Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Young Master Donald, The Bathtub Admiral

While the bulk of the media's attention has been Laser-focused on Hillary Clinton's illness, Donald Trump's latest incendiary rant has gone largely unreported.

Last Friday night, at a rally in Pensacola, Florida, His Orangeness suggested that he'd be willing to launch World War III in response to what he considered to be unwarranted taunts from the crews of some Iranian vessels.  Apparently, the US Navy has been reporting harassment from Iranian watercraft operated by that nation's Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary group opposed to any dialogue with the US.  Here's what The Donald said:  "When they [the Iranians] circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water."

As a relatively rational human being, I keep asking myself, "Is this jamoke for real?"  Maybe if I rub my eyes for a minute or two or five, it'll go away.  Yeeuukk!  No such luck!  It's still there in all its frightful, shrieking flaminess!

  Giving The Donald an extremely generous benefit of doubt, all I can figure  is this.  He's acting out a juvenile fantasy,` recalling fondly his days as a li'l kiddo in the lavish confines of his family's mansion in Queens.

Young Master Donald has created a toy fleet of military watercraft in the troubled waters of one of his family's gilded bathtubs.  There it is in all its glory:  A big, beautiful, destroyer all decked out in its All-American livery, surrounded by hostile little Commie boats.   Guess which vessels get shot out of the water!

There you have it, folks.   The No-Longer-So-Young Master Donald is just a-hankerin' to reenact that juvenile fantasy, hearkening back to The Days When America Was Great!

Hey all!  Let's not get complacent here, regardless of whatever the polls are projecting.  Please don't sit this one out.   Vote for Hillary,  she'll get well.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ideal Theme Song for the Republican Trumpfest in Cleveland

The Republicans seem to have a devil of a time finding suitable theme songs for the hate-and-fear-a-thons staged every four years during which they anoint their party's presidential standard-bearer.  Historically, many performers have adamantly objected to their creations being aired without authorization.

In 2008, the Wilson sisters of the rock group Heart, voiced their disapproval of Sara Palin's pirating of their 1970s hit, Barracuda.  Recently, members of the British group Queen likewise expressed their concern with the 2016 Republican National Convention's (RNC) use of one of their flagship hits, We Are The Champions.  

Whomever is tasked with selecting appropriate theme music for the RNC is overlooking an obvious choice:  Crooner Eddie Fisher's swell 1951 rendition of Turn Back the Hands of Time.   Without any further ado, here's Eddie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kp-yN7KeFQ

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Old Republican Dudes Love Their Porn: A Golden Opportunity for Democrats to Take Back the Congress

A few years back, a survey fielded by the Harvard Business School concluded that the greatest demand for pornographic ogling per capita is concentrated in the red states  --- especially the ones with heavy concentrations of evangelicals.

The state at the very pinnacle of the list?  Blood-red Utah!  Other top contenders consist of the following states, all playpens of lust featuring a deep scarlet pigment:  Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

It's probably safe to assume that repressed old white dudes comprise the bulk of this cohort of on-line oglers.  They might hate big government, and detest that socialist from Kenya who lives at the White House, but they sure do love their on-line porn.  They can't ever get enough of that visual whoopie!*

I have a plan!  The various Democratic campaign committees should assume an active funding and organizing role.  Their task would be to avail themselves of the services of the nation's eighty most popular premium porno sites. Next on the agenda?  Declare a Free Premium Porn Day.  The date? Why Tuesday, November 8th, of course!  By sheer coincidence, that just happens to be the day of this year's elections.

Here's what I envision.  Get all those porn-lovin' ol' white dudes wired up, with pop-up ads on the major sites a week in advance.  Once that calendar flips to the Eighth Day of November, they'll all be hot to trot, welded to their computer screens at the crack o'dawn.  Remember now!  Eighty premium websites!  --- enough to keep them transfixed from dawn 'til dusk.  They can have it all, and by gum they're gonna git it all!

Once they recover their poise long enough to take a break from their non-stop ogling, they'll gaze out the window.  Dag-nab it, it's dark out!  They'll check the time: Oh lord, it's seven o'clock!  The polls have just closed! Thousand names of the devil!  They forgot to cast their ballots!

The election results come pouring in.  Fast forward to 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.  Every major network has declared a clear sweep for the Democrats:  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and both houses of Congress.  All because thousands upon thousands of porn-lovin', pervy ol' pale dudes couldn't tear themselves away from their visual whoopie long enough to vote.  Mission accomplished.

Hey, it's worth a shot, don't ya think?

*Also eyeball an earlier post on this blog from 7/20/12:  
Repressed Feelings in Romneyland:  Just Gotta Have It.




Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Donald & Da Coach: A Love Story

Michael Sneed, a veteran columnist with the Chicago Sun-Times, recently informed her readers of ongoing communications between Donald Trump and former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka,  also known affectionately as "Da Coach."  Rumors abound that Ditka may be invited to speak at the Republican National Convention in behalf of the party's likely standard-bearer.

No one should be surprised.  The guy who led the Bears to the 1986 Super Bowl and The Orange Caudillo have been blowing metaphorical kisses at one another for quite some time now.  Not only do they share many of the same hateful values, but they also possess the common bond of being senior citizens who've never grown up.

Examples of The Donald's childish behavior are legion, such as his warped regard for women as "bimbos", and his crude behavior toward demonstrators at his rallies, even as they're being manhandled by his fans ---  Get 'em outta here!  Da Coach also has a history of immature antics in the public eye, though not nearly as prominent. During his tenure with the Bears, he was known to stick wads of gum on the camera lenses of photographers who'd get in his way, making him all hissy.  Sometimes he'd even hurl a spittle-ravaged gob of well-chewed product at an offending journalist's head.

I knew guys like that in high school:  Towel-snapping jocks who'd refer to those of us who were less athletically or socially gifted as losers and spazzmos!   At a recent high school reunion, I met some of those same guys.  Guess what!  They had all grown up.  As for The Donald and Da Coach,  not so much! 

Love is never having to say you're sorry, guys.




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sandra Bland: Arrested & Jailed for Asserting Herself

If I was to try to enumerate the number of times I've changed lanes without signaling,   I'd run out of fingers and toes.  In heavy traffic,  I always signal,  but on a lightly-traveled highway,   it's easy to become lax. 

The incidence of over-stressed,  poorly trained,  and sometimes bigoted  cops --- hopefully,  still a minority of all sworn officers   ---  brutalizing and sometimes even killing  people of color is becoming as American as apple pie.    Self-anointed vigilantes have occasionally contributed to the carnage with their own toxic brand of hatred.   Remember George Zimmerman,  the wannabe-cop who gunned down Trayvon Martin?  Also not to be forgotten:   Michael Dunn,  the 47-year-old bigot who shot into a car full of black teenagers,  killing one because he decided that their radio was too loud.  There have been others by the score in recent years.

As a straight-looking white guy with some mileage on my anatomical odometer,   I have no idea what it would feel like to be profiled day after day.   But I can try to imagine.    On more than one occasion,  nonwhite friends and co-workers --- mild-mannered individuals ---  have expressed to me the irritation they've sometimes felt in the wake of  traffic stops without meaningful cause.   Also worth mentioning are the retailers who select customers of a darker hue for the eagle-eye treatment,  white pedestrians who tighten the grip on their handbags,  laptops,  etc.,  when approached by someone a few shades darker.

According to her family,    Sandra Bland often voiced her concern regarding issues of social justice.   When Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia curbed her white Hyundai, on a  fateful July day last summer,   she didn't hesitate to express her sentiments.    She was cited for failure to signal for a lane change.    As a dash-cam video in the squad car indicates,  she switched lanes specifically to allow the officer to pass her.   She also stated such.

The dash-cam in the trooper's vehicle captured the first ten minutes of the traffic stop and the ensuing confrontation.     Here's the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpSEemvwOn4  

It's painful to watch,  but this ten-minute video clip clearly demonstrates  who threw the tantrum.  At  2:33,  Officer Encinia,   sworn to uphold the law and preserve the peace, cast all sense of decorum to the winds,  and morphed into a raging goon within thirty seconds.   Following four minutes of manhandling --- including a threat to "light her up" with a Taser ---   he told Ms. Bland that her citation was only a warning,  but that "she started creating a problem."  (6:25).

Back to 2:33:   Officer Encinia really blew it!   Ms. Bland assumed --- legitimately so --- that she being charged with a moving violation.   All he needed to say,  at that moment,  was,  "It's just a warning.   You're free to go.  And please remember to use your signals."   Instead he asked her to extinguish her cigarette  without offering a reason,  thereby exceeding the limits of his authority.   She rightfully refused.*   The officer then went ballistic,  leading to Ms.  Bland's arrest and incarceration.   Three days later she was found dead in her cell.

County officials claim that she committed suicide.  Their only evidence is a written report claiming that she had mentioned  a suicide attempt during her intake interview.  But there's apparently no audio.   Ms.  Bland's family stated that she had been very upbeat when they last communicated,  having just begun a new job which she loved.  So who's telling the truth?  The US Department of Justice really needs to investigate.

Suppose Officer Encinia had curbed a sassy southern belle with a peaches-and-cream  complexion.   Would he have manhandled her and threatened to "light her up" with a Taser?    Of course he would!   And Donald Trump is my fairy godmother!

Events of this type,   both historical and contemporary,  happen all the time.    Does anyone really believe that we're living in a "post-racial society"?    If so,   they need to burst their cocoons and step out into the real world.


*  Definitely worth the read:  A Talking Points Memo opinion piece  by Seth Stoughton,  a University of South Carolina law professor and former police officer.   Here's the link:   talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/sandra-bland-video-legal-but-not-good-policing

Update:   Earlier today,  a grand jury indicted Encinia for perjury,  for lying about the circumstances leading to Sandra Bland's arrest.   (He had claimed that he tried to de-escalate the situation.    The dash-cam proved otherwise).   











Monday, December 21, 2015

Stray Thoughts About the Republican Debate: No Grownups in the Hall After All.

I had anticipated the  recent GOP debate on CNN with some apprehension.   Was Donald Trump's rhetoric  becoming so toxic that the rest of the Republican field might appear as rational human beings?    

Not to worry!   As The Hate-and-Fear-a-thon progressed,  my concerns were soon relieved.   Even Ohio Governor John Kasich,  who's often cited by pundits as being the most moderate candidate,  seemed a tad unhinged at times.  About halfway through the debate,   he harrumphed that the President and other world leaders attending the climate change conference in Paris should be focused on ISIS instead.   Later on he growled,  "It's time we punched the Russians in the nose."

Let's not forget New Jersey's  Chris Christie.   He seems to have anointed himself heir apparent to onetime New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's 9-11 mantle.   Remember him from 2012?   Elect me because .... 9-11!   During a discussion focused on the use of air power against ISIS,  including the establishment of a no-fly zone,  Christie roared that we should shoot down any Russian plane that would dare invade "our"  no-fly zone,  no questions asked.  

Without missing a beat,   Kentucky Senator Rand Paul,  addressing the audience and gesturing toward Christie  declared,  "If you want World War III,  there's your candidate."   Yep,  there he stood!   Rand Paul,  a voice of reason in the GOP wilderness,  at least in the realm of foreign affairs.    He later offered a spot-on rebuttal to a Donald Trump rant focused on "taking out terrorists'  families"  if necessary.   Paul sagely stated,  "There's a such thing as the Geneva Convention,   which we'd have to pull out of."   However,  his closing statement propelled me back to the somber reality of Republican domestic policy.   The Good Senator insisted that the national debt is our greatest threat, not the day-to-day struggle to survive and thrive faced by much of our nation.   Among the GOP contenders,   none of those concerns rated even a squeak.    (As far as I know,  no particular issue priorities were specified in the debate format).

I'm not suggesting for a moment that national security isn't an issue of vital concern.   The Democratic candidates did address it during their most recent debate along with domestic priorities.

In the meantime,  at the United Nations,   diplomatic efforts continue with the intent of settling Syria's 5-year-long civil war.   At the same time,   all concerned parties including the United States --- represented by Secretary of State John Kerry ---  are focused on weakening and eventually eliminating ISIS.

It's a slow,  but productive process.  The Democratic contenders support this effort,  although there's some disagreement over tactics.

With the exception of Rand Paul,  the GOP rivals insist that the only way to vanquish ISIS is by charging forward with guns a-blazin',   21st Century style ---  with the good ol' USofA at the head of the wagon train.    We all know how well that worked in Iraq.

Come November,  we'll be facing a stark choice at the ballot box.   Will we send a grownup to the White House,  or  a juvenile bully whose volatile hatreds could poison us all?

The whole world will be watching,  folks.



  




Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Suggestion for the Republicans' Theme Song

Back in 1951,  a youthful crooner named Eddie Fisher topped the charts with a number known as   Turn Back the Hands of Time.    It was a lament for a time long gone.   Here's the refrain:
        
                  Turn back the hands of time
                  Roll back the sands of time
                  Bring back the dream divine
                  Let's live it over again

Sixty-four years later,  it's just as timely,  unhip vibes notwithstanding.   I can't imagine a more appropriate theme song for any and all events held on behalf of the Republican Party:  fund-raisers,  primary debates,  even next year's convention in Cleveland.   What could be more fitting in light of the Grand Old Party's retrograde priorities and values?

It's worth a listen.  Without further ado,  here's Eddie.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kp-yN7KeFQ