred-percent free and fair election in every part of the country. Some ward heeler or local factotum always has their thumb on the scale in some location(s).

That's a different matter than saying that the will of the people has always been thwarted, but obviously it would be very difficult to forensically go back and re-litigate all those past exercises in civic futility. All of which is to say that it would simply be interesting, to say the least, to get a truly untainted picture of What The People Really Want, to the extent that they actually know.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Poisoning the Well

Once in a great while, it's fun and even illuminating to reread books. Depending on how long it's been, you can get a lot out of it. I first read Stephen King's Needful Things back in the early '90s, half a lifetime ago. It was billed more or less as a horror version of Our Town, and that was essentially how I recalled it, until actually sitting down and rereading it over the last week.

(We here in Northern Cali are in the midst of a protracted heat wave; the number of days below 100 degrees in the daytime is maybe five since Memorial Day, so more than enough time to read. I think I knocked out seven full-length books in July, somewhere around 3,500 pages. It's too fucking hot to do much else.)

As intrigued as I am by King's explanation in the link that Needful Things is in some respects a satire of '80s excess, I came away with more specific impressions this time around. If I were to condense this 700-page doorstop (not an insult; it's a richly rewarding and fun read, but it's a big-ass book) into a logline or elevator pitch for someone who for some reason hasn't gotten around to reading the book, it would go something like this:
The devil comes to a small New England town, and turns the townsfolk against each other.
That's a radical oversimplification, though it gets the broad points across. The devil (pun intended) is in the details, and contextualized against our current real-world backdrop, can be fleshed out more interestingly.

The main theme of the book is cupidity, the sort of slavering covetousness that spurs otherwise rational humans to abandon good sense in order to pursue an object that they connect perhaps too deeply with, for whatever reason. In NT, these objects are at once mundane and yet important on an intimate level -- a mint-condition Sandy Koufax card; Elvis Presley's sunglasses; a splinter of wood from Noah's Ark.

So maybe now the elevator pitch is a bit more expansive. The "devil" understands his target audience, their vacant desires and what they will do to attain them. He hooks them and sets them in motion against each other. Desire and surrender and our willingness to see what we want to see are central to the trickster demon's nefarious plans. And when the objects of desire turn out to be junk -- the ratty card of an unknown player; a busted pair of cheap sunglasses; a rotted hunk of lumber infested with bugs -- the marks (at least the ones that manage to eventually see the objects for what they actually are) are appalled at themselves, at what they did for an empty promise.

Any sort of deceptive person -- a used-car salesman, a cheating relationship, a grifter or con-man, a politician -- cannot do what they do effectively without the complicity of the mark. The old saw about a grifter being someone who gets you to empty your pockets, but a con-man being someone who gets you to empty you pockets and then go home or to the bank and get the rest of your money to hand over, holds true here.

A good liar understands the value of pride and the need for respect that we all have, the intrinsic need to not be thought a dummy or a rube. Pride becomes the hook for the con-man to reel in his fish -- the fish cannot admit that he was dumb enough to fall for a shiny rubber lure, even as the barb hangs out his cheek and he is being reeled toward the boat.

Leland Gaunt's goal in Needful Things is ostensibly to collect souls, but it is really just to make mischief, the sheer joy in turning neighbor violently against neighbor. The discord is the reward, you might say. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

In a consumerist society, we are used to our thoughts and desires being monetized. It is so routine at this point it barely merits notice. But what if those thoughts and desires are escalated, taken to the next logical level? Someone who figured out how to weaponize those things would wield unspeakable power. That is how cults are built, and whether that cult leader is Alex Jones or Kim Jong Un or Fuckface Von Clownstick is irrelevant -- the principles are the same, and they work on the same type of people.

Perhaps worst of all is that when it comes to deprogramming brainwashed cult victims, the consequences can be almost as bad as leaving them in the cult. It's not they're going to thank you and jump across to "your side." By definition they are in need of something, usually something that jibes with their preferences thus far -- so when that something gets removed, there's a good chance they'll find something worse.

The symptom gets treated, but the disease -- ignorance in the broader sense, but specifically things such as living in a bubble with their own facts, racism or racist assumptions, a daily addiction to outrage du jour stories (again, without bothering to check whether there's any factual basis to them or not) -- persists and mutates.

Obviously, the root causes go back generations, but the more recent origins do stem from persistent systemic inequality, that most Americans did not get to share in the "recovery" anywhere near to the extent that their betters (who, after all, caused the collapse in the first place) enjoyed. Until that gets adequately addressed, we are simply heading deeper into an extended cycle of viciousness, regardless of whether the con-man gets impeached and removed.