Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Say what you will about the American political process but the fact remains that in this country we are free to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Or swear one in...
As my weary eyes strained to remain open that gloomy Friday morning, I watched the inauguration or should I say the coronation of now President Trump.
As the rain fell on a dreary Friday afternoon in Washington, the bible wasn't even cold as the newly anointed President Trump delivered red meat to rabid supporters. A scene worthy of any "El Presidente'" dictator complete with clenched fist and "America First" exclamations.
Claims of "the largest inauguration turnout ever!" denied by oceans of whitespace on the National Mall flickering across America's TV screens like some surreal CUT without the requisite PASTE.
The weekend found blistering retorts of "The Media" for "misreporting" of the inauguration turnout from Trump's proxy mouthpiece Sean Spicer. Soon followed by damage control from Campaign Manager turned Propaganda Minister Kellyanne Conway who explained "Shotgun Spicer's" outburst as nothing more than "Alternative Facts."
Saturday found Trump galloping over to the CIA , entourage in tow, to express his undying love and admiration for the organization he maligned just a week earlier. Interspersed with his adoration, thinly veiled threats to fall in line along with the suggestion of a new mission.
CIA, KGB, hell, why not...
That was followed up on Tuesday with news that the EPA has been officially "silenced" leaving Global Warming activists scrambling to back up government data that provided evidence of the phenomenon's legitimacy. Data that was very much in jeopardy as Trump began his work to remake government in his own image.
Another stroke of the pen among many found new life for the Keystone XL and Dakota pipeline projects. Worsening fears ever more realized.
The hits just keep coming with the latest the claim that "3 to 5 million votes" were cast illegally ultimately costing him the popular vote. No evidence was offered for this opinion other than Trump's own narcissism.
There's more to come but in less than a week Trump has managed to threaten or overturn every policy of his predecessor while alienating U.S. allies and silencing any government agency that may have evidence to contradict his whims.
Let's not forget the cabinet, A Secretary of State plucked from the executive suite of Exxon, Rex Tillerson. A man unapologetically cozy with Russian Dictator Vladmir Putin with a history of working against his own country's interest in favor of his own.
Or Betsy DeVoss, pick for Education Secretary. A woman with no education background, an active supporter of charter schools over public schools and a stakeholder in a student debt collection agency.
Perhaps the most laughable of picks, Rick Perry for Energy Secretary. A man who once promised to eliminate the department he's been picked to lead. A man who up to a week ago wasn't aware that his department was in charge of the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
There's more to come in Trump's Kangaroo Cabinet as well as such gems as his pick for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai an enemy of Net Neutrality and government regulation of public airwaves.
There's a pattern here as plain as the plaid on a Grunge band's shirts.
Does this sound like the ramblings of a "Butt-Hurt Libtard?"
Maybe to the less than 30% of the country that still supports Trump. If, however, you have any sense of history it should be obvious that the actions of Trump are not those of a thoughtful man concerned with country but rather with self promotion.
The swipes at the press, cabinet picks the antithesis of their office, a muzzling of contradiction no matter how valid. These are more than just the actions of a President setting a tone early in his tenure. It's the foundation of something far more dangerous.
This is the President that would be king.
That protests took place during the inauguration, that the streets were empty as Trump's motorcade went by and that women all over the country marched in opposition to him the next day cannot be dismissed unless you just don't care to know.
Do you care to know? Or is your patriotism limited to a hat....
Friday, January 20, 2017
"We enslave, torture, and murder billions of cows, pigs, and chickens every year and nobody bats an eye. A dog is forced to swim for a scene in a movie and everyone loses their fucking minds."
That quote is from yet another Vegan "activist" on Reddit hijacking a thread to draw yet another false equivalency to make a ridiculous point.
That being of course, the evils of factory farming somehow not rising to level of someone who beats up a dog.
I'm sorry if I offend anyone with this but dammit....
I'm sick of half-baked, half-assed activists whose only goal in life it seems is to make everyone else feel miserable.
So thank you Veggie Nazi, you've given me inspiration.
Since there never seems to be a separation for you people let's just make the assumption that you feel all meat is bad and we're all going to hell for eating any of it.
Regardless of whether or not it's "factory farmed."
You tend to deal in half-reasoned absolutes so that's how I'm going to address you...
Now, let's talk about those beleaguered chickens, cows and pigs shall we?
Yes, they're animals and yes I wouldn't be a very good butcher because they have eyes and would look at me. If I had to do the deed to save my life, I'd likely starve to death. The prospect of reducing one to it's constituent products is not something this society has raised me to deal with.
That stems mostly from the fact that I was born into a world with indoor plumbing and something other than animal skins and fig leaf jockstraps.
Let me be clear having said that. That's no excuse for inhumane treatment of any living thing but let's get real here. These keyboard ninjas swilling their fat-free smoothies and soy milk treat anyone that's ever visited a drive-thru like they were Jeffrey Dahmer.
Let's get this straight....
There's no such thing as a Free Range Chicken. I mean really....
Do you think there's some golden, sunlit valley somewhere teaming with cackling hens dancing around crystal streams where they live out their happy days to a ripe old age?
BS, they'd all starve to death in a week.
All Free-range means is that they don't get caged up. That's a good thing but they're still destined for the dinner table.
They wander around aimlessly pecking the ground cackling and crapping. Most of the time simultaneously. They're dirty, ill tempered and unpleasant.
Pigs aren't much better. It's been said that they supposedly have the mental equivalent of a 3 year old human child.
Which explains the general hygiene of most 3 year old's.
Beef cattle, much like Chickens, exist to be eaten. They, like Chickens, spend most of their day wandering around aimlessly grazing and crapping. Without much regard for either other than continuing the acts.
I suppose identifying with 1000 pounds of manure factory is someone's idea of bliss but only if you think Tofu and plain yogurt taste like anything but ASS.
I'm a realist and as such I am fully aware that all of these "endangered" livestock exist in nature for no reason OTHER than to be a meal for something else.
This is how nature made them. I'm no evolutionary biologist but I'm fairly certain that cows, sheep, pigs and chickens can trace the roots of their place in the food chain back to similarly situated ancestors.
Should we decry the fate of the Ant when the Anteater comes around? The Mouse when the Cat catches him?
Just because they're cute doesn't elevate them above livestock.
I suppose Native Americans were monsters for killing Buffalo.
Never mind they made use of virtually every part of the animal.
"Barbarians!" you say. "They should've been eating grass and leaves!" (and maybe smoking some too!)
I don't put much faith into that biblical nonsense about "Man's dominion over the Earth." I'm pretty sure nature gives you a few perks and you battle it out from there.
"What about the dinosaurs," you may say, "the largest were almost always herbivores!"
Yeah, they were and they didn't move very fast either. Know why? because the carnivores needed a steady food supply and rats on the forest floor weren't going to cut it.
They were beef cattle.
Humans? We're Omnivores. Our bodies don't work right without a balance of both flora and fauna.
Sorry buddy, it's just how we're made and why all those Veggie Nazis always seem to look so sick.
Yeah sure. Point to those rail-thin Victoria Secret models prancing around. All of them looking like they're in dire need of a sandwich with something other than air between their gluten-free bread.
That's not even an acceptable female body image these days. So what about that Mr. Activist? Promoting an unhealthy body image seems to me to be far worse.
The old adage of moderation in everything applies. Some of this, some of that and things go much better.
Sure, there are 100+ year old vegetarians.
They look like crap...
But to the point of this little piece...
The guilt-trip has to stop. Spare me the evil eye while you're choking down your rice cakes and hand-raised soybean spread. I'm perpetuating no evil.
You know damned well you want a burger.
How do I know?
Because there's an entire industry that's grown up around your mania catering to your natural desire for balance. A need for sustenance that doesn't normally end up in a lawn mower bag.
Fake burgers, fries, ice cream, even milk.
If you're so happy with twigs and leaves why do companies make millions producing soybean saturated stand-ins?
Get off your high horse. Besides, did you ask it if it actually WANTED you on it's back?
You're not superior, you don't have all the answers, and you need to stop assaulting everyone with your absolutes. Nobody will care about your cause if you alienate everybody.
Yes, treat animals humanely for God's Sake! Just keep your condemnations to yourself if I choose a more traditional path.
The two aren't incompatible.
Remember, Absolutes are for Sith Lords and Fascists.
Don't be a Sith Lord.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
I was reading another ZDNet article this time showing how fake news and siloed information was a danger to U.S. democracy. The long-winded article went into a treatise, complete with spiffy chart of where on the political spectrum all the various "news" organizations fell.
CNN, AP and Reuters were considered middle of the road, mainstream with Huffington Post and Fox News occupying the left and right of them respectively. Of course the middle is always under attack as being too liberal by somebody.
Seems the past decade has spawned an outcry for a more "balanced" media view bringing forth what is laughably called Fox "news" and ultimately lending legitimacy to far right wing "journalism" like that purveyed by the likes of Breitbart news (a known proponent of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist ideologies.)
Folks, the past 8 years have taught us what happens to a country caught up in in siloed rhetoric. Men of otherwise good intent are prisoners of the polls and fearful of a vocal minority. A minority that grows into an immovable majority on both sides sown only with the seeds of propaganda.
We're literally too stupid and too lazy to know any better.
We cherry pick that which we agree with and discard the rest. You can't help it, the bias is so great, the vitriol so thick that it's nearly impossible to find common ground.
This is not the function of journalism. Opinions belong on the editorial page not the front page. But in a world of information overload we don't have time for opposing views especially when they come from those who care to know nothing but their own.
Those who refuse to recognize or even acknowledge the lessons and warnings of history are the real danger. Degrees don't make you intelligent, being aware of your world does...
"We aren't a democracy - say the Pledge of Allegiance and realize this. Democracy, as in the Roman Empire, is rule by the mob. Heaven help us if we get there, as the Roman Empire didn't last as long as the U.S. has."
I'd like to say I made that quote up but I can't. He's off by at least 300 years and doesn't care to realize it.
So much for "No Child Left Behind."
That quote, by the way, is from the comment section of the same article and sadly it's not alone. I see it far too often and when the obvious oversight is called out instead of thoughtful reflection there is instead an attack.
Libtard, Butt-Hurt, Elitist.
These are the retorts. These are the product of faux journalism and if nothing else we need to read the signs.
Is it so hard to form an opinion based on your own views instead of someone else's?
Is that NOT what this grand democracy is supposed to be?
Rhetoric is not governance, it's a campaign and campaigns are about wars. Warriors are about conquering. To conquer is easy, governing is hard.
Just ask a Roman...
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
About 18 months ago in the heat of the early Republican races for the Presidential nomination I said something that has since haunted me.
I said I liked Donald Trump....
At the time I was clear that I didn't feel he was qualified to lead a shift at a McDonald's let alone the most powerful country in the world but there was at least one defining virtue.
He wasn't much of a politician and that in itself was refreshing in a way.
Until his candidacy, it was looking like a rerun of the past 2 elections with the 2 political parties locked in their ideologies and ultimately out of touch with the concerns of their constituents. He was to Conservative voters what Bernie Sanders was to Progressives.
Maybe someone like him could change the talking points.
I had hoped that was as far as it would go.
But it didn't.
Little did we know that reality TV would have such an impact. Who could have guessed that this cartoon of a man could possibly win.
Apparently a whole lot of people that watch cartoons did....
So today as I watched his first press conference since the election I was hoping that with all that he now "Knows" because of course he, "knows things the experts don't know" that maybe, just maybe, the gravity of the office would have tempered his bravado.
The press conference began with what could only be described as a childish rebuke by proxy delivered by his incoming press secretary. That was followed by a rambling self-aggrandizement with every sentence punctuated with, "tremendous."
The dog and pony show continued with an elaborate presentation by one of Trump's lawyers who explained how legal gray areas would be utilized to the fullest while preserving the gracious and unassailable character of Saint Donald.
I'm sensing that whatever becomes of the Trump Presidency, the buck will never stop with him.
Truman is spinning in his grave...
I'm left thinking it wouldn't have been so bad if we had a President Romney or another Bush in the White House.
After this, I'm confident that YouTube is the next pop-culture wasteland to be harvested for political office.
Just imagine the debates between the Flat Earth and Fake Moon constituencies!
What do you think? Below is the actual press conference. Come back in a year and see if anything's changed....
Skip to 48:12 for the start....