A Brief History of the World, Winston Smith edition

First, according to astrophysicists, there was nothing. Nada. Zilch. Tabula rasa. Then that nothingness somehow exploded. Can you say big bang? Congratulations! To, uh, whatever produced the big bang, as it gave birth to what is referred to as the universe. According to scientific investigation, that was approximately 13.8 billion years ago. Then, around 13 billion years ago, the first stars begin to burn, their glow taking its sweet time to reach…well “us”; but let’s not get too far ahead here since “us” at this point in the life of the universe is still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off.

Moving on, about 4.6 billion years ago our solar system begins to come together and with it the birth our life-sustaining sun. Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and thus one of the charter members of our universe, which early on had no stars or planets. Stars were forged from atoms of hydrogen and helium, while new chemical elements were created inside the dying stars (birth and death, it’s inescapable, eh?). Planets and moons formed from blobs of ice and dust using these new chemicals and elements, and the first living cell evolved in the rich chemical environments of rocky planets.

Then, 3.8 billion years ago, comes the earliest forms of life on our very special planet we call Earth. These were mostly single cell life forms. Not too sophisticated but, hey, back then they were the entire show. And that “show” was a long-running production, with virtually zero competition for attention for the next 3.2 billion years. Okay, so let’s do the math: 3.2 billion from 3.8 billion=600 million , as in years ago, larger life forms appear. Those bigger living things had the stage for a mere 593 million (or so) years, when ‘only” 7 million years back our human lineage splits from that of the Chimpanzee. That “break-away” from the chimp world, over the next 5 million years, produced the–ta da!–homo erectus. This new “standing man” then becomes the species known as Homo sapiens, a classification that is marked at about at 200,000 years ago. Hey, from Big Bang to standing man. In a mere 4 billion, 599 million, 999.8 thousand years.

Or, in just three paragraphs on this blog entry.

A brief history, okay?

Standing man hasn’t always had it easy, though. Life was rough and tumble. Maslow’s pyramid of ascending needs would have to have several sub-basements to signify the ordeal of simply staying alive back in that day. Today’s homeless population live elite lifestyles compared to Homo neanderthalensis. Basic food and shelter? Life was always a bitch, no doubt. And then , as already noted, they would die. But enough of standing man got off his/her feet to copulate and Homo sapiens endured, right through the last ICE AGE, some 10,000 years ago. After that frosty kick in the loin cloth-covered asses of our species by the forces of nature, it was but 5,000 years ago that cities began to appear on the planet. 3,000 years later, standing man had developed its survival instincts and desire to be the masters of their–and other’s–domains, with the Han and Roman empires. Little by little, by about 500 years ago, exploration and discovery by our species started to link the world together. For better or worse. Mostly worse, in my estimation.

Formal knowledge, the refinement of arts and sciences, elevated our human place on planet earth. In the past 150 years industrialization has given us railroads, jet airplanes, radio and television and space travel. Just 50 years ago we landed on the moon, an event that for a brief moment in time, was at once inspirational and mesmerizing in its realization, and as such, transcended race, ethnicity, or nationality in a most powerful and positive sense of shared pride in our humanity. And it was quite a momentary antidote to a world in which over the previous 200 or so years having been marred by revolutionary wars here and abroad, the U.S.civil war, World Wars I & II, (the latter of which produced an another awesome, if not a Kumbaya, event called the creation–and deployment–of the atomic bomb), the Korean and Vietnam wars, and at this point in time bloodshed far and wide. More empires. Less humanism.

Now, here we are early in the first month of year 2019. Unless you are one of the Homo sapiens that has succumbed to a de-evolutionary modus operandi, and cannot think on your own, unable to truly engage your brain, not able to determine basic right from wrong, nor distinguish a stone cold fact from an inference to a bald face lie, you might have heard about, and perhaps become concerned for our planet, all 4.6 billion years old as it is. What am I getting at? Well, while the Big Bang theory says we came from nothing, (go figure) ever since, and as been alluded to earlier, all forms of life on this planet come and go. You know, born to die. In comparison to mother earth, we are all around for a nano second of a wee smaller nanosecond of a fraction of a fraction of a blink of an eye. Hope to live to be 110? No different. By the time you were born to your demise, you (all of us, okay?) relatively speaking were barely here at all! But reproduction keeps humankind around, whether one is using that brain very well or not. Among the scientists whom are most involved with the life span of our planet–which, mind you, is inevitably as with all else, going to die–they assert we have reached an “existential crisis”. It’s called climate change. And the virtual consensus of climate scientists is that our planet is sick. Very sick. Human activity is hastening our planet’s demise–and standing man and woman will eventually pass away when the sphere beneath our feet no longer can support itself, or us.

What are we humans doing about this crisis? Apparently not much. Certainly not nearly enough. In the decade that ran from 1979-1989 we had an excellent opportunity to solve this climate crisis. The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions–far closer than we have ever come since. During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favorable. The obstacles we blame for that inaction are still emerging. But now, as back then, the only thing standing in the way of saving the planet is…ourselves.

And by ourselves, I include a particular person who is an avowed science-denier when it comes to looming climate collapse: this person is deeply, profoundly flawed. Okay, nobody is perfect but…this person is a sociopath. This person is a racist. Indeed, he is a white supremacist. He is a misogynist. A homophobe. A xenophobe. A failed businessman. A con man. As bad as all that is, the worst part is he has been allowed to be the President of our country. Oh, and one who evidently colluded with Mother Russia and its evil strongman, V. Putin, during his campaign. This man is not helping with much except to create chaos and consternation amongst critical thinkers. Sadly, this person has followers. I call them “pod people” (after the people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers whose beings are overtaken by insidious pods being slipped near them as they slumbered, to awake and become zombie like automatons in the grip of alien forces). Today’s Pod People have brains, but they are a waste of gray matter. Podsters don’t seem to care about anything but what their “leader” thinks and does. But more than any creepy flaw he has clearly displayed, it’s that science-denying one that is the most dangerous here, in 2019.

Sadly, in my informed, personal opinion, it may be 2019, but I’m beginning to feel as though it is really 1984. As in the dystopian world penned by George Orwell in 1949, shortly after the carnage of World War II. In it, Orwell created Big Brother. A glossary of terms from that seminal novel would include, doublethink, hate week, newspeak, speakwrite, thought police, and thoughtcrime. Doesn’t sound like a Disney narrative, eh?Now, I am not saying we are actually immersed in Orwell’s nightmare vision of the future, as he saw it back in 1949, but there are indications that, since our current occupant of the White House took residence there in January of 2017, it certainly sounds and seems as though we are getting closer to an Orwellian nightmare than safely secured from any such approximation of it.

For example, a few nights ago, the corporate, mainstream media once again demonstrated its collusion in this country’s ever-increasing descent into creepy, dark political cynicism. How so? By granting a prominent platform for the dissemination of blatant propaganda and fear mongering by the above alluded to White House denizen.

The various major media outlets, both broadcast and cable, were asked to permit this person, who has been clearly and credibly identified as a bona-fide, dissembling demagogue to speak to we the people. The heads of these news outlets could not possibly have acted any more irresponsibly by agreeing to provide prime-time coverage for this person and his intended reason for seeking their assistance. After all, he was not addressing the vital–and ever more desperate–need for climate action. Of course not. He, at best, willfully denies the reality of climate change, or actually is unable to process the credible evidence that has been around for-as noted–several decades by now. He wasn’t talking about making healthcare more affordable for all of we the people, nor was he addressing the need for more affordable means of getting a college education. He wasn’t announcing a plan to address re-building our rotting national infrastructure, or creating a living wage policy to help the average person make ends meet without working two or more jobs.

No, he was give the national airwaves to potentially enter into the living rooms–Little Brother?–of every household, to demand several billion dollars for a “wall” to separate the U.S. from its neighboring countries to the south. He claimed–without evidence– that the border is not secure, and that those coming here included rapists, murderers, drug dealers and terrorists. All while our federal government has been shut down for almost three weeks as a means of showing he means business.

The Orwellian part of his being on the airwaves so pervasively is that there was no obligation on the part of the media to grant him time to spew his nonsense, all of which is at the expense of that evidence-based existential crisis known as the climate crisis that increasingly threatens our planet. The heads of each of those major media outlets could have easily declared his request as being so blatantly a political stunt that they could not possibly be so irresponsible as to let him have the airwaves to advance its unworthiness. The fact that they didn’t is extremely disturbing.

Orwell’s book, by the way, has become something of a new best seller in the past couple of years. Art imitates life? Ugh. Well, we’re not that far gone yet, but the media created this orange-hued occupant of the White House, and it could destroy him just as easily. We don’t have to listen to him even if the media continues to provide a platform for further prevarication, division and hate speech. But we shouldn’t have to willfully ignore what should never have been allowed to become a reality in the first place. What happened on Tuesday evening was a dangerous symptom of incipient Orwellianism, in my estimation.

After 4.6 billion years, here we are, my fellow Homo sapiens. We are the problem. Of course we are. We must have asked for this or else why has it become a reality? When did basic right and wrong become so jumbled in so many people’s minds? How can we be so easily led astray? Who and what are we paying attention to? So, as mother earth continues to wheeze and convulse, the clock is ticking. You can take time out for a break, but you can’t take a break from time, right? I’d say, time to take a break from taking break from thinking about the present and the future. You can change the dial, or turn off that tv, leave cyberspace and connect with reality. I mean, can’t we do better than this? This is what we have evolved into since leaving ChimpWorld?

4.6 billion years from nothing to the moon and back. And it was televised! Now, our media has become a tool for misinformation, disinformation, insipid celebrity cults, bread and circuses. It is everywhere and nowhere. Newspeak. Doublethink. Hate week. Thoughtcrime. Far fetched? Let’s hope so. But sometimes, lately, I feel a bit like Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith in 1984. But I’m hoping for a happier ending than Winston’s. 

If your brain is critically engaged and your eyes wide open, I’d say you–as I–are all insipiently becoming Mr.Smith.

 

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A Day at the Races

Hot diggity damn, maw, paw, it be the bestest of days cuz we be gots the Daytoner five hunnerts to watches! It be mighty fines we gots be sittins at the bar heres at Dixie’s Suther Fry Eats and Drinks Caffay. We kins viddy the race and cheer on our bestest driver, Earl Ray McCoy in dat nifty red Chevy. Charlotte dun gots a new 32 incher on tops the ol beers cooler. It be ways better en dat old jap 27 incher. This ones being a Motorsrollers what done be made here in the bestest countree anywherze. Least ways dats what I done be heard bouts Motorrollin tvs. Soun les jappy anyways.

Joe Ray Tucker Bob, members we gots to shares one jumbos pile of wingy dingy hot nuggets en makes it lastin no matters if dis race be going fo hours and hours. Yo paw and mes gonna haves a buckets of suds or twos, and yous can be have a sips or tree but yous caint be gettins all suds up cuz you be being our desagratin driver, whens we goes back to Bufurds Crik cuz yo knows how paw and mes like our Sunday suds, espeshules on Daytons racin day.

Aw, maw, I kins handles my beer. It be aints no big dealin handlins paws picks up truck, evens iffins the clutches be offs a just a slites bit. Say, maw, wher be done paw go? Racin bouts commecin.

He dun went outs back with Bubba Carl to havins a smoke. Dam shames smokes be outdooze or nuttin deze day cuzzin them commie gettin they undies in notz bout seven hand smokes hutins dems dat donts be being watin to smokes. Thems da ones should be gots to get theys asses outsides if they not likins we smokins type. Tabakee be legal, rights? So, who them coomie do gooders to gets aways wits makin smokin folks stands in the elments to get theys smokes on?

Rits you be, maw. Maybes ourin guy say if peeeples likins us wants to smoke, we kin smokes wheres we pleezes. If he kin get dat wall, he kin do anythin he be pleazin I sez.

Ray Bob Joe Billy, ourins guy guns da makins ourins countrees the bestest agins. Wunner if he be bein at Daytoner. Nazcarts fans all likin ourin guy. I bets iffins ourins guy be a racin cart driver he be the best. I means, kinda the bestest. Maybes not like Kurts or Dales or Richie from back in dem older daze, but he kin do anythin he wants a be the goodest when duze what be he duze.

Sho nuff maw! Hey, theys be bouts ready to wavin the chekurd flag and get di race a goin. The pitcher on Charlottes new tv be purdy clears. 32 incher! Aint never seen so biggins a tvs, an one made herins in ourin countress, not some jap place. Oooh wee! Theres dey be a goin. Thinks maybes theys gunna bes lots uh crashin?

Joe Billy Tucker Bob, we aints comes hereins to see no crashins. Member how our guy Dale gots kilted here back when? Dam shame it was. Dales wasin the bests. Shame it was, en hisin car sho not lookins it hits dat wall hards enuff to kilt hims, but it did. Earl Ray nots gunna crashin. He our rasins hero now. He be from not far from heres in Wazoo. He be practical one of usins! Shame he caint have the confederals flag on hisin car. Thems dam commie stinkins they nozes in our biness agins! Maybe ourin guy can crek thats too. He gets him his wall, keep thems brown salvages outins our countres, and theys all be being drug cartwellers, rapsters and terrorizors.

Gee maw, paw be missins the races. Theys be tens lap on alreadees. What paw doin? Caint be smoks fur how long?

Ray Bob Bubba Billy Joe, nevers youins minds what yo paw be doins. He and Lester Monrow and Bubba Carl prolly drinkin shines in Lesters big F-150 en listin on radio.

Dam Maw, why paw drinks dats shine when Chalotte gots good hootchie right insides hereins?

Youins be dummer than ditch waters, boy. Paw caint afford to drinks Charlottes whisky fo fo hour. We luckies to have nuf to have the wing dings and some suds. He be being ecomonicatin out theres. He be gettins backs to hisin stool by lap hunnert. Race be two hunnert lap, rights? Just sits therres and sip yo suds, boy. I be goin for a smoke soons too.

                         

*   *   *

 

Thats wuz one thrilzins racins, maw. Caint beeleeves ourin Guy McCoy has hisins engeen blow up on lap 27. Bad lucks all she was.

I gots to gets me backs to ourin shack and lays flat, boy. So goods yous kin be drivers you paw and me back to Burfurd Crik. Yous be watchins fur dat dam Wazoo traffikin cop. Go slow and eaze, boy. Paw be pass out in back uh hizzin truck.

Maw,  you furgettins whoin yo boy be? Itz Bob Ray Billy Joe Tucker, an eyze be be racin at Daytoner sum day. En eyez be winnings too. All dem too hunnert towsen peoples in them stands, cheers me on too. Like back when with Dale. Shit. Them commies kilted Dale back thens maw, I noze it. Like u be sed, he dead and bearly he hits dats wall. I bets them commie rigs his ride cuz he was the biggis bestet good ‘ol boy they was then. Commies hate us suthin folk and Dale was suthin as genral Lee. Them commies gonna pay fur it too. They gonna die whens ourin guy get HIZZIZ WALL BILTED!

Settling downs, boy. My heads en innerds be akins from the suds and greaszy dinggies I dune put down. But you be be right bout that wall. Keeps dem filthin brownskins outs of ourin countree. Thems jus wanna come herze and drug usins and rapsin usin and terrorizins anyones who not brown likins thems.

Donts youz be a worried maw. Ourin guy be purtektin usins.

He gunna gets him dats wall. And them brownskin be pays fur it.

Best we be goins, boy. Who wons the race? Thnkins I nodded off fur a whiles. All them cars goins roun and roun. Make yo heads a spinnin.

Not sure maw. Waits. Theys be intravooin him soon he get s his lid offin he head. Lissin up. The tv guy be bout to askin him…what? Maw, lookin this guy. He don’t much be lookin likes a goold ‘ol boy. What his name, what the tv guy be sayin his name..

And so, Daniel Suarez, you have made history today here at the Daytona five hundred by being the first Mexican born driver to take the checkered flag! You had a close call, almost hitting that wall on lap 163 but you pulled out. Great recovery. This must be a thrill for you. Oh, here’s yours wife, Benita, right? And your two little ones, Eduardo and Yelitza. Hey, all of you say hello to your American audience.

Maw! I be feelinz sick. Maw. Maw? Wake up maw. Maw. Miss Charlotte, my maw she…

I think she passed out. Best you be getting her home. But be mindful of Chester, cuz he’s on patrol today and he loves getting people from Bueford Creek tickets. Especially if they’re  under the influence. You’ll be in lock-up faster than grass goes through a goose. Right, Billy Bob? Joe Ray? what’s wrong? Don’t you puke on my bar. You do, and you and your folks ain’t welcome back here no more. It’s hard enough running this business these days. Glad that race is over. Making left turns for three hours. What a crazy world.

 

 

 

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Crime and Punishment, Drug Cartel Edition

Hello, seekers of truth, justice and the American way! You can all let out a YUUUGE sigh of relief knowing that the bloodthirsty leader of the legendary Sinaloa drug cartel is going to prison for the rest of his life. This badass goes by the name of Joaquin Guzman or, you can call him El Chapo, his nickname which, translated from Spanish is “shorty”. He’s 5ft 6in. Ouch! Hey, Nepoleon, remember? He was what, four feet 9″? Okay, 5ft 6in-ish?  Did his troops call him La Courtaud? Never mind. Just remember, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, right? It’s the size of the fight in the dog.

Moving on…

Another statistic on Shorty: He will be 65 next December 25. What?! Born on Christmas day! In Mexico. A heavily Catholic culture, I do believe. Can you say, how ironic? El Chapo was neither Christian in fervor nor Santa Claus-like in character. He did deliver the goods, though. More on that in a moment.

Mr.Guzman is said to have no education past 3rd grade, and may even be semi-literate. If so, he is the personification of exceeding his potential if potential and formal education have any correlation at all. Okay, he may have been responsible for  between 2 and 3 thousand deaths while plying his trade as a drug kingpin, and certainly one need not formal education to kill people, if that’s what, by circumstance or strategically, it takes to get ahead. It’s a matter of possessing the will to kill, while not possessing a rigorous moral compass to resist doing such. It also likely requires possessing a lot of bullets or machetes or explosives. And, in some twisted way, commanding by a force of personality for others to willingly join in on such mayhem. I assume that the 2-3K body count does not include the victims of fatal drug overdoses resulting from purchasing Shorty’s product. That’s another figure but I have no idea as to its quantification.

El Chapo did indeed deliver the goods, though.

Somehow, his formal education profile aside, he had enough “smarts” to: build intricate tunnel systems for evading the fuzz for decades while moving YUUUUGE amounts of drugs to, well, the market. His cartel produced, smuggled and distributed marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and other sorts of reality-escaping drugs.  With his conviction and likelihood of spending the rest of his life behind bars, the global public-at-large concerned about drug abuse can rest much easier. Right? (He has escaped prison before, mind you)

I mean, Sinaola Cartel? Sayonara! Try finding street drugs now.

Of course I’m joking. As I write this drugs are being smuggled here, there and everywhere per business as usual. The headlines about Shorty’s capture, trial and conviction are meant to–it must be presumed–project a getting-tough-on-drug cartels mojo.  Okay. Big fish in a YUUUGE pond has been reeled in. Well done DEA and other agencies here and in Mexico. But what difference does this make, really? In realistic terms it doesn’t mean diddly squat as far as stopping the flow of illicit (though weed is now legal in many markets) drugs into the big city back alleys or the lily-white Main Streets of deep suburbia here and there. And those agencies damn well know it. Sinaloa isn’t a one-man operation, after all.

Of course it won’t stop the flow of illegal drugs and it won’t because there’s the usual demand for cartel product. And that demand has been around for…for…well…long before Shorty was born on that Christmas day in 1954. Supply and demand. Sure, most of the cartel’s line of product can lead to fatal overdoses at worst or debilitating addiction and downward spiraling at best if the habit can’t be kicked, but people of all stripes, of all education levels, of various social-economic status and cultural influences are part of the consumer end of this carnage-causing “identify a need, then fill it” illicit business modus operandi model. And a need there is!

At that consumer end, there’s apparently something about life that just makes a lot of people want to get WASTED, eh? What’s wrong, people? Why the need to shoot-up, snort or smoke dangerous drugs coming up from Mexico (among other parts of the world). Does Shorty going to jail concern you and your need to escape reality? If that’s the case, you are simply paranoid, okay? The cartel drugs aren’t about to disappear, even if El Chapo does. Again, the long arm of the law got their man. Do the crime, then do the time…

…maybe…

…But what about others who act criminally and destroy people’s lives? Consider the CEO’s of Big Pharma. If you’re wasting away from opioid addiction, you likely didn’t need Shorty to deliver those pills, right?  Big Pharma= big profits. Answer this: Any of those pharma CEO’s on trial? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? What about those responsible in banking and finance that ruined people’s lives leading up the Great Recession starting in 2008? Any high-profile banksters in the slammer? Have any even been charged? What about the former “CEO’s” of the United States who saw to fit to waste hundreds of thousands of lives, both military and civilian in every war from Korean to Vietnam to Gulf I and II, Afghanistan and counting?  I’m talking about virtually every President of the last 50 years. Big Lies from Big Brother writ over and over. But those at the top who authorized invasions, who sold the sub-prime loans, who colluded to outrageously pump up prices in another market of drugs–drugs that clearly can save lives, not destroy them–when will we get some YUUUUGE headlines about their arrests, trials and convictions?

Do NOT hold your breath waiting on that kind of law and order.

This legal double-standard of who is the badass and who is beyond reproach is a decades-long narrative during my lifetime, for certain. Shorty deserves jail, no doubt. Lack of education and a moral compass? Well, those honchos and CEO’s alluded to above all have one of those two traits in common, and I think you can guess which one that is. Hell, some of them are Ivy League grads. Well educated criminal minds! It seems holding any and all criminal activity to account is a matter of the authorities lacking a consistently righteous prosecutorial moral compass.

It’s a Confederacy of Dunces, alright. People want drugs. Why? Are they stupid? Well, some maybe are easily led astray. Others are simply led by the view beyond the tip of their nose. Reality bites! Why do people use drugs, legally or illicitly? In some respects, I’d ask, why not? Some lost family or friends to those trumped-up wars, or that 2008 near-global market collapse. Some lost their ability to rationalize after being prescribed dangerous drugs at prohibitive prices. Rip-offs abound.  The fish stinks from the head-down, right? Look around, if you dare. It’s a wounded madhouse out there. Genocides, authoritarianism, oppression, persecution, scapegoating, MAGA, led by a bull goose loony who is SO YUUUGELY blatantly, recklessly breaking laws and violating our Constitution since stupyfyingly given the keys to the White House. Near and far, there’s a lot from which one might want to escape, reality-wise. The War on Drugs? We lost that a long time ago, and it’s not the fault of El Chapo, either. Drugs are needed. Try and stop people from using them and what happens? How did that 18th Amendment to the Constitution work out? It led to the 21st Amendment saying NEVER MIND…

Just say no!

No way! Timothy Leary said it so well 53 years ago: , turn on, tune in, drop out. I doubt Shorty was well versed in Timothy’s philosophy  (semi-literate, so they say he is) but he was channeling that famous quote about dropping acid whether he knew it or not. LSD isn’t quite the fashionable drug it once was back then. No matter. Cartels rake in tens of millions of dollars filling the people’s need for one fix or another, with a portfolio of kick-ass product available should legally buying a fifth of booze or a carton of cigs not deliver enough anti-reality narcotic punch. 

Off goes Guzman. The Big House. Stir. There’s no escaping the long arm of the law.  Nor harsh reality. I think. Maybe. Do the crime…do…the..

…maybe…

…Never mind. And remember: As Shorty no doubt would agree with: if you do do drugs, make sure you are doing it and that it is not doing you. Then again…wait…

…never mind.

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Let’s Have a (3rd) Party!

On a recent broadcast of the legendary CBS television news “magazine” 60 Minutes, Howard Schultz, former CEO of the ubiquitous coffee shop chain, Starbucks, admitted to giving serious consideration to running for President in the looming 2020 election. The reaction, particularly from the Democratic party, is one of stark, bone-chilling terror. Why? Because the DNC assumes that Howard’s name on the ballot, as a 3rd party independent (as Schultz framed his possible candidacy), would siphon off votes that would otherwise go to their candidate, whomever he or she may be, and thus allow Trump to get re-elected.

In addition to the official Democrat response, beaucoup Americans, who consider our current President to be a dysfunctional, politically incompetent, buffoon, also likely fear Schultz could tip the election in favor of D.T. Of course many think that way. And why shouldn’t they?, since the current, entrenched 2-party system, and the mainstream media have been insisting 3rd party candidates will never win a national election. This mantra/meme is given bullhorn pronouncements each and every time anyone floats the idea of a 3rd party run for the highest office in the land. However, this mantra is inherently a bullhorn spewing bullshit, a self-serving/preserving version of the Big Lie that drives propaganda 101. It’s a form of brainwashing, in a way, since a 3rd party candidate obviously CAN WIN if that 3rd party candidate gets enough voters to choose him or her over the standard Democrat or Republican. To keep insisting that it is a fool’s errand to seek high office running as a non Dem or Repub defies simple mathematics.

In the 1992 national election, one Ross Perot ran as a 3rd party candidate and garnered 19 million votes, a bit less than half of Bill Clinton’s winning total of 44 million. The political and media “spin” from that outcome was that Perot’s candidacy siphoned votes mostly from George H.W.Bush, allowing Clinton to come out as the winner. While one might conclude that is exactly what did happen is to misinterpret the election’s real message: 3rd party candidate’s are indeed capable of attracting significant followings and by logical extension, can indeed someday attract more voters than either traditional national political party. The fact that Perot was a player at all in that election should be considered a victory of sorts. Rather than being a “I told you so” conclusion by the powers-that-be and their corporate media cheerleaders, Perot gave credence to the notion that a 3rd party candidate can run–and WIN.

How so? Consider: In spite of Perot’s being dismissed early on as having only one influence on that election–that of “spoiler”–as well as the usual implicit and explicit media drumbeat of voting 3rd party is a wasted vote, not to mention his rather non-telegenic look and sound, as well as his distinct, folksy Texas twang, he did have a chance of winning that election during the polling cycles that lead up to election day. Perot, a billionaire, was only able to take part in the debates owing to his being able to buy enough media ads to get his name and ideas out to the public, and qualify by getting a minimum of 15% in those polls. The fact that a 3rd party candidate, automatically condemned to a virtual media black-out from the onset, and the framing of any such candidacy as a wasted vote, has to get that 15% polling number to be allowed to speak to we the people in those debate speaks volumes about how rigged our current 2-party system is. Perot bought the media coverage he needed to get his proposals into the public’s mind, at the same time that the major news outlets repeated that “wasted vote” Big Lie, which certainly didn’t help with changing the minds of those for whom–aside from the 19,000,000 who did vote for him–might have grown tired of the usual Frick or Frack donkey or elephant choice always being shoved down our electoral throats.

So, back to Schultz. He has a net worth of close to $4 billion. Certainly, he can buy the airtime to deliver what certainly sounded to be a refreshingly progressive agenda (comparatively speaking, in contrast to the hard-core political ideologies of both Democrat and Republican gatekeepers). And, after what Bernie Sanders did in 2016, running as a Social Democrat (!), with virtually no money to spend at the onset of his candidacy, as well as the mainstream Democratic party’s blatant anti-Bernie strategies, and corporate media’s near refusal to cover his candidacy in any meaningful manner, it sure lends further viability to what an “outsider” with a popular platform, and a sincerely humanistic persona can do. It’s my contention that if Sanders had run as a true 3rd party candidate, untethered from the we know how to lose Democratic National Committee, he might have won even more primaries and supplanted the cardboard cut-out candidacy of Hillary Clinton.,

Schultz’s wealth (not required, but as noted the system is seemingly rigged for those with deep pockets when running for office), his very real success as CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world (as opposed to the Grifter-in-Chief we have now), his fairly progressive proposals, and with a bona-fide progressive running mate, could replicate both Perot and Sander’s insurgent influence on a stale and failed 2-party system that has brought us to where we are at this very moment: a plutocracy with ugly, racist, elitist warts all over it. Can he do any worse than what we’ve had that passed for leadership and serving the “common good” over the past 50 years or more?

I feel–in my apparently ultra simple-minded understanding of our body politic–that maybe in 2020 an actual cardboard cut-out candidate (hey, think Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson even…) should be more appealing a candidate than Benedict Donald. But that media, and the two failed national parties, have got to be put in their place for once. Certainly, in my world, the Republican Party has now become a clear and present danger to not just life in the U.S. of A., but planet Earth itself. However, it’s not as though the party “on the other side of the aisle” hasn’t been complicit in this downward spiraling of life for the working class. Reagan “democrats”, Bill Clinton? Barack Obama? Real reformers, right...

Admittedly, there is a new faction of the Democratic party, voted into congress in the 2018 mid-terms. Women. Women of color. Muslim. LGBT. But I keep hearing their party elders tell them to “slow down, be realistic. Wait your turn”. They should all just announce they’re leaving their party to form a new one. Bernie, Liz, Sherrod, now you have a significant number of brothers and sisters who know it’s time for real change. I don’t think they can change the Democratic party from within anytime soon, as in 2020 soon.

Even I will admit this is a pipe dream about Howard Shultz. But it’s not as though history is bereft of precedent for a 3rd party surprise. His name was Theodore Roosevelt. He was elected President in 1912. The name of his 3rd party…?

…Progressive.

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Moore or Less

In 2004, filmmaker Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9-11 generated $119,000,000 in box office revenues. The movie took a close look at the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with a keen eye focused on the George W. Bush administration’s relationship to that infamous day in U.S. history. Moore has always drawn fire from detractors who accuse him of distorting reality or being a muckraking hack. One critic, a blabbermouth local Chicago radio overnight talk show host went as far as dismissing his movies as likely worse than if made by a room full of monkeys with filmmaking equipment in it. How profound. Never mind that Moore has an Oscar for one of his films, Bowling For Columbine, which shed a bright light on an unflattering characteristic of life in the U.S. of A.: its apparent addiction for guns, guns and more and bigger guns. You know, the kind of gun lover who, as seen and heard in this provocative film defiantly claims you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers. He was also Oscar nominated for Sicko, a close-up, damning, excursion into what is our notoriously profit-over-lives healthcare system in the U.S. Single payer? Not a prayer, after Moore quantifies the amount of money taken from insurance companies by our congressional office holders.

The point here is Michael Moore clearly has enemies who want to dismiss him as a Left Wing propagandist, if not an outright threat to the American way of life. Guns? Healthcare? The 9-11 terror attack’s political, military antecedents? What is this guy’s problem with how things work in the greatest country on Earth? Okay, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But personal opinion, ya know, is the same as assholes: everybody has one. At least Moore researches and personally involves his films in getting into the nuts and bolts of cause and effects on major issues that certainly are in need of such effort.

Moore’s most recent film, with an ironically inverse numerical title of Fahrenheit 11-9, was released late in 2018, ahead of the mid-term elections. In it, Moore shows the underbelly of a handful of political outrages, some obvious, some–for my part–very eye-popping. There’s Donald Trump first and foremost, with Moore dissecting his at first laughable candidacy for President, and the still stunning election results that declared him the winner on the morning of November 9, 2016. Sure, by the time “11-9” was released, what had not already been said about this ex-reality TV show host, his decades of wheeling and dealing real estate adventures, his carnival barker approach to self-aggrandizement and inability to ever, ever, admitting failure?

For me, at least, Moore still managed to reveal Trump’s stunning degree of egomaniacal pathology that surfaces in most creepy a manner; in one sequence, he is virtually groping his own grown daughter, Ivanka. On a TV talk show years back he admits that if she wasn’t his daughter, he would want to date her. Icky? These vintage clips of D.T. made me realize his sleaziness toward women, along with his lack of public comportment in such regards, has always been in the wide open. But back then he wasn’t also a candidate for the White House.

But as most everyone now knows, Trump did eventually sell a steaming heap of populist bullshit to a disaffected chunk of working class voters, and with the help of now quite apparent election tampering by foreign agents, and the usual voter suppression in some key “red” states, he took the electoral college and the Oval Office. Moore manages to seemingly capture a Donald Trump who did not think he’d win that election. Yeah, and along with a hundred million or more people who assumed such an openly dubious character couldn’t possibly become President.

Moore does take plenty of shots at Hillary Clinton, too. The most cringe-worthy scene is of some of her campaign rallies where she herself didn’t show up, but a cardboard, life-size cut-out of her stood around as her surrogate. Is it any wonder that she turned off so many people to lose to such a massively unqualified, now almost certainly criminal, opponent?

However, as I sat watching the movie in a near empty screening room, the most repulsively nauseating parts revealed just how cynical and sinister, how racist and remorselessly the governor of Michigan was regarding the Flint River fiasco. How is Rick Snyder not incarcerated for life for what he knowingly did in literally poisoning the people of Flint with tap water from the funky, lead-laden Flint River, rather than the usual flow from Lake Michigan? It was a profit-over-people ploy. Hmm. That phrase seems to fit a lot of what ails the U.S. And actually one needn’t have Michael Moore explain that to anyone at this point. But alas…

Related to that outrageous, cold-hearted neo-con CON that Synder conducted, was another sequence that clearly–irrefutably–shows former President Obama going to Flint, seemingly to address the poisoned water of Flint–with its heavily African -American population–only to sell them out. How so? Moore has footage that in two settings captures Obama FAKING a sip of Flint tap water by putting the glass to his lips but only his lips barely touch the water. He doesn’t take a swallow at all. Slight of lip illusion! He leaves Flint and its lead-poisoned population (many of whom Moore captures expressing disgust with their “brother”) not having proclaimed Snyder and others will be held to account, but implicitly giving cover to Synder!

Well, maybe Moore’s critics will claim he used CGI to stage those non-swallows of Flint tap water, but if you haven’t seen this film, then see it for yourself. And the odds are you didn’t see this movie as it only made a little more than 3 million dollars in box office revenue. That’s a long drop from “9-11” to “11-9”. I suppose even Moore’s supporters felt fatigued with Trump 24/7 for over three years and counting. I, for one, am fatigued by the lap-dog media’s obsession with our now damaged, exposed and embattled Tweeter-in-Chief. But I had a feeling that “11-9” would have something new to say to me, although I consider myself to be quite aware of how our political landscape is strewn with bad actors, acrimony and corrupted elections. But It was the Obama bait-and-switch, however, that left me feeling most alienated about what passes for “leadership” in the present and recent past. Obama! Hope and change. Of course, I admit, Obama is a towering figure of dignity, rectitude and reason compared to our current Orange Glow guy.

Perhaps Michael Moore had no effect whatsoever on the Democrats taking the House in the recent mid-term election. Still, if you watch Fahrenheit 11-9, you should learn some hard truths about our political system, and those within it who may look and sound attractive, but are wearing a mask all along. And I’m not talking about a Guy Fawkes mask, okay? Those films by Moore that critiqued guns, healthcare, 9-11 political intrigues? They’re all still unresolved. How many elections will it take for the American electorate to think for themselves, and get a government that cares about more than power and money? We’re on our way to election 20/20. What candidate can we trust? I have a few I like, but our electoral system needs an overhaul. I just heard yesterday that Hillary is considering a run in 2020. What. The. FUCK?

If the past is prelude to the future, I have my doubts about the 2020 election. We shall see. I’d like to think Moore can live long enough (and me, too) to release a truly “feel good” flick, if not per 2020, maybe by 2028. Maybe we can get a truly representative, responsible government. Right now, such a movie would most certainly be found in the fiction category. Maybe science fiction. As in a film set in another eon, in another universe, another galaxy. No, wait, those flicks usually end up with some savagely alien creature menacing the crew, mauling, maiming and destroying them. Hmmm. Will it be an orange-ish motherfucker?

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Red, White & Not Too Bright; Shutdown edition

Geeze maw,  itz be being colder than a well digger’s ass in Janawary out deres! Is we be gunna be ables to get to Wazoo fur some viddles to eats later? I be hungered enuf to eat a skunks ass wits no salt!

Wazoo?! How we be gonna ables to gets to Wazoo when yo paw gots the truck way downs in Humpter, where he viztin his granny to gets us some money to pay fo ourins lectric befo we getsin ourin lectric cut off? Then wez all be being colder than brass balls on a monkey.  Evers since yo paw been let go from his deliverins job for dat biggin parts compny dat helps wit the tractor sales we gots nuttin to pays for nuttin wit.

Dams maw. Paw done sed that he be back workin in a few daze when this shutsdown be being beginnin but herez we beze still shutsdown cuz paw be shutsdown cuz dem commies dats got lected donts wants to pertek ourin cuntry from dems terrinrizors and dope selling cartwells.  We dun ourin bestins to keeps ourins guy runnins the cuntry but them commies gots enuf dummy dums to votes fur em and now we gots being shutdowns and freezing cuz paw gots no job cuz, cuz, uh, cuz, cuz… why be that agins, maw?

Billy Ray Bob Joe I dunes esplaned it to yous how many time?! Cuz yo paw deliverins parts fur the tractor maker, but dat cumpny contracktin wits the guvment and the guvment not opens for bizness cuz it be being shutsdown cuz we needin dat wall to keep them killers and rapesters outin our cuntry but them new lected commies aint be wantin to givin ourin guy no monies to built a wall. So yo paw gots no work and no work meainin no monies and no monies mean we gots less fiddles to eat and now ourin lectric bouts to be being shutsdown too.

Aw, maw. It aints no fairs. Why so many dem commies be being ables to mess up we po peoples? Things wuz bein darn good til dat lectsin done happen, and now we gots to freeze ourin asses and paw gots to try and get some monies from gramma Sally Mae.  

Bob Joe Billy Ray Bubba, yuze and me noze it not be being fair, but dis be a lessen on we gots  to be pulls togetherin agin dem commies dats hate our cuntry. Our guy he be doin right and we be right by usins nots givens up. He be tellin dem commies dat no wall mean no govment, and shuitsdown gonna stay shutdown til he gets what be rights. Yous and mes and paws just gots ta be being willin to sacfrise and make do wit what we can make do. Dem commies see he and all we peoples who be being beleavin in him gunna be okay cuz ourin guy he be too smarts fur em.

Yourins be being right maw. But still, I be hungerin for some viddles and paw now ways be off in Humpter. Hopes he gets back soons. Wit some monies from granny so we can keeps ourin lectric on. But we gunna be rights maw, rights maw? Whens dis be being overs and the guvment be opens agins we be gettins dat wall and them terriors and cartwell dope killers be keepin from gettins here we be thankins ourins guy and how he done always be being a fights for us little folks. We no dummies. We stickin wit our guy.

You can be sayin dat agains, Bob Billy Bubbas Ray Joe. Now gets yo ass outsides an fetch me some kindlin for the stove paw dun brung from that scraps metals dump down by Fiddlesville yesserday. He say it lookin funkshinin enuf to heats up our place. We cants afords dat lectric heater no mo. Govment be opens soon. Maybe tomarra!

Yo bets maw! We duzzin ourin parts to makes did cuntry greats agin! I gets some kindlins now. Where be dat blankee? And my rebel boots? Oh, and gots to covers up my head for dam sures. Where’s be my bests baseball cap? Dat red ones? MAGA! Yeah, dats be being the best cap I ever done be had. Offins I go. But it sho be colder out deres than my Elliedeen’s heart. Dat woman can be stubborns too. But not good stubborns like ourins guy. 

Be caretakins out therin Joe Bubbas Ray Billy Joe Bob. Might be some commies creepins bouts, ya knows…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The More Things Change…

Okay. Let’s revisit recent history. Hillary Clinton was assumed to become our first female President in that now infamous debacle otherwise known as the 2016 election. Ms.Clinton did win the popular vote, a disclaimer of an asterisk that belies how truly horrible a candidate she was. How horrible? Well, she should have landslided her dreamsicle-colored cretin of an opponent, and that absurd electoral college wouldn’t have mattered. But she alienated millions of potential supporters by…by…well…by being Hillary! She was a corporatized, Wall Street investment house disguised as a human being. That charade, along with an air of being entitled to the White House induced a gag reflex in legions of the electorate. And with the Democratic National Committee supporting her emetic persona, the Grifter back-doored his way into being unleashed upon civil society–and the rest of the developed world for that matter.

But, whoever may be reading this, this is now ancient political history.

So, why do I regurgitate this putrid episode in our political past?

Answer: Nancy Pelosi. Now before I’m accused of being a woman-hater (Women Hating Has No Place Here!) allow me to explain.

Nancy was the first female ever to become speaker of the House in 2007. Then, when the Democrats again managed to alienate enough voters to turn congress over to the GOP, she was out in 2011. She was on the right side of a number of issues, from opposing the Iraq war to supporting the ACA. As one would expect, no? And thanks, Nancy for doing your best in a short stint as Speaker. I can’t recall much regarding her being exceptionally different from other speakers who tend to follow their Party’s agenda.

And that is my problem with the second coming of Nancy as Speaker. The National Democratic Party has a proven record of losing important elections to Republicans, regardless of how dangerous their policies are and have been for decades (tax breaks for the uber rich, starting wars, cutting social welfare programs, gutting environmental protections, scapegoating minorities and now even colluding with foreign enemies). Ms.Pelosi has been in office in one capacity or another within the DNC for almost 43 years. Given the recent mid-term election results and its wave of younger, decades younger in some cases new Democrats, it just seems counter-intuitive to still have the Party led by not just Pelosi but a few others, all well into their 70s (and I’m not talking about recently elected “others”).

As noted (and feel free to dispute my assertions) the DNC is so effective at LOSING very important elections (Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and now Benedict Donald). If the DNC was a sporting franchise with decades of losing rosters, while retaining most of its upper echelon “leaders” it would be an irrelevant laughingstock, given the idea is to be a WINNER.

The electorate–refreshingly, for a change!–voted the GOP out of power regarding control of the House of Representatives. The House has plenty of power with which to serve the common good. That change that was voted for has come in the form of many progressive-minded 30 and 40-somethings. One is only 29! So, why should the Party still be controlled by numerous members who were around for all the humiliating defeats? Politics is sport, of a kind. When the team loses and loses and loses, the coach gets sacked. And usually not just the coach. All the assistants are shown the door.

While Pelosi and her fellow “Silent Generation” members of the DNC can’t be fired, they can certainly be relieved of running the team, with its infusion of young bloods (many women and ethnic minorities) who are ready to truly confront the Party’s failures with fresh strategies and vigorous determination.

Also, as I began this entry bemoaning Hillary’s sense of entitlement to the throne, I now accuse Nancy as having the same pompous expectation of being elevated to higher office. In spite of being a long-in-the-tooth, high-ranking member of a historically inept national political party.

I’m a Boomer. This has nothing to do with her chronological age. It’s her political age. Will she suddenly change from the long-standing cog in a broken machine to a shiny new object with fresh ideas? I will not hold my breath. People don’t change. You probably have heard that before. Why? Because it’s pretty much true. Given how arrogantly dismissive the DNC has been toward some of that fresh blood in their ranks, I’d say there’s proof enough the adage is accurate in this case. Even the losers stick to their rusty guns. Those newcomers? Apparently Pelosi and Schumer and McCaskill and Duckworth and others already want them to change. Into what? Go along to get along losers?!

So, as of today, there is a new “sheriff” in the House. No. An old “new” sheriff, that is. Her target is HUGE and in the open. You can’t miss it, Nancy. It’s next to impossible to fuck this one up, right? The target is just rotting ripe for a take-down.

I just hope one of her strategists isn’t Hillary Clinton.

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