Friday, December 27, 2019

Notes and Errata

Hadn't planned to post anything before the new year, but there were a few interesting things to clear off my Firefox tabs:

Just Above Sunset has an interesting rundown of a possible impending schism among evilangelicals. All I can add is that I hope he's right, and that we should all be rooting for injuries. I don't want to hear any wishy-washy bullshit about "crises of faith" or any of that nonsense -- either they're on board with this fucking monster, or they understand that he's simply using their faith for his own ends. Like, you know, Saaayyyyy-tn (ay-tn ay-tn ay-tn)?

They can lie to themselves and each other all they want, the rest of us aren't having any of it. The choice before them is simple and clear:  follow Jesus or follow Trump. There is no way to do both, and they know it, no matter how much they try to deny it. Grind their hateful bullshit out of politics for good, and then make the shitbag megachurch grifters pay their fucking taxes. Hell, make them pay back taxes. If they own a Gulfstream, they can throw a few shekels to the least among us, like that one guy said a long time ago.

I really don't think a word exists in the English language to describe just how very much I despise the televangelist scum, and I'm not terribly fond of the willing dupes who listen to them either. They're not beneath contempt, they are worth every dram of pure contempt you can spare. The next time they start living the teachings of Jesus will be the first time.


When I first heard about the now-notorious Olivia Nuzzi profile of Judy Ghouliani in New York magazine, the initial reaction was a predictable, Christ, when will these morons stop giving this traitor a national soapbox? But Nuzzi is a sharp writer, and her details on this doddering boozehound are devastating. As always, if there's any good to be found in this endless hogshit-lagoon of corruption, it's that competent, ethical people long ago saw Trump for what he was, and so all but the most craven and opportunistic of slimeballs have declined to be his bagmen.

And it's not a joke or an exaggeration:  Rudolph William Giuliani is as close to the conventional definition of a traitor as you are likely to find outside #MoscowMitch or #LeningradLindsey. Giuliani is a disgusting, utterly amoral dirtbag who is openly undermining this country's national security interests, to line his own pockets and to distribute propaganda. Journalists need to start treating him accordingly, instead of just inviting him on to take a huge dump on their studio carpet, and then spend the next several episodes smearing it into the carpet while trying to clean it up.


Finally, here's another interesting New York profile, this one a photo essay on the growing number of white nationalist crews popping up all over the country. It's an interesting read, although it tends to be underpinned with the false assumptions about "blue states" or states outside the south and Jesusland. I don't know why journos tend (or pretend) to cling to that mythology; pretty much everyone in the country knows already that exurban America, no matter what state, is culturally very different than in the cities.

This is driven very heavily by the reversals of fortune that those areas have suffered since, well, Saint Reagan deregulated everything. Financial crooks, freed from the constraints of borders and accountability, financialized every little thing, sold junk bonds over it, outsourced the manufacturing to some child-labor craphole, and turned around and sold the goods to a generation of unemployed dopes who blamed Meskins for their lives of futility.

It's not difficult to piece together if you just follow the bouncing ball, but for some folks it's easier apparently to commiserate with fellow dropouts, and maybe run a fake Touched by a Predator sting if you're really bored. I'll be damned if I know what you do with these people; their job prospects are limited, what with their bad attitudes, ninth-grade educations, prison records, and um, swastika tattoos. But while there is a component of "economic anxiety" that plays a causal role in all this, the bottom line is that these are just not good people.

I would support a gubmint "gang rehab" type program to help them complete or extend their education, get them competitive in the job market, remove the gang tattoos, and whatever else they might need to get straight. But I bet fewer than half would do it. I don't worry too much about these guys as far as large-scale mayhem; the numbers really don't seem to be there. But that doesn't mean we should ignore them either. It doesn't take that many to become a real problem. They're not ankle-biters, they're smart, organized, and genuinely dangerous.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Treason's Greetings

Even if you're a filthy atheist like me, it's easy to recognize some of the ideals Christmas stands for, or at least should represent:  charity; humility; compassion; the momentary contemplation of the idea that even the lowliest of people may turn out to be something special after all; that humans, individually and collectively, harbor within themselves an ineffable goodness, even if they have to be reminded of it once in a while.

An illegal immigrant couple, with a pregnant wife who has a really hinky story about how she got that way, sneak into an empire run by a mad king, and have their anchor baby. It's a story that should have extra resonance these days, at least to a population that wasn't already hopelessly desensitized by daily depredations, and Amazon commercials every thirty seconds exhorting them for the love of Christ almighty to fucking buy something and now.

Obviously, when someone bestows a gift on someone else, the gesture and the gift say something about the giver as well as the recipient, and about the nature of the relationship between them. So, for example, when the emperor decrees -- around Christmastime, no less -- that food assistance to the growing numbers of needy and desperate people shall be cut, it sends a message.

Ordinarily you could just say that that message is something along the usual grotesque lines of we don't give a shit, but when you factor in that some of these recipients are children, and many of the recipients live in states where they still loves them some Orange Foolius, that message gets a bit more complicated. Now it becomes something more like at least there might be some libturd out there taking it in the shorts worse than you.

But at least they can say Merry Christmas again without some jackbooted thug dragging them into the street and mercilessly truncheoning them within an inch of their sorry lives. I mean, that's what had been happening before Fat Orange Jesus came along, right? Pretty sure it was in all the papers.

To draw a scene in rather broad strokes, it seems that what passes for 'murkin dumbocracy these days boils down to four basic equations:
  1. One citizen = one vote.
  2. One dollar = one vote.
  3. One acre = one vote.
  4. One vote = waste of time.
Everyone falls into at least one group, though there is some overlap between the second and third groups. This is how greedy pelf-snuffling scumbags keep winning, by making sure that somewhere around half of the citizenry stays disgusted and demoralized enough to hang in the fourth group, and then by pitting the second and third groups against the first (most idealistic) group. It's Jay Gould's wicked dream of a hundred years ago writ large -- as long as the rabble are divided against each other, they can't unite sufficiently against the owners.

Filter that through a corporate media that keeps eating itself alive, in a futile attempt to recapture lost revenue, and a population that increasingly prefers to retreat into their epistemic bubbles, and it's become quite simple to maintain control.

I hadn't read King Leopold's Ghost in years, and on the re-read it has additional thematic impact for our current dynamic. The details of the Belgian genocide in the Congo are horrific, but what really hits home is the complicity with which everyone operated, heedlessly, always maintaining what good Christians they were. Locals were bribed or coerced into cooperating as well, committing atrocities on their neighbors in the next village, at the behest of greedy Europeans who paid them in brass rods and trinkets. Most of the journalists of the day preferred to merely chronicle the "achievements" of Leopold and his colonists, rather than discuss the brutalities that underwrote those accomplishments. Same as it ever was, as it's always been.

This may seem to be at odds with our earlier Christmas observation about (most) people being "good," but maybe it's just that "evil" is its own force multiplier. That is, it only takes a relative handful of genuinely rotten souls, with the assistance of their bribed enablers and minions, to subvert a much larger proportion of ordinary decent people. Fear and inertia and passivity do the rest of the heavy lifting.

The "good" news here is that, in this paradise of end-stage capitalism, even seemingly hardcore ideologues and religious fanatics are almost to a person really only and always about the money. Stripped of their true god, they have nothing. All the rest of us lack is the collective will to financially shun them.

As I mention from time to time, all we need to do is consider two seminal names from the lore of non-violent protest:  Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi. The way their stories are conveyed and perpetuated obscure their true impacts, which reveals a great deal about who tells those stories.

For example, when most Americans hear Rosa Parks' name, they might get as far as "that lady who refused to go to the back of the bus." But that's not why you know her name. After Parks was arrested, the boycott of the Montgomery bus system by the black-majority rider base forced the system to change its policies.

Same with Gandhi; his crowning achievement, the one that really got the ball rolling against the British colonialists, was the simple act of leading masses of Indians to the sea, where he showed them how to make their own salt, thus depriving the British of a key source of colonial revenue.

The powers that be want you to believe that the only way you can get anything to change is by taking to the streets. The reality of this is that only two outcomes are possible:
  1. You get the shit beaten out of you, whether by counter-protestors or cops.
  2. You come out of it unscathed.
Either way, nothing changes. They can wait you out. Eventually you have to go back to work, pay your bills, live your life, get out of the weather. Standing around in a public place with a sign is just that and nothing more. I'm sorry, but that's really the way it is. Unless it motivates a sufficient number of people to take a specific, collective, concentrated set of actions -- something you can do with a social media account -- it won't matter, it'll be forgotten twelve hours after it's done.

We've become conditioned to anticipate the actions of others, whether we agree or disagree with them, and then to apply those assumptions to our own actions. Look at all the hand-wringing among Democratic voters over which candidate they "should" support. Many of them are frustrated because they feel obligated to support Diamond Joe Biden, because as awful as he is, he's been anointed as the most "electable."

[strokes chin thoughtfully] Hmmm, I wonder if the entities who own the media outlets who make these assessments and prognostications might have any vested interest in supporting candidates whose policies are most closely aligned to theirs?

Let me tell you something about "electability":  the person who makes the most people want to vote for them is the one that is the most electable. Crazy, right? Especially in a primary season, the minute you start trying to guess who other people will or should vote for is the minute you start playing a game you just can't win.

I think we'd all be surprised at what might happen if people simply decided who they want to vote for -- not the person they think "can beat" Trump, not the person they think this or that demographic voting bloc will vote for, but the person whose policies and statements most closely connect with what you believe.

I don't care who "black" people will vote for; in fact, I think the assumption that they (or anyone) are a predictive monolithic voting bloc is borderline insulting. And I really don't give a shit who people think the Real 'murka midwest cracker bloc will go for.

Here's a clue: if they voted for it last time, they'll do it again, no matter what it does or says, no matter what sort of class traitor tries to run neck-and-wattle against it. Those folks are getting what they want, and they want more of it. No matter how badly they get trampled by its policies, the rubes now have added incentive to simply not admit to themselves just how badly they fucked up. All I can add to that is that I sincerely wish I could let each and every one of them know that, aside from the headache I get when I hear their jabbering retard emperor open his burger-hole, I'm doing fine. I'm not losing the farm my grandfather built from nothing because of some idiotic trade war.

All those second-guessing games are designed to divide the opposition and muddle their thinking, pit them against each other with clever little diversions designed by soulless cubicle-rats pawning their services to moneyed weasels. Don't overthink it.

So to the extent one can bestow gifts and hopes and wishes upon distant strangers, here they are:
  • To the grifters and traitors and abusers actively running and abetting this human centipede of an administration, I sincerely wish them all the very worst things this life has to offer. Use your imagination. They assist with the daily monstrosities and incompetencies, knowing full well the collective effects on actual humans, and they still do not care. Their indifference is vile and inhuman, and they know it. Their worst nightmare is full accountability. I pray it finds them.
  • To the fools at large who still support this shitshow, people with nary a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of, taking it straight in the ass for the benefit of the aristocracy, I wish for them the gift of reflection and insight, and everything that entails. The politicians they support use them and despise them. They're being hurt much more than the elite libturds they've been trained to hate. They can either stop for a moment and really think about the big picture, or they can continue down the road they're on, and find out the hard way when they're flushed like a handful of used toilet paper.
  • To the corporate media, the gift of honesty, though most of them would have no fucking clue what to do with it. So maybe a sense of shame would be a more useful gift.
  • To the people who see these things for what they really are, and are rightly despairing because the times have also revealed a disturbingly large percentage of people as willing dupes at best, I wish for them to have peace of mind and patience. Remember that two-thirds of Americans fucking despise Trump and everything he stands for; remember that if the Republicans weren't worried, they wouldn't be retiring in droves and trying to cheat; remember that the kids, whatever their faults, recognize greedy boomers and shady evilangelists for the hypocritical cowards they really are, and will remember their perfidy as the oceans reclaim what's theirs.
  • To the non-voters out there, I offer the hope that they reflect for a moment as well, and make a decision that, as much of an exercise in futility as it may seem, it is actually not all that much to ask to take a few minutes to register, and then to actually cast that vote when it's time. I know they make it tough in some places -- but that's why they make it tough, to discourage you from exercising your rights. So just sack up and do it, every time. You might be surprised by what happens. Stop worrying about what other people might or might not do, and just make sure to do it yourself.
  • And to the people who are doing it right across the board, voting with ballots and wallets at every opportunity, just keep at it. Keep doing the right thing, simply because it is exactly that. Live your life, while still paying attention, but not getting sucked in too much by the swirling chaos. They win by buying off or demoralizing people's innate sense of justice, that's how The Party gets you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. Once you make the decision for yourself that those things are your own, really all you ever will have in this world that's permanently yours, the rest falls into place. Keep this in mind at all times:  fuck those people. Whatever else, they can't take that away from you.
All of that could probably be summed up as simply hoping that everyone gets what they deserve. Whatever your holiday is, celebrate and enjoy. See you in 2020.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Pope of Staten Island

You want to take down a cult leader, make him (and all churches) pay taxes. You want to take down Cult 45, it's even simpler -- point and laugh at him. Every time.

This is not complicated. It's as plain as the as the tang-coated, adderall-stuffed nose on his fat fucking face. You don't need another interminable psych composite to recognize a narcissistic sociopath when you hear and see one, especially when you can scarcely avoid them for years on end.

The defining characteristic of this honking, soulless turd is his vainglory, and its complete lack of being tethered to reality. It would be one thing if he had some or any skill or core competence. It should be clear to all but the cult that he does not, unless you count incessant lying and losing other people's money.

Where he gets traction is that he recognizes that we are in a time and a society that has little use for facts or empirical data. This allows people with no conscience or character to simply manufacture self-serving lies, or repeat a familiar litany of them that the fan club can sing along to. The sociopath also knows that his honorable opponent will waste time and energy trying to refute the lies, while the sociopath just shrugs and moves on to the next one.

What do I keep saying about knowing your audience? A corollary to that would be if you want to poach market share from a competitor, you should not only know your audience, but your competitor's audience as well.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Shame Spiral

The collapse of empire continues unabated:  Li'l Nero's six-page manifesto, apparently copy-pasted directly from his Twitter feed. Hilarious. Exactly what this country deserves, a place where (among countless other daily signs of sheer wretchedness) kindergartners hold bake sales so their classmates can eat lunch. But hey, at least we can say Merry Christmas again, amirite? We all recall the dark years when people were dragged by the hair into the middle of the street and beaten severely for such things. It was on the internets, so it must be true.

Wait until the actual impeachment vote comes down tomorrow, or someone explains to him that during the impeachment process, the pardon power is suspended. Buckle in for the Christmas rage-tweet-palooza. A bottle of Jameson's would be good to have on hand.

Never let them forget, the politicians and the voters who continue to give their support to this thing:  this is what you support, this doddering, raving, preposterous old man who never earned an honest dollar nor gave a straight answer. Hang it around their necks for all time.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Living on a Thin Line

The main common thread between the UK elections a few days ago, and the US election next year, is simply that both countries -- like all countries -- have sizable groups of people who are either too stubborn or ignorant to listen to common sense, and they don't get it until life and the universe break one off in their asses.

Jacob Bacharach has an interesting analysis of the situation, one that for the most part jibes with my understanding of the dynamic in play. The greatest danger is not that the UK vote translates over completely as a direct repudiation of "leftism" in the US, but that the leaders of the Democratic Party, diffident even when they win, will respond as if it does, and therefore will that interpretation into existence, with the ever-present helper monkeys of the corporate media, of course. No vested interest for them in all this.

There are plenty of great pull quotes, but this stands out:
In this, Labour’s defeat is not just a warning about the dangers of failing to take a stand on a critical national political crisis in an election year, but about the dangers of electoralism itself, about building a movement around casting a vote every few years.
Exactly so. The reason they keep winning and beating us over the head with it is because they are at it day after bloody day. The fight is all they have, and so they have it with a consistency and constancy that can only come from a well-oiled, well-funded machine that knows its audience well and gives it to them by the metric ton. There are no true liberal counterparts to Fox News, the Federalist Society, the multitude of think-tank magazines, or even the NRA, that rail with the vigor and sprawl that all those entities (and more) do.

It's not just that one side "fights dirty" while the other "plays by the rules," so much as one side has a much better sense of mission and direction and focus, and they are prepared to hit it consistently, day after day. It all harks back to the old direct-mail marketing days, and as cheesy and obnoxious as those things were, they were effective. Take those marketing principles and apply them to the internets, and a society that no longer even pretends to care if the marketing claims have any substance at all, and the effectiveness has now been ratcheted up by several orders of magnitude.

Democrats will reflexively say that their diversity is their strength, which is all well and good. But from a marketing standpoint, from the position of someone trying to create a value proposition for their product, it can end up with a message that is crafted simply not to offend anyone. The first rule they tell you, whether you've invented a great new manufactured widget or written a novel, when you have something to sell, you have to ask yourself who is your audience.

Apply that logic to the Democratic platform at large, and to the leading candidates in particular, and then square that with the messages -- the marketing strategies -- each of those entities are using. Now apply it to their counterparts on the other side, whether Trump himself or McConnell or Graham or some back-bench galoot like Louie Gohmert. They're all vile and in many cases completely stupid, but they succeed because they are consistent. They know their audience, and their audience knows them.

I keep saying that every day is a vote, whether you know it or not, whether you agree with it or not. Your ballot may only show up every couple years or so, but your wallet is a daily endorsement of something, whatever it is. And as wealth and social classes, and the parties that putatively represent them, have shifted, so do the marketing strategies.

Brexit would absolutely be catastrophic for most of the British, in a multitude of ways. But they voted for it, and they should get it, good and hard. It's telling that they know how badly they fucked up, the way they keep trying to avoid actually implementing this thing they voted for over three years ago. Maybe it's time they found out and got it out of their system.

And now their health care is going to get privatized, so there's another thing we'll all have in common, a miserable racket that siphons money and sanity out of working people in order to stack it at the feet of a handful of chiselers who already have more than they can ever spend.

I don't think any of the current Democratic candidates have the high negatives that Jeremy Corbyn had -- yet. Don't you worry, whoever gets the nomination will be subject to more deep fakes and outright slander than you can imagine. You thought Hillary had baggage? Wait till they start putting out doctored videos of Biden sundowning, or Warren's voice going super-shrill, or Mayor Pete saying the n-word.

It seems like many liberals and Democrats still wish to cling to the happy fiction that Russia colluded with the evil puppet-masters at Fakebook to bamboozle good hard-workin' Americans to vote against their own rational self-interest. They certainly did engage in such collusion, but that carries with it the implication that if all those bullshit micro-targeted ads hadn't run, these good foke woulda voted the correct way.

I am but a humble messenger, but this is my message -- any candidate who sincerely believes that and strategizes accordingly is doomed. The truth is that, as the prophet John Cougar Mellencamp once sagely pointed out, some people ain't no damned good, and they vote in that fine spirit. They weren't fooled by those fake ads, they were motivated by them.

This is the culmination of the global financial pandemic that I have been talking about in here over the past fifteen years -- wealth hoarding and inequality by a handful of transnational merchant princes. All they care about is hoarding more and more and more, and they will do and say anything to chisel one more goddamned penny. It has only gotten worse, and capital mobility has increased, and so the ever-burgeoning numbers of peons in every country have swelled, even as they have been mercilessly squeezed under the rigors of the data-tracking surveillance state.

Sound like paranoid tinfoil hattery? Okay, all you have to do is look back at all the major transgressions committed by the world central banks -- money laundering for drug cartels and human traffickers, ripping off customers and selling their identities, playing with interest rates to screw over the masses and benefit the wealthy few, with zero accountability -- to see the pattern. There is never any real accountability to be had, maybe an occasional scapegoat to be hauled off to a country-club joint for a short stretch. But the main culprits are still there directing traffic, renting politicians, etc.

Meanwhile there are ever more refugees seeking asylum from war and climate change, and the squeezed peons in the industrialized nations don't want to share the dwindling crumbs. This is why right-wing nationalism is on the rise in so many prosperous nations, as well as rising powers like India, where nearly one in every five humans live now.

People who are trying to gird themselves for 2020 should get a better prescription for their glasses. This is never going to end, not in my lifetime nor yours. The only variable that we can collectively affect is how much worse it will get. You get rid of Trump and take back the Senate and keep the House, you might have a chance to start turning things back toward sanity.

But those are tall odds, and even then you need the right people in those roles who are going to stand up and fight, not pusillanimous fake-idealists who would fight, but you see we have to consider the next election. If you stood them all together in a row, they would mostly stand around and hem and haw, waiting for someone else to take a lead that they could safely follow. The few who are willing to take a risk and speak up, like Elizabeth Warren, are promptly heckled by the ankle-biting corporate media as too strident and shrill.

How will we pay for a write-down of student-loan debt, or stopping climate change? I dunno, how the fuck are we paying for Space Force? You want to take planning tips from the usurers profiteering from student-loan companies, or from the extraction industries who make their nut befouling the planet, go right ahead and see how that works out for you.

As I've mentioned a couple times over the past year, barring some unforeseen change, I will probably be shutting down this blog at the end of next year. I am working on several personal and professional projects that are going to be taking more time in the coming months, and ordinarily I would probably just shut it down at the end of this year.

But there's this weird sense of completion and symmetry that I feel when I decide to run it through 2020. It frequently feels like I've been beating a dead horse for some time; the rotten troll that has infested American public life has sucked all the oxygen not just out of here, but out of popular culture at large. It's sad and pathetic, and underscores what kind of nation we've let ourselves sink to.

Occasionally, however, there seems to be a bit of breath in the old equine after all, and this is still a good outlet for me to test out ideas, see how they look written and fleshed out. And it promises to be an interesting -- probably too interesting, you know -- so there will be plenty to rant about. But in the meantime, it's probably not a terrible idea to take a look at real estate in Ireland and Scotland.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Handmaid's Trail

You know, maybe if we'd had abortion on demand sixty or seventy years ago or more, we might have avoided having to watch all these ludicrous slapdicks insist on mandating procedures that medically do not exist.
Becker told the newspaper he never researched whether re-implanting an ectopic pregnancy into a woman's uterus was a viable medical procedure before including it in the bill. Sheets declined comment.

"I heard about it over the years," Becker said. “I never questioned it or gave it a lot of thought.”
Well, at least he's honest about his deliberate stupidity. Durrr, I never gave it a lot of thought, I just wrote a fucking law that would force women to have this procedure done, or face a murder charge. Fuckin' jabroni.

Go home and get your fucking shine box, Cooter, manage your burger stand or whatever the fuck you did before leaving the manure pit behind for the bright lights of Columbus, Ohio. Let the adults have a crack at this gubmintin' thing for once. And get your shit together, Ohio. You should be embarrassed.

Stairway to Bevin

The Republicon party is nothing but a huge bag of shit at this point, and few individual logs demonstrate that more clearly than ousted Kintucky gubner Matt Bevin. First Bevin refused to concede the election, then claimed that he lost because Phil Breshear got too many of them urban types to show up and vote. Then he connived with his buddies in the state legislature to stonewall Breshear at every future opportunity. (Note: this is going on in pretty much every state where the governor is a Democrat, but the state lege is Republicon.)

Now, as a final "fuck you" to common decency, Bevin has pardoned some real scumbags:  one raped a nine-year-old girl; one beheaded a co-worker he was having an affair with after she ended the relationship; and the third kicked down his victim's front door and gunned him down in front of his family. That last one got out after his family threw Bevin a $25K fundraiser. Wouldn't at all be surprising if there's a money trail with the others as well.

That's who the fucking Republicons are, period. The party needs to be ended and ground into the manure whence it sprang.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Boy, it sure is strange how quickly it all disappeared -- the odd demise of a fake-billionaire pervert who had cultivated a stable of wealthy and powerful friends/blackmail targets. Weird how the money all seems to interconnect. Peculiar how many high-end Rooskies bought into Fakebook early on, and how key players like Larry Summers are in the loop.

Not that the country was ever really yours, you know, but these fuckers are shamelessly stealing what's left right out in the open, defying you to do anything about it. Dirtbags like Zuckerberg and Summers are in it for the money, the Russians are in it to foment chaos. Between the US and UK, so far Putin is two for two. The thing about disruption is that it's not about "winning" so much as disrupting.

For Bill Barr, an Opus Dei creep with a pervert dad, it's more personal -- he's a true believer who thinks that cleansing the evil world of its perfidious sins involves placing it squarely under the jackboot of a good christian like Donald Fucking Trump.

I use Fakebook these days strictly to keep in touch with family and friends around the country, but it's time to just go through the list, weed out the ones I don't really talk to anymore anyway, and put the rest on my phone contacts list.

Remember that with Fakebook, no matter what they try to tell you, you are not the customer, you're the product. They're Russian malware, operated by a creepy incel shitbag who goes around squid-inking credulous mediots with free-speech claims. It's time to boycott the app, and leave it to the old fuckers who are determined to screw over their children and grandchildren by any means necessary.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Space, Forced

Here's another interesting thread, a bit longer than the last, which I encourage you to check out, as it comes from someone with -- get this -- actual non-partisan expertise in an important technical field.

I am fairly agnostic on the idea of the "Space Force," as it turns out. The idea, as such, is at the very least reasonable, and based on some very long-standing premises, which predate space exploration and even this country:
  • Whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not, at some point in the future, the arena in question will be explored more thoroughly, weaponized, and militarized.
  • The policy of this country -- indeed, of any country with any standing for any significant period of time -- is to at least endeavor to stay as far ahead technologically as one's closest rivals.
So with these principles in mind -- it's going to happen, might as well get out in front of it -- the problem here is not the formation of this new branch of the military. Nor is it that there is no granular detail available as to what it will encompass; after all, there is no reason to show Xi Jinping your hand at any moment before absolutely necessary.

The problem is that it is clear that even the broadest of strokes have not yet been determined or even discussed. Certainly they have not been conveyed, or so much as hinted at. And yet we're already throwing tens or hundreds of billions of dollars at something that appears so far just to be a bunch of cheap swag festooned with some cheesy logo from an Ed Wood movie.

It is not at all a partisan or political assertion to simply point out that right here, right now, there are many other areas in more urgent need of that funding. Sending that ludicrous dunce out to Cooter's Holler every couple weeks to interject "Space Force!" over and over again, between hoots over her emails and such like, add nothing to the mix.

I alternate between wondering what the hell is wrong with the people whose enthusiastic buy-in is predicated on such a sad sales pitch, and wanting to get them on my mailing list so I can fleece them out of their Social Security checks.

It could actually be a good idea, given the right conception, development, and execution. Given the track record of these thieves and their gutless minions, though, it is entirely reasonable to assume that it's all just a boondoggle funneling tax dollars into whatever shady shell corp Fat Daddy and his failchildren have bought the most stock in.

Failure of Imagination

As I cobble together a more extended post for the weekend (or, if you prefer, for the weakened), here's the first of a few Twitter threads that caught my eye (and, per Steven Wright, dragged it for twenty yards).

For those of you who choose not to click on the link, it's basically chronicling the assertion of Commander Combover that daughter-wife Princess Snowflake has, perhaps through her incredible magickal prowess at something-something, "created" more than twice as many jobs as have actually been "created" over the past three years.

While most will simply gawp at the seeming audacity of this ridonkulous "14 million" number, I look at it as a stark shortfall from Genius Q. Dealmaker's usual honking bluster. A real master promoter, you see, would have uncorked some fantabulous billionty-kajillionty type of number. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say, and in no instance is this principle more true than when neither word ("penny" and "pound") really means a goddamned thing.

These sorts of numbers serve a bizarre purpose anyway. In the past, they would have served as a sort of totem for Inner Party wonks to populate their talking points with, even as they set their thumbs on the numbers judiciously and worked their voodoo to determine what the real numbers were, so that the NYSE/NASDAQ whales would know where to set the limit prices and call their brokers.

Now the numbers are strictly meant as base prole agitprop, as well as a daily distraction/finger to the professional scriveners who, as they sputter and fume once again at the millionth iteration of open, shameless mendacity, must at least be reconsidering their choice of occupation.