Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I Call it Treason

We know now that Republicans choose party over country and themselves over party. We know now that they choose themselves and what they want--a Christian, fundamentalist, fascist state or an oligarchic one concentrating money and power. It might be some horrible, hybrid monstrosity, the culmination and codification of what it is under Trump, southern sleaze and assorted, sociopathic capitalists satisfying various lusts. 

That exact brew constituted the South Carolina coalition back in the day. Republicans are traitors and Donald Trump proves it every day as he drags the country down and Republicans scramble to see what they can get before the inevitable reckoning and collapse. Huckabee Sanders and similar low-life are racking up points with Jesus in anticipation of the Rapture. Maybe Sarah will levitate before our eyes in the middle of some lie. 

Wouldn't that be cool, an ex machina-style escape. And Donald and the rich boys assume they can weather whatever happens, as they did after '08, and eventually come out ahead. They took an oath and are there to execute certain functions, granting some breadth of interpretation and performance not to include the utter destruction and dismemberment of the entity they were sworn to preserve. What else can you call this?

I call it treason.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Baubles, Bangles, Bentleys... and Assault Guns

Now that Mnuchin and Cohn have seen a tax bill passed that will make them heroes in the Hamptons, I have to ask, what was the point? It's one thing to simply want more. It's another to do it in a public role for which you are paid and supposedly accountable to your citizen-employers. Isn't this illegal?

Yes, they work(ed) for us and are technically entitled to a PAYCHECK for ripping us off, not that it isn't a pittance in relation to what they already have. They actually took oaths of office. The crooks in Congress did as well but most of the Republicans swore-off again at Grover Norquist's house of shame.

They, the Cohns and Mnuchins of the world, are free to ponder existential questions of the meaning of multiple Bentleys and the marginal impact on one's life of another house or retreat, at the point at which they might forget how many they already have. It is a weird, fucked-up, fanciful place they inhabit.

I wonder how it would work out if we imported rednecks into their lives? I mean, require that the people who vote together live together. I wonder how they would get along and what familiarity would breed, not intending that they would necessarily mate. Remember, the rednecks have LOTS of guns.

It would be an interesting mix as the rednecks pondered the existential question of most concern to them, the marginal impact on their lives of yet another handgun, howitzer or massive magazine. And they must all dine together, as allies and compatriots should, on barbecue and Beef Wellington.

The rednecks will undoubtedly want to have their assault rifles in the dining rooms and restaurants, at-the-ready in the event of an attack, as is the will of God and their declared constitutional right. Let the rich people live with that crap. And bless them all and may they be together in peace, or whatever.

Monday, March 12, 2018

I Dub Ye Dubya...

No doubt Republicans will one day want to name battleships and airports and other shit after George W. Bush as part of their efforts to rewrite history and save their asses from accountability for all the deaths and horror they have left behind. Let it be known as the Battleship "Dubya" as the champagne splatters across its bow. The "George W. Bush" is entirely too dignified. 

Is Evil Battle-Ax Barbara Bush Still Alive?

Some of these people, I just want them to die. Like Billy Graham, certain Bushes have lived way too long. You think how much worse-off the world is because they were in it, and how they have never suffered any consequences but been unbelievably fortunate, and I only want to be rid of them. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

On the Massive Oedipus Complex of Republicans

It's easy enough to see the more egregious aspects of the Oedipal fixations of Republicans. Their presidential candidates--those seeking the office of national patriarch, nominal head and performative exemplar of masculinity--are all the sons of highly successful men, back as far as Reagan. Trump, Romney, McCain and Bush all had reasons to have father issues and have demonstrated a clear need to try to measure up and prove themselves, no matter that they had it made from birth and were almost irreversibly secure.

With George Bush the need was too transparent to require analysis or explication. Observe how he had failed at everything and became president only through inherited wealth, family connections and repeated interventions when things went wrong. Eventually, a bipartisan panel including James Baker tried to save him from himself and the country from him. Their recommendations were ignored--the son's final, pathetic assertion of autonomy as he left the nation a shambles and a rudderless, hulking, fiery mess.

Fittingly, the Democrats Clinton and Obama, self-made men, were despised, reviled and attacked as usurpers at a level of extremity and irrationality reflecting the repressed, archetypal, delusional strength of the survival fantasies of Republican white men, who feel unconsciously threatened with annihilation by the dark, shadow forces of their insecurities and the inability to ever demonstrate actual self-worth. The feminine, nurturing side of the equation is in some ways even more compelling and shameful. 

The federal government represents mothering--the infantile font of sustenance and security, the source on which they all suckle. Their protestations against it, avowed attempts at avoidance and determination not to "marry the mother" all fail as they symbolically supplant their fathers and succumb to the warmth of the federal womb. I won't enumerate the sad specimens of arrestedness and compulsion but only mention Paul Ryan, whose life has been spent jealously depending on and sucking off the government. 

He probably decries it more than anyone. Similarly, most large corporations make their disgraceful profits by manipulating the government in their favor and taking advantage of the system. My only hope is that you, having read this, will have your eyes opened and see the sorry, submissive, self-serving mechanisms at work. 

Republicans continue to disclaim interest in the federal support they covet and, at the same time, reflexively take all they can get at the tavern and dispensary known as our national treasury, now to the exclusion of all other citizens as the disorder reaches its crescendo in Trump and his cast of crooks. When they rail against regulations and castigate bureaucracies as depending on the unjust proceeds of taxation you should see them as they are--small, frustrated men in denial of the reality of their fate.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fry Me Up Some

There's a characteristically great Yiddish word, frayer (or fryer, or friar), that captures the American ethos of ignorance. Americans are suckers. Americans are sheep. Where else do you find people who will consistently vote themselves down the river into servitude and against their own interests?

Look at the graphs of the incomes of everyone but the rich, flatlining since the dawn and debut of supply side. Still, the morons vote for Republicans. They believe the bald-faced lies. Middle Class citizens get crumbs while Republicans rain millions on their wealthy associates and the idiots still vote for them.

An Unfair Criticism of Trump

Donald Trump is being unjustly charged with referencing Gary Cohn antisemitically, calling him a "globalist.” Trump was only speakingly carelessly. Remember, Trump is stupid. Donald understands innuendo and insinuation. But, basically, Trump is a boor. Trump is a dolt and a dotard. He finally violated Cohn's ethical imperatives, that more money must only go to the rich forever, with talk of tariffs. So Cohn quit.

That was more than Cohn could handle. He was fine with Nazi sympathizing, pussy-grabbing and killing people worldwide with impunity. But those are next to nothing in comparison with messing around with money and profits. Always, in assessing him, remember that Trump is a dope. Trump is a pig. Sometimes he might be cunning but he is not smart. He's a rich child with a record of failure. Like Cohn he's a crook.

I hate to see anybody criticized unfairly. Donald wasn’t being antisemitic, just stupid.

Mike Pence's Plan for God

How does a person recognize evil? Let me suggest that Mike Pence is evil, by a biblical standard, that men are known by their deeds. Pence is at least open about loving his role as Trump's most reliable lackey. But is Pence working for God or God for Pence?

Where does it say in the Bible that a society shouldn't provide for its citizens? Where does it validate the "prosperity gospel" and say that God loves the rich? Where does it say that it's our prerogative to invade any country we want and kill others at will? 

Nowhere does the Bible say any of it but the Koch brothers promote it at every opportunity. I posit that Pence works for them and their allies and that God is enlisted as another useful prop for their cause. And what a great prop God is--abstract and unaccountable. 

I think we know who is using who here. I wonder how God likes being a second-hand shill for Donald Trump? That’s awfully undignified for a deity. If Pence had any sense he would be quaking in his shill-shoes. Presumption against God is a scary thing in my book.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Inexecutable Command: Be Like Jesus

Puritanism entails an inexecutable command to aspire to perfection. Take this command too literally and seriously and a person implodes. They burn up like Roy Moore. They short out and toe-tap in bathroom stalls. They rail against abortion and then ask their pregnant mistress to get one. They preach love and forgiveness and act out of hatred and fear. They condemn everyone but themselves. After all, they have a personal relationship with Jesus. 

About that and only that they are certain. Their salvation is assured. They are self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, egotistical and mean. Empower these idiots to manage and administer a society and the society implodes. Empower these idiots and you get Donald Trump, George Bush, endless wars, tax cuts for the rich and less food for the hungry. It's good they have Jesus on their side. Any normal person would want to kill them.

Human imperfection and the decrepitude of creation are more than fundamentalist, puritanical, evangelical Christians can handle so they execute a command to achieve the impossible and forgo their freedom and humanity. They forgo decency and compassion. They choose death over life. In a "halt and catch fire" command a computer stops whatever, presumably productive, task it is on and tackles a circular, flawed or unsolvable problem.

It has a meltdown. The computer requires a restart. Utopian Christians require a restart. I guess death would count as a "restart" by their metaphysics. So, die! I'm a little less otherworldly. I'd like a little sanity and justice in this world. I'd like healthcare and a secure old age. I'd like fewer guns and mass killings. Christians love the killings. It reeks of crusades and the end-times. It must be God's will in some way as it's conveyed to them by Jesus.

Man, do they love the misery of other people. It might bring them to Jesus and cause a conversion. Or, they die and get to see Jesus anyway. That's what the meltdown looks like when they run things, when your life is ruined by fatalistic crazy people and religious nuts. They will be like Jesus and identified with Jesus or there will be hell to pay, in this world. There is hell to pay. Go, now, ye Christians--HALT AND CATCH FIRE! Let's get it over with.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Suicidal Squeeze

Corporate profit is now the only force animating America. Corporations aren't only people they are royalty and divinity. They don't necessarily die. They are potentially transnational, transcendent, abstracted and mighty powerful, if not omnipotent. Corporations are gods. 

Bow down and pray for their pity. Only then can average citizens have the components of good lives--healthcare and the rest. Do you find this hard to conceive? There are apostles and angels in the corporate world, emissaries and intermediaries to whom you can appeal.

They are called Republicans. Watch how they grovel and kowtow before the ark of their covenant containing the holy of holies: profits and dividends. Meanwhile, undeserving, lesser beings are squeezed out of their existence. Beg for crumbs. Beg for your lives. Just beg.

Americans are dying before the altar and grail of greed. A high priesthood of lackeys and conservative shills stands between us and our own lives. They stand between us and our alienated rights. They stand between us and claims to our humanity and existence.

Let us pray to the gods of greed for mercy. They are all the gods there are now, the others decamped, evacuated and evicted from a place unsuitable for gods who demand decency and accountability. There is none of it here. We have no other gods to pray to anymore.

Trump the Traitor

It turns out that Christopher Steele, creator of the "dossier," has more integrity than Trump's gang of thieves can put in the pot collectively. Furthermore, though the Trump crowd might obviously be motivated more by greed, ego-gratification and a lust for power than anything, those traits are so fantastically out of proportion it appears many of those rogues have committed treason incidentally and unknowingly. 

Try to take that in. 

These people are so incomprehensibly corrupt and unfamiliar with accountability and responsibility they could destroy their country, which they are employed to defend and protect, out of negligence, ignorance and indifference. A pubescent mind-set is running amok so completely among them it conjures up images of biblical prophesies and dystopian, futuristic, science-fiction fantasies in its destructive capacities.

But it is the nightmare of mindless destruction we inhabit every day. The implication is that Trump isn't even competent enough to be accountable. He could only, justly, be released into the custody of his parents, remanded to guardians or placed in an orphanage or asylum. It's hard to pity such a pernicious piece of wreckage but the blame resides with us, the sick society that fostered, nurtured and encouraged him. 

We are such an unbelievable disgrace.

Monday, March 5, 2018

They Walk Among Us

Never did I dream there were so many assholes, lunatics and conscienceless reprobates among us. It is especially obvious after an event like the Parkland shooting, which is somehow construed by the most degraded, submissive right-wing shills and sycophants as a chance to enhance their crazy cred. 

Matt Gaetz and others like him have only one remaining place to go after the next inevitable massacre--to arm the students. Everyone else will already be armed and, of course, de facto and a priori, the answer can only be MORE GUNS. Or, rather than arm the students, we can turn our schools into fortresses strangely resembling prisons.

Maybe it's not so strange. The schools can have fences glistening with razor-wire, towers poking machine guns and guards fondling assault weapons menacingly. Who knew aspects of the New Jerusalem, our city-on-a-hill and the hoped-for utopia of evangelical Christians, would look so much like Dachau.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Grand Delusion

The greatest delusion anyone can succumb to is that there is security in isolation. There is nothing in isolation. Isolation is a fantasy and an impossibility. Isolationism is nihilism. 

Isolation is death. Old-school Calvinism is schismatic and spiritually regressive. The only reality is you and God in an ineffable, one-on-one bond that is a solipsistic, mental-health mess of paranoia and a resulting collapse into delusional aggression. Oh, and did I say? 

We are all living there now, courtesy of evangelical Christians and Donald Trump. Welcome to the nuthouse. Watch what you get when you give up on reality. Thanks, Republicans.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Fine Bromance

The insiders are falling like flies. To be an administrative intimate of Trump is to know the meaning of unstable and precarious employment. Who is left now? Hope Hicks and Omarosa are history. 

Who will hold Trump's hand? I think the musical version of Trump's White House, when it appears, must feature the unlikely bromance, now enforced by necessity, of Donald Trump and John Kelly. 

Picture them singing and serenading one another in their cozy, oval enclave, isolated more by the day, firstly from the competent stewardship of trained help, then from reality as they lose sight of it. 

Hell, we might already be there...

An important transition is taking place under our noses. Injustice is no longer a failure or an unrepresentative function and secondary, unavoidable, regrettable occurrence but an essential practice and defining trait of the American culture and economy. 

This, again, is an indication of the takeover of the American state and government by the forces of the Confederacy. At some indeterminate and unknowable time the economy will be unable to operate above some threshold of viability without injustice. 

Hell, we might already be there. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Exit Hope

Another worthless Trump enabler, Hope Hicks, has bitten the dust. May she bite more dust after she leaves the White House and her stint helping end the world as we know it. Fat chance. She will enjoy the usual rewards. 

Degraded Republicans who show a willingness to toe the party line and lie and cheat and steal will be well cared for by the people they serve and it all comes out of our pockets. Where do all these terrible people come from?

High Anxiety

Always anxious to ensure that more Americans are utterly screwed a group of Republican operatives, now representing the administrations of twenty state governments, are suing to have Obamacare declared unconstitutional. 

Democrats need to understand what is going on here. 

Republicans will continue to attack until Democrats are completely disenfranchised. Democrats are the new black underclass in the hearts of a Republican political machine increasingly representing the values of the Confederacy.

Racism not only survives in America. As a political force it animates everything.

Persecutory Mania

I am officially declaring an outbreak of contagious, virulent, persecutory mania. Fear, anger and a desire for retribution put Donald Trump in office. Trump stokes these and similar forces out of instincts for inculturated meanness and depravity. A bandwagon effect then kicks in, causing the same factors to increase out of opportunism. Mean-spirited, insecure, bigoted individuals find their worst, persecutory fixations validated and normalized.

It is a religion of hatred rooted in a need for self-righteousness, ethical certainty and the presumption of purity and moral superiority. Democrats and other non-believers have been relegated to the status of apostates and traitors. They may be attacked, anathematized and disenfranchised without recourse to reason, respect or legality. It is open season on them, de facto by the operation of fate in the success of Trump and his allies and enablers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Fear of Fair Play

After the latest massacre the gun debate is on again. Gun nuts, so-called conservatives and Republicans and their assorted thug allies are mounting varyingly defensive defenses depending on how confident they are in the stranglehold the extremists have on the actual laws affecting gun ownership. That stranglehold is complete. 

The opposition doesn't even dream of significant reform and its opponents portray those inconsequential hopes for concessions and compromises, against assault weapons in a country already awash in them, for example, as inconceivable attacks on personal freedom and nonexistent and invented constitutional protections.

Of course it's all about race. The gun nuts fear that one day the people they have been flagrantly screwing and oppressing forever will both see that shafting with intense clarity and react appropriately, demanding justice if not retribution. The gun nuts fear that the oppressed masses will react the way they themselves would react, violently.

This is the new American conservativism, the exact inverse of the "golden rule" and constitutional government as outlined in our founding documents. They fear fair play and a level playing field more than anything, doubting their own ability to compete following so many decades of privilege, easy-pickings and patrimony.

Fear. That's all it is about. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Baked by Elves

The bloodlust of the GOP hasn't been sated. Obamacare's attempted destruction and the successful, massive, tax cut giveaway are only parts of their intended assault on poorer and middle class Americans. Already the deprivations are having an effect. Persecution is everywhere in the air.

But, take heart, the marketing wing of their evil movement constantly reassures us that Republicans and conservatives, and they alone, represent what is true and good and patriotic among us. Working Americans, shafted by Trump in spite of his promises, are largely standing by their man.

And their crackers really are baked by elves. Don't you dare tell them otherwise.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Billy Graham Joins Ruth in Hell

I would love to see the look on his face when Billy Graham realizes he is going to Hell. Billy was a populist. Give the people what they want, to feel good about themselves and righteous without the inconvenience of a real moral struggle. Give them the certainty of salvation by claiming a personal relationship with Jesus, the most unverifiable thing ever. And then, to top it off, translate that personal uncertainty exemption to the political realm where it weds with the doctrines of manifest destiny and exceptionalism to enhance already arrogant and unaccountable political tendencies. 

Billy was a very important person in the creation of the new American age of moral blindness and national self-righteousness. Would George W. Bush ever have been president without Billy's seeming imprimatur? George has an avowed personal relationship with Jesus so I guess the incredible carnage he created was the will of God or whatever. Abstract Billy from this and there is no George Bush. Less carnage. Less American arrogance and imperium. Judge Billy by a biblical standard. Judge him by the fruit of his tree: greed, racism, moral decay, death and destruction. Billy, may you rot in Hell.

Don't feel bad for Billy. He can still be defended in this world by his idiot, openly bigoted heir, Trumpist and Falwell acolyte, Franklin. And then there's the $20-or-so million Billy left behind. God's work can be lucrative. Billy had his reward in this world. It all culminated in Trump and the ascendency of a morally repugnant, ethically blind, evangelical voting base.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

His Heart Belongs To Daddy

Little Donnie Trump has a dream, to be the center of everything. The point isn't about the drive but about its origins. Choose the wrong question or quest and it is unanswerable and self-negating. He dreams the impossible dream.

Donnie Trump wants to be the center of the world because his daddy made him think it was the thing to do. He told Donnie he was a king and that he must win. The closer Donnie gets to that the more alone he is. He got hijacked. 

He isn't the pilot he's the plane. His daddy, a dead person, is flying it. Daddy's drives destroyed his son. We are living in a vampire movie and the outcome is uncertain. 

The Koch boys had a similarly sociopathic daddy. They were taught to win at all costs and to be good little nutballs and Birchers. The Kochs and their allies want to control us and so the world. It's right out of James Bond, a desire for wold domination.

Are we having fun yet? Life is a game of inches and averages. Extinction can result from arbitrary impulses and accidents. Perfection and certainty only exist at a scale inaccessible to us but there is no freedom there, only compulsion. 

Think of Mike Pence, who sold his soul for the certainty of packaged, fast-food faith and one-stop shopping at the salvation store.

There is freedom at our level. We can accept imperfection or choose death. But we aspire to the enslavement of perfection and certainty. It means destruction. We have chosen the wrong road. We have chosen the certainty of death by Donnie. 

We share his delusion that we're so special the rules don't apply to us but the rules apply to everybody. We are becoming more isolated, like Trump.

The next step is cultural annihilation, the end of our lives as we know them and all for nothing. The soul-suckers have drives normal people don't have, for dominance and certainty. They rule us now. It's about compulsion, not freedom. 

And you have to wonder about Donnie's admiration for a guy named Vlad.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Separate Piece

More details are emerging on Donald Trump's compartmentalized and privileged love life, including references no normal person wants to hear, about his "package" and propensities. He conducted multiple, simultaneous affairs after marrying Melania. 

It all seems representative of his immature, unintegrated psyche and assumption of a complete lack of accountability, so much so it's possible to have some compassion for the less egregious offenders on the "me, too" list. Why shouldn't they partake?

Isn't it the prerogative of successful men in the new, American Babylon? Again, I say, this is typical of the hypocrisies of puritanical cultures. How different are we from those famously lascivious Arabs, shedding every sexual restraint at every opportunity? 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Sarah Show

Sarah Huckabee Sanders hosts a show at the White House media franchise. Increasingly it's an arm of Fox News as Trump retreats into whatever remote corners reassure him that he is great and always right. Even by the standards at Fox the plunge is into its murkiest area of paranoia and conspiracy thinking: Hannity.

Yes, Hannity. Hannity is now a major source of inspiration for Trump. Narcissism is all about mirroring. Little Donnie has no sense of who he is independently of what people tell him and how he sees himself otherwise reflected in some hideous creation, like Trump Tower. He always requires reassurance and validation. 

This need has swallowed up the entire executive branch and compromised Congress. What else will it ingest? That is the question. We are left with the feeble efforts of the Huckabee interface as an assumed source of information and an avenue of accountability. Poor Sarah, whose life is defined entirely by her faith.

All she can do is blatantly lie in front of the whole world. Why bother with her. It is now the fate of America to reflect and mirror Trump in some way--as a failed casino, tacky tower or golf course sucking down resources like mad for the amusement of the few...the elect...the rich white men. Those are our options. 

I fear the casino fate most but can't resign myself to any of it.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Acres of Crooks

Is it possible? Is the scam finally unraveling? How long has it been? I would argue that it began in the sixties because certain people took the effervescent openness and optimism of that decade WAY too seriously and processed it as a real revolution (think: Dick Cheney). They saw it as an invitation to social upheaval and chaos requiring an authoritarian reaction, crusade and vendetta. Hell, it was nothing but another Great Awakening.

The sixties were puritanical and utopian--one generation self-righteously unloading on another, insisting on insight, moral superiority and a schismatic's demand for a level of individualism ending in isolation and doctrinal decomposition. Remember, Evangelicalism might seem stodgy but they were (are) mystics of a sort--believers in revelation and an individual, irreproducible, experiential and unscalable mind-meld with God. 

They are fans of gnosis, not reason. Similarly, hippies sought enlightenment through drugs and other irrational means. And they founded utopian communities, their versions of the New Jerusalem. How utterly American. Puritanism ruins everything in America. Even feminists succumbed, defining their successes and failures in left-brain, analytical terms and becoming famously strident, uncompromising, angry and judgmental. 

But, back to the scam. Republicans have descended into a pit of sin. Republicanism is now an identity movement and a morass of unreason--as self-righteous as it is self-serving, power-hungry and unprincipled. The fruit of their tree is death and despair. They have declared themselves the true inheritors of the American traditions and not because they act it. They are God's chosen people so it doesn't matter that they are crooks.

And the entire country is infested with them, gnawing away at its guts.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Trainspotting Trump

Of the many shades of horror associated with rogue rule there are passivity and impotence in the face of injustice. The result is mute rage. Who can stand to live there? Normal people choose numbness, trying to somehow selectively obliterate feeling. Who can blame them but it easily ends up going wholesale--the blanketing, encompassing anesthetics of addiction, obsession, compartmentalization and dissociation.

Large-living goes small, a struggle for spiritual survival on a daily basis. The rates of opioid addiction can only get worse now but lesser avenues of escape are more common.

Desensitizing oneself comes at the price of isolation and fear. It is not reality. Sure, bills must be paid. All of the practical needs must be met but the focus narrows to everyday, individual psychic survival at the cost of everything else. It never works in the face of social disintegration because security is a social construct. But the consciences of decent people are stifled anyway by the larger onslaught of inhumanity.

Normal people withdraw from life into whatever existential shelter they can find at the expense of practical considerations and their freedom of conscience. This is a dark vision but it has been imposed on us. We are extras in our own dramas now, our fates determined by lunatics and sociopaths. The Great Recession was a harbinger. The mission is the full abandoning and disenfranchising of common citizens. 

It will be justified as necessary after the next, inevitable crash being compulsively guaranteed by the deregulators. Meanwhile, one foot in front of the other. 

We are reduced to that. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Republicans are Primates

On the destruction of trust, the descent into barbarism, the mother the of all tongue-trashings and the cascade of lies, language theory gives us insight into Republicanism (from Wikipedia):

Animal vocal signals are, for the most part, intrinsically reliable. When a cat purrs, the signal constitutes direct evidence of the animal's contented state. We trust the signal, not because the cat is inclined to be honest, but because it just cannot fake that sound. Primate vocal calls may be slightly more manipulable, but they remain reliable for the same reason—because they are hard to fake.[41]Primate social intelligence is "Machiavellian"—self-serving and unconstrained by moral scruples. Monkeys and apes often attempt to deceive each other, while at the same time remaining constantly on guard against falling victim to deception themselves.[42][43]Paradoxically, it is theorized that primates' resistance to deception is what blocks the evolution of their signalling systems along language-like lines. Language is ruled out because the best way to guard against being deceived is to ignore all signals except those that are instantly verifiable. Words automatically fail this test.[20]

Words are easy to fake. Should they turn out to be lies, listeners will adapt by ignoring them in favor of hard-to-fake indices or cues. For language to work, then, listeners must be confident that those with whom they are on speaking terms are generally likely to be honest.[44]A peculiar feature of language is "displaced reference", which means reference to topics outside the currently perceptible situation. This property prevents utterances from being corroborated in the immediate "here" and "now". For this reason, language presupposes relatively high levels of mutual trust in order to become established over time as an evolutionarily stable strategy. This stability is born of a longstanding mutual trust and is what grants language its authority. A theory of the origins of language must therefore explain why humans could begin trusting cheap signals in ways that other animals apparently cannot (see signalling theory).

The Republican assault on intelligibility isn't merely a Machiavellian power play aimed at circumscribed, short-term goals, though it is that. It is an assault on civilization in an era when circumstances demand responsibility. The human capacities for good and evil are greater than ever. So, more than ever, this is not the time to screw it up.

(The excerpt is from "Origin of language")

They Might be Midgets

The dwarf army has taken over in Washington. Recall the "seven dwarfs" testimonies from 1994 when the heads of all the major tobacco companies swore under oath before Congress to the non-addictive properties of nicotine.

They might be gone but their spirit lives on. The tobacco titans were corporate aspects of the dwarf army now emerging from everywhere to run the American empire and state, men without conscience and motivated only by greed. 

Did Obama Care?

I was there in '08. For some people the long-awaited turning point had come. Finally there would be some accountability for the decades of Republican mismanagement, malfeasance and perfidy. It appeared that the world had seen the horror and insanity of Bush and the neocons and that the American voters had owned their shit, electing a reserved, rational black man to replace him.

Republicans had trashed everything they had touched. Obama's failure to hold the criminals accountable could be understood though it disappointed anyone interested in justice. He had inherited a world economy on the brink of collapse, the immediate result of Republican deregulatory insanity. And the Middle East was in flames and hundreds of thousands were dead. He had his hands full.

In the end there was no accountability. None of the neocons suffered personally. They moved on into respected positions when they should have been in jail. And, when all was said and done the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The forces of evil were only emboldened. Republicans sabotaged Obama's presidency from beginning to end. It should have been clear in his first midterm election.

The American voters were implicated. They couldn't own the catastrophes of the modern American imperium. They only wanted to feel safe and comfortable and righteous. God had chosen us. We were the elect. It didn't matter what we did. But it does matter. Eventually we will pay but not the instigators. Just like the neocons and Bush the ringleaders will walk away probably unscathed.

I don't know why Obama failed at this though I think there were "realists" and cynics in the mix. Rahm Emmanuel is a left-wing version of a right-wing thug. Other thugs were already in place, the bullies of the American military, forever optimistic about their mission and usually avoiding culpability. Technically civilians are responsible and in charge but Obama wasn't able to stop the ongoing lunacy.

And now we have Trump and the full blossoming of doom. Americans are addicts on many fronts and will never own it or only when it is too late. I am convinced of that now. We are living the primal drama of good against evil and we have sided with evil. Congratulations, America. We are shit. We are the bad guys. Try to "John Wayne" your way out of that. It's what got us there in the first place.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

redirecting to

Don't bother reading anything about American democracy these days that assumes it still exists. That is inaccurate and discredits the source.

Human Immersion Blender Speechifier Evil Emulsification Agent of Doom

No more than you I had no idea what Trump would say in his SOTU speech but, once it happened, it seemed inevitable as it was, loaded with ingratiating arrogance. Donald grovels and looks down at you at the same time. He needs approbation and lives in a binary world.

We are with him or with the terrorists.

It is a setup. Donald has to be in a position to claim administrative and "ethical" justification so there has to be boilerplate language somewhere providing cover for that. "We are all one" or whatever. Since when in Donald's disenfranchising and divisive administration?

The SOTU address was perfect in its embodiment and furthering of the broader scam, an immersion blender of a speech normalizing partisan, vindictive, delusional, reckless, illegal, misanthropic, self-serving, irrational and racist outlier nonsense. Our pot has been stirred.

We are a stew. Or maybe a roux, indiscernibly flour and fat. Anyway, lies and the truth are now indissolubly mixed and the guardians of our democracy are its destroyers. 

It's important for the forces of evil to have deniability through deceit and claims to the appearance of rightness and probity. It’s important up to a point. That is why the clapping and cheering of Trump's defenders among our elected representatives was so upsetting. 

It shows how far gone we are and unlikely to survive. Beyond some point, notoriously that of "no return," it won't matter. Our democracy will be done-for and dust.

Ignore the reams of accurate criticisms and responsible, intelligible analysis of the reign of Trump and the obvious corruption of his supporters. The system is probably poisoned beyond repair. Apart from approbation Trump still needs some level of cooperation from us.

That will not be true much longer. He must win elections. He's a goner if Republicans tank in the midterms. So, we must win elections and then uproot the evildoers from their seats of power, but the system is probably already far too compromised for fixing.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tuesdays With Moron

With Donald Trump it's a problem not to spend too much time in his thrall, worrying about his ability to obliterate the world with his carelessness and stupidity. It would be wonderful if the reverse were true, that he was a quiet example of rectitude, moral excellence and emotional stability, deserving more attention than he would normally get because of his humility and obscurity. 

I'm trying, in my own life, to institute a rule of "Tuesdays with Moron" to limit my exposure to Trump and the corrosive and demoralizing effects of following his daily assaults on decency and his failure to meet entry level standards of humanity. I will follow Trump only on Tuesdays and avoid any news regarding him on every other day which means avoiding the news entirely except on Tuesdays.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Freudian Slip-Man Concentrate Insult Boomerang-Hurling Nincompoop

Trump gives new meaning to the idea of Freudian slips and verbal tics. The terms suggest an occasional occurrence against the norm, a glimpse inside into an underworld in the red light district of someone's mind, assuming a context of the normalcy of suburbs, malls, endless fields of grain and maybe some solar arrays and youth hostels, why not.

Anyway, Trump's is a red light district and nothing else, life in a statistical tail absenting the mean, a horrifically unstable, seedy, parasitic moral wasteland. Messages explode from the crevasses (rented by the hour) in his delusonally defensive psyche. "Fake News!" Yes, Donald, we know who the imposter is. "Loser!" Yes, we know who the loser is, too. 

The most militant, aggressive and unscrupulous person anyone has ever encountered thinks he's under attack. He thinks this as he witnesses his victims frantically protecting themselves in desperation as the blows rain down. Incoming! None of this behavior is unusual or striking except in its severity. His accusations are reflexive, reactive and revealing.

As it will be with slips and tics, it has nothing to do with anyone but him.

The Retreat to Moral Certainty

The bastion of moral certainty always represents a retreat from freedom and personal responsibility into the fortress of submission, deference, conformity, blind obedience and unanimity of conscience. And, make no mistake, it is God who demands freedom without which individual salvation is meaningless and moot. Try to tell that to some people.

Mike Pence's morality, for example, came to him wholesale and obliterated doubt. He is saved and we are suspect. Since his salvation is assured he concerns himself with ours, not that it matters since we are probably predestined for perdition anyway, but he would like to inhabit a nicer ethical 'hood while he's trapped it the shithole of creation, evidently.

His soul is impatient for the release of death and a reunion with God, which his beliefs tell him is certain. Call me stodgy and a stickler but I find this presumptuous. Pence, Jimmy Swaggart, Falwell, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Roy Moore, Tom DeLay and the other peddlers of righteousness think they know the mind of God. I am somewhat dubious.

I concern myself first with my own morality and assume no certainty. I judge actions, not individuals. I have glimpsed the transformation of the love of God, I would say, and it was marked most forcefully by humility and a perspective that precluded judging anybody. Judgement itself didn't exist in that sphere, only love. Nothing else made sense there.

Pence is loving him some immigrants lately with deportations. He's loving other groups with condemnations for circumstantial faults. His contempt overflows, visibly in his ethically wracked countenance. Either that or he has digestive issues. I think that the transformation resides not within him, but who am I to say. If it does maybe it's messing with his bowels.

No Adults in the Room

Get over it. It's a misplaced and forlorn hope that adults are operating effectively in the Trump-o-sphere. Grownups are prohibited at the gates of this playground. Not only is adult behavior inappropriate there it is banned. It would get in the way of the games.

Notice, however, the assumptions of privilege in the nuclear schoolyard, that this impossible microcosm of childhood irresponsibility can go on forever, supported by parental largess, an economy of heirs and heiresses like the Trumps and Kochs and Bushes of the world.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Undignified and The Inefficient

I despise the English for their racism and prejudice. It's so bad they invent sub-genres of it, class structures which have proved amazingly enduring independently of skin color. The class origins of most English are apparent the minute they open their mouths.

Remember "the lads from Liverpool" line on the Beatles? Liverpool was not only a working-class shithole it was notoriously Irish so the reference was racist, classist and loaded with innuendo. Anyway, it's therefore to my surprise that I admire aspects of English government as portrayed in The Crown on Netflix. They have "efficient" and "dignified" roles assigned respectively to Parliament and the Monarchy.

We have indignity and inefficiency on a mind-numbing scale. Our government deliberately squanders resources to keep them out of the hands of the rabble. Who has gained from our incursions in the Middle East? Halliburton shareholders and executives, perhaps. Thomas Frank accurately observed the goal of the new Republicanism as the destruction of the government. Maybe the English system isn't so bad after all.

As for dignity, I plead "Donald Trump" and go from there, to where his henchmen squirm and grovel around him feeding on the carnage like maggots.

Monarchy can't be worse than what we have, inverted standards rewarding incompetence, vested interests, greed, theft and malfeasance. Why should any of them abdicate? Our royals and self-serving legislative charlatans have more freedom--the freedom of power, influence and money--inside of their roles than they would otherwise. They might have to make an honest living unsupported by us. They aren't going anywhere.

If they do it will be into the areas of finance, lobbying and similar "occupations" which feed on influence and corruption, parts of the greater government of the diversion of money into the hands of people who contribute nothing. Their efforts now are in disenfranchising the common folk before the scam is uncovered. I'm sure they are surprised it can go on for so long. No one knew the extent of the stupidity of the American voters.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Accidental Terrorist

Sometimes an accidental juxtaposition of news reports, such as on Trump and terrorism, can call attention to similarities. It did for me. The enormous tactical advantage of terrorists is that they don't care about anything. In fact, sowing the seeds of discord--fear and horror--is what they do. They might choose a target just to put it in the faces of their opponents and generate outrage and remind their adversaries of their powerlessness to stop it. 

Sound familiar? Trump doesn't care how many lives he destroys. His life has taught him there are no consequences for his horrible behaviors. He has been rewarded for being the biggest asshole ever, lastly by winning the presidency. He represents an old strain of conservative sociopathy, entitlement, arrogance and incompetence issuing mainly now from the former Confederacy, a terrorist substate and seat of militant racial hatred. Evangelicals invested Trump and are his most loyal supporters and acolytes.

These crazies began their final assault and ascent to dominion in 1994. The scales were tipped then with electoral victories based on and meant to worsen the objectification, subjugation and disenfranchising of Democrats, who had occupied the same psychological space in the hearts of white southerners as black people once did, to be persecuted with impunity. It was open season on Democrats, including terrorizing them and other Americans by leveraging the welfare of citizens for cynical ends. 

It all culminates in Trump, a president who instinctively terrorizes everyone within his reach in a pathetic compulsion to be the center of attention and control everything around him. Love of country, decency and humanity mean nothing. Any price must be paid for Trump and his backers to get their way. Trump's reflex is to viciously attack anyone who resists him using any means available, now the might of the presidency. We are all hostages now.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Salt Talk

Trump and the Republicans continue to salt the fields of democracy. They will make rational, representative government forever impossible if they have their way.

Only a Catastrophe Can Save Us

I have more time to read in winter and it used to be nice. Now, not as much. I innocently googled "causes of great recession" the other day. I have an open mind, that it was probably driven by deregulation even though there are other, contributing, insufficient causes.

Immediately I was in the land of hacks and shills. Republican "think tanks" and conservative journalists have unloaded the blame onto hapless Democrats who are credited with trashing the economy while trying to help ordinary people. I talk to working people all the time.

Derivatives and credit default swaps are not common topics. None of them knowingly had risky stocks. Enron is now the model for the whole economy. You jig the system and hope to escape with the loot before it crashes about your ears. A collapse is our best hope now.

The latest stock run-up feels like the usual Republican scam to me, musical chairs with our money and an unknown number of players and chairs. It's a game to them. One of these times the collapse is going to be bad enough to discredit the scammers. They don't care.

Most of them will escape unscathed. America, my ass. All they care about is themselves. Hope for enough of a collapse to expose them but not too bad to preclude a recovery. As always and before, innocent, poorer people will suffer the most and many will die.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Can't Help Loving That Trump of Mine

My heart embraces Trump as it embraces its life in the face of death. It embraces its fate. Maybe "embrace" is too strong but my heart is seeking peace in the presence of insanity.

And Trumpism isn't anything if it isn't insane. Compulsion deprives him of his agency. Lack of agency and integrity deprive him of his humanity. His lack of humanity deprives us of ours.

Simple, in fact, isn't it? Simple, and utterly insane. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly.... If there's an archetype for a pig and piece of shit Trump is its apotheosis. And we chose him.

We are embracing a fate in Trump, if not him. It's the fate of annihilation.

Implacable Idiocy

Why should idiocy be so implacable? Idiots keep risking it even in victory. Don't they know they've won? They're too stupid to know.

It isn't a death wish it's delusion. Selection must have bred humans to be fearful. Crazy people must have outsurvived their complacent kin.

Where does it get you? To where we are now, creating wonders while sailing away into senseless destruction. It was wonderful once. 

So many people were able to have better lives. Now it's just dumbfounding. Technology has done amazing things. Our ethics haven't kept up.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


I'll tell you why the horrifying, sensational story of the captive children in California is causing so much interest. It resonates with our own captivity under the new, right-wing hegemony of hatred and fear.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Life Was a Cabaret

Forget that. Now we're all galley slaves chained to our posts at the oars and heading into battle. Donald Trump is captain and commander. Great. Just fucking great.

The Immolation Awaits

All that awaits us is the immolation. The kindling is stacked all around. Accelerants are in place. Matches are everywhere. Welcome to the American auto-da-fé.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Don't Read This

I'm going to bite this off. Nobody reads me anyway. Where were these women accusing all and sundry of sexual impropriety when it mattered. They made a choice then, in some way weighing the costs and benefits. If it was a crime they could have reported it. 

If it was too inconsequential to count as a crime it's a trial (and conviction) by accusation. I have a problem with that. If it wasn't a crime and it should be we can work together to alter the rules and the laws. Oh, wait, that is going to be hard as hell now. 

Republicans are controlling the entire government. And the white women of America voted resoundingly for Trump, a known pussy-grabber and pig, the epitome of everything they are decrying. Women, shut up for a while. Get your shit together and report back.

Believe it or not there's larger stuff at stake. People all over the world are dying because of us. Get it through your fucking heads. However bad your shit might seem the world as we know it might be ending, environmentally, economically and otherwise.

My Love is Blue; My Face is Red; My President is Orange

I don't have the stomach for love anymore. It feels too risky and potentially taxing in Trump-world. All of my emotional energy is expended observing the end-times. 

I'm angry. I'm embarrassed, as well, to be an American. That is, to be an American in the age of Orange. It's a disgrace. It's a horror. It's a nuisance. It might be lethal.

A Taste of Honkey

Lonely bull Donald Trump deserves a soundtrack for his presidency, from a spaghetti western or a similarly melodramatic source. He'll charge a red cape forever. What a moron. God help us, we are living in a soap opera. Everything is exaggerated. 

For those being attacked it isn't amusing. Others watch in horror as our democracy crumbles. The forces of insanity are loosed among us. Reason matters for nothing. Really, God help us. The fuckers don't believe in anything. The bad guys have won.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Plunderers

The road to our demise has been long. It isn't at all unpatriotic to admit that Americans have always been plunderers. Everybody used to plunder, given the chance. We, however, were plunderers with principles. 

We weren't imperial. We plundered fair and square. Never mind that a continent of natural resources had been handed to us--by fate, manifestly--to be exploited once the aborigines were out of the way. 

But our plundering has won out over our principles. And, worse yet, we're plundering our principles. We often failed to live up to them but at least the principles were intact in a parallel world. Not any longer.

I'm not even sure this is bad. The Civil Rights Movement, an ethical smackdown, was the big show. No more upholding the pretense of democracy and equal protection. Either we would live up to our ideals or not. 

Answer that as a "no," for now. It's a shock to many of us that we failed so readily. There is no real threat. There is no mortal danger. Quite the opposite. We are unchallenged. And we are the danger to ourselves.

What kind of lunatic still believes the hype? We are harvesting resources as we always have--into extinction. Whales, petroleum, labor.... Onward goes the plundering. But we are owning it now as we never have.

Fuck the rest of the world. Fuck the environment. Fuck poorer Americans, for that matter. We will get ours. Get out of the fucking way. Those are our principles. Or, rather, they are primal drives posing as such.

Snorting Rationale

Stock markets always have a perpetual-motion aspect to them. It's the nature of capitalism. Capital markets require energy subsidies to exist. But are they justifying the subsidies?
We are so far beyond that. Capital markets are being deified, as though they're outside the laws of physical reality. This leap of faith is a product of the addiction to profits.

The bright lights in the big city have blinded the beneficiaries of the markets.

They are ripped on their own rationalizations. A reckoning awaits. They forget that markets have to be rooted in something. They think they are immune to the laws of conservation.

They are wrong. 

Capital is congealed labor. It's the product of that and natural resources. Technology expands productivity but the justification for supporting capital markets is in distributions.

If the overall social benefits aren't distributed to everyone there's no reason to maintain the markets. The markets become tools for the extraction of wealth and nothing else. 

It's time to curtail them.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The 2017 Toady Awards

What a season. It's hard to know where to begin. It has been a banner year for boot-lickers. First, to set the stage: near the end of 2016 decades of the systematic stultifying of a large section of the voting public resulted in the election of an inappropriate, incompetent and morally repugnant president.

For many years Republican leaders had been cunningly turning their share of the electorate into sheep and ignoramuses using all kinds of shady measures. It worked amazingly well. The Democrats were reduced to fecklessness and futility, unable to govern according to their principles even when they won. 

Republicans succeeded by misrepresenting their intentions and buying and gaming elections, pulling the country far rightward. Establishment Republicans were initially indignant at the rise of the usurper, Trump. He stole their mass of gullible voters by openly appealing to the nurtured, hidden prejudices.

Formerly it had been mostly between the lines--lots of dog-whistle politics and race baiting. Now the hatreds were much more overt and many citizens, long inured to lies and riddled with resentments, supported the new leader. Their representatives quickly swallowed their pride and followed along. 

Never has there been such a year for the selling of souls. Autocrats demand obedience and fealty. Therefore, oaths have been abandoned; lies are rationalized and denied; outrageous behavior is lionized; degradation reigns. It wouldn't be fair to the scope of the depravity to recognize only individual toadies.

So, the Toady Award this year goes to the whole cast of enablers and shills. Their deference is absolute. Their debasement is complete. Occasionally conscientious objectors arise among them. They are summarily crushed and usually flee. And the new year promises nothing but more of the same.