He begins to sense the walls closing in, his options limited, his power constrained. He wants to fly in his own jet and discovers that after January 20, that just isn’t going to happen. How can he be expected to fly in an airplane where his bathroom doesn’t have gold fixtures? He is no longer important; his office lends him what importance he has. It’s a different kettle of foie gras…
If you're not familiar with Masha Gessen and you're interested in Russia and how autocracy works, you should be. She's a great writer and journalist. A Russian Jew and dual American citizen, she's lived much of her life in Russia, working as as journalist through the fall of the Soviet Union through Yeltsin and the rise of Putin and the Oligarachs. Her work appears in the Times, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the Daily Beat, the Atlantic and any place intelligent people argue about exactly how the world is ending, fire or water. She's written about Putin based on both her journalistic reporting and one hell of scaring paternalistic intervention into her career; about Pussy Riot and the band's meaning; about the Boston Bombing and aftermath; and a recent book about a well-meaning Stalinist attempt to resettle Jews in Siberia. She's a talented, brave and uncompromising talent and spokesperson.
1.Believe the Autocrat. A more elegant writer than I, she doesn't put it this way but -- No matter how completely the statement uttered as policy is illiterate, ill considered, at odds with the facts on the ground and the general laws of god, nature, physics, mathematics and aesthetics, doesn't mean the rabid wombat who has taken control doesn't fully intend to do it. Think Mao deciding to make everybody build small blast furnaces in the courtyards of their buildings and thus triple the output of steel overnight...or Stalin, deciding to imprison or execute everybody in the senior ranks of the Army because he had a bad dream and figured he'd let the dialectic sort out the sheep from the goats. Or Trump saying he doesn't want to live in the White House...Fifth Avenue is going to never be the same. I'm not sure where Trump is going to rank on the lunatic-sociopath-psychopath-schizophrenic-bi-polar autocrat scale. I'm thinking of equating him with God in the theory that God is 80% malevolent but only 20% effective.
One of the projects Crispin and I have been putting off until he's in the witness protection program here in California is our own musical-poetical-satirical-philosophical unified field theory. Fuck Einstein, our's will work. Here's my latest stab at it from over at Veterans News Now or where ever they're putting my stuff...
Congratulations Crispin. Truth, justice and the American way triumph...understand you can say whatever you want to now about whatever you want to say, so long as it is in classic Greek with stones in your mouth. Way to go...
As Guy Clark wrote in The South Coast of Texas, “Living on the edge of the waters of the world calls for the dignity of whooping cranes and the likes of Gilbert Roland.” Instead, we’re offered the mortgage broker who lost his license and runs Hispanics for Trump and his concerns about Taco Trucks, and pigeons. (I feel compelled to state almost unequivocally, that there is no truth to the assertion that the meat in Trump Towers Chicken Taco Salad is a mix of pigeon and sea gull, any more than the beef taco is rat.)
Reading the morning email from The Economist, I discovered to my amazement that the Israelis have a problem besides the personality transplant on back order for Bibi Netanyahou. (Should note that Typepad's suggested spelling for Bibi's last name was "Hootenanny.") Seems that they have a small reactor we gave them for experimentation purposes which is being decommissioned as it should be because it's outlived it's usefulness. Then, there's a bigger one out in the Negev desert that doesn't produce anything except plutonium and similar stuff...and it's a year younger than Barrack Obama. The recommended retirement age for one of these things is 40 years; this one is 53 years old.
What the hell, what could go wrong? Well, it's worth pointing out that the reactor was made in France in the 50s...I for one wouldn't be all that excited about depending on the well-known French quality engineering system that existed 70 years or so ago. Wine, bread, cheese, sausage, cider--they have that down. But, nuclear reactors?
Would you want to have your children's future depend on the equivalent of a '58 Citroen?
After reading an article in the New Yorker that seemed to confuse Merle Haggard with Jean Paul Belmondo and maybe Johnny Holiday, I gave up. Lucinda Williams recommended a piece and that made me think it might be really possible to still communicate authentically in English. So, while this is kind of a review of the writer's piece, it's really my tribute. Haggard was a lot of things but one thing no one ever accused him of to his face, anyway, was being some kind of auteur. So, in a probably misguided attempt at authenticity...Melancholy Honkytonk.
Being authentic and honest has it's dangers and downsides -- ask Crispin -- but if you work at it, you might be surprised a bit. Maybe even in a good way. --Mike
I've been reading Mary Beards, SPQR-AHistory of Rome and it is fantastic. Imagine that you are public intellectual and on TV a reporter asks a little girl "Who do you want to be when you grow up?" and the girl just beams and smiles and says, "Mary Beard." Not Duchess Kate? Somewhere, a unicorn may have died, but I think the English Women's Rugby Team will continue to put the Men's Team to shame.
I was having a bit of writer's block and came upon a piece on Premier Guitar. Their Chief Content Officer, whatever the hell that is that's different from Managing Editor, Shawn Hammond had a great piece about shoulder devils and guardian angels and what to do when you are hearing a constant refrain of "You suck..."in your head. He recommends watching "The Young Ones" which might work for most people...especially if somehow you missed Rick and Vivian and Alexi and the Boys raising hell on BBC or PBS.
Anyway, I went through a couple of re-writes -- I never re-write; Crispin gave me a C- on a post just to get me to proof-read and edit, and produced this - part review of Beard's really good book; part discussion of her most key point, at least for me -- Rome provides a context and a model for us, but don't look there for solutions. We're on our own here, and trying to do a double envelopment like Hannibal at Cannae won't help with DAESH.
I've been very sick the last couple of weeks. One course of pretty nasty antibiotics and I started to feel better and then wham! Back to the local Stop&Doc where I got the first prescription and the office, which serves a couple of hundred people daily. They couldn't find a substitute to cover while the normal guy took some vacation. We commiserated back and forth, since I needed help; and they -- four people -- were waiting for the word to close shop and 3/4s of a day's pay.
While this was a personal problem, it got me thinking. I've had 2-4 cases of strep throat and associated problems every year since before Crispin was born. Had the tonsils out when I was 20 and the idea that no more sore throats was a total lie. However, there was a lot less misery. Still, when it gets full blown, I'm pretty useless. More so than normal, according to some.
On the other hand, I've never had smallpox, tetanus, swine flu, diphtheria, thyroid, tetanus, rabies, rubella, shingles, malaria, plague, anthrax or any of the other stuff I've been vaccinated for. Made me wonder why this is so...
Been wondering what will happen to the nation and the world and your 401K and the Mets when Boehner is gone and the guy who wants to invade Syria takes the gavel as the Speaker of the House? Well, in general, everything is fucked.
I sense that like me, Crispin has been taking a vacation from giving a damn about US presidential politics, but occasionally feels pulled back into it. Certainly, in the progression of American culture, presidential politics, choices and elections have been used to make transitions. Kennedy replaced tired, worn out old Eisenhower with vigah! and such -- in reality, drugged to the gills for back pain, suffering from Addisons and various iterations of venereal disease. Ronald Reagan was going to reform everything after the weakness of Jimmy Carter and then should have been impeached for the Iran Contra deal. And so on -- Barrack Obama was supposed to mark out transition to being a post racial nation, and since then we have gotten to continually play out our dark night of the soul in communities all over the country.
Crispin's more populist work, like cheese it, tend toward an ironic approach which was my first reason for reading his stuff. This piece, which comes at least in part from his piece on the Philosophy of Edgar Allan Poe, contains more than a little of it. Basically, one could contend that Crispin examines the idea of human self-improvement as moral and ethical and compassionate human beings.
It's safe to say he approves that outcome, he just doesn't think it's very likely. I suspect most of us will probably agree, at least in part. As I tell the conspiracy freaks who normally read my stuff, if I'm looking for a reason why somebody did something stupid, I opt first for stupidity and then for the seven deadly sins. Dr, King was hopefully correct about the arc of human history being toward justice, but I'd hedge those bets with one's on sloth, gluttony, greed, lust, hatred, anger and pride.
I have placed an article that I originally published over at Veterans Today at the Defeatists, considering Norman Mailer in some contexts as well as using it for an allegorical lead-in to a question about a question nobody ever asks -- why the hell are we in Afghanistan? I'd appreciate a few readers of Crispin's and my occasional blithely spirited nonsense taking a look at it and answering the question what the hell they think we're doing there, besides spending blood and treasure and propping up narco-lords and war profiteers. I've gotten some good comments at Vets as well as the usual stuff blaming Kazakian Talmudic Mafia or whatever the hell that is?
If you haven't read any of Mailer, I'd recommend starting with his journalism; if you've read Harlot's Ghost or that bizarre thing he wrote about Ancient Egypt, I really recommend going back to the journalism. Advertisements for Myself, Cannibals and Christians, and The Armies of the Night. He is credited as one of the inventors of New Journalism which seems kind of unfair that he shares credit from Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote. He predated them pretty much, and was at least as fucked up as Thompson. He got in fights, ran for Mayor of New York City with Jimmy Breslin, made auteur-style awful movies staring himself and Rip Thorn, and pontificated about existentialism, art and why he had stabbed his wife. He was very much like Crispin, except Crispin has done none of those things.
If you have thoughts, please post them here, or at The Defeatists or find the article at Vets Today and let me know about them. I intend to consolidate them and publish a summary. So far, the verdict is split between stupidity, cupidity or crime.
I've been sulking in my cave as I follow the news avoiding anything about Presidential Politics that isn't outright hilarious, so obviously Bobby "Alligator Gar" Jindal and Donald "Singing Bass" Trump and Ted "Hey, I'm an asshole, all right" Cruz are amusing the hell out of me. Unfortunately, the rest of the world sucks.
The Mother Emmanuel killings were horrible, and the relocation of the Confederate Battle Flag to the the Statehouse Museum in Columbia was so overdue that the joy seems as sad as the tears and anger. I was slightly enraged about all the nonsense with the faces on the dollar bills, since I am a fan of Andy "By God" Jackson, the first true Democrat and elected man of the people as opposed to aristocrat who would have handled things a bit differently than Lincoln. Since he threatened to hang his Vice President, John C. Calhoun for sedition with his nonsense about "secession" and "nullification" I suspect he would have been very nasty to the south early on in the secession kerfluffle, resulting in a lot less death and destruction. I also think there's no reason to have the permanent fixtures on the bills anyway...rotate them with bona fide distinguished Americans and heroes who were not politicans; have multiple faces on the bills.Let each new Secretary of the Treasury usher in new placeholders on the Bills.
Then David Brooks wrote some nonsense about removing all the monuments to Confederate heros from the public byways and locations in the South. In a way, Brooks is advocating something a lot more draconian than just moving one flag and possibly changing a couple of others. Of course, his big focus was on Robert E. Lee which was silly. Lee made one ethical error that resulted in the destruction of his beloved Virginia, the loss of his estate, and the death of friends, family members and close associates including more than a few Yankees. It was an ethical judgement that he struggled with; had Joseph Jackson not been seriously wounded and forced to spend a couple of years recovering, Lee had been asked to fill and had agreed to fill a non-combatant job advising Jefferson Davis, whom he disliked, and who was not so fond of him. Lee also refused to be buried in his uniform and famously told his soldiers to go home. He was one of the first of the Southern generals to request that he be granted his citizenship back.
So, Brooks -- the smug, wealthy elitist who writes the same Capitalism is the answer/Globalism is great drivel as Tom Fiedman although less hysterically -- pissed me off. I mused over that article, but before I could get my teeth into it, the Cosby thing blew up. And continued to blow up.
Now, possibly alone in my generation and subsequent ones, I never liked Bill Cosby. His last original stuff was in the first couple of albums, and the rest of his body of work has been jejune and marginal. I never watched the show, and think anyone who goes out of his way to wear some multicolored vomit looking sweater needs help. I had no problem with his diagnosis of many of the problems in the Black community; I did think he was pretty smug about it and very good at blaming victims.
But, I'd never picked him as a serial rapist. Surprise! At the same time, it appears that Kim Fowley whom I've written of recently with a certain amount of respect, raped at least one and possibly more of the members of the Runaways...when they were minors. He wrote in one of his memoirs that he had never "made love" to any of the Runaways. Well, the HuffPo article bears no resemblance to a description of love making...he drugged her, ripped her clothes off and fucked her in front of a room full of people including some of the other members who were so intimidated that they never spoke of it.
Ok, the Kim Fowley I got to know a little and whose Underground Garage Show on SiriusXM that I enjoyed was the guy 40 years later. He was a rock and roll auteur; most of the stuff he produced and did himself was pretty awful dreck and he admits it. The Runaways were probably his greatest success after getting people to light their lighters to show John Lennon how much they loved him as he made his first Plastic Ono Band appearance and I shouldn't forget Alley Opp which was actually his first record and probably his biggest hit.
So, Cosby and Fowley were both reprehensible men. The difference between them is that Cosby held himself to be a role model; Kim Fowley never held himself up as anything except a rock and roll animal. One is a hyprocrite; one far less so. I know which I prefer.
I strongly recommend political junkies and philosophy fans take a look at Anat Belitzki's The Stone column in the this morning's New York Times, Making It Explicit in Israel. Excellent piece by an Israeli philosopher about the implications of the stark differences between the incoming government and the way Israel has portrayed its intentions toward the Palestinian community. Not particularly optimistic, except that only by making underlying issues explicit can we begin to deal with them. Perhaps the reason yesterday's solutions do not work is because they never were solutions so much as bromides.
Belitzki is a professor at Quinnipiac University here in the US and at the University of Tel Aviv, and has a record of activism in Israeli civil rights. She references the work of American philosopher Robert Brandom who believes that it is possible to use language to make explicit what is real and implied in our social, cultural and political norms. For example, in Israeli-American dialogue, the two state solution is a given, and we're just discussing means and implementation and guarantees.
Bizetzki says that just isn't true, and that the most recent Israeli election shows that very starkly. She writes:
The government that will be formed this week is the most clearly articulated, narrowest, most right-wing, most religious and most nationalistic government ever assembled in Israel. A combination of the fundamentalist Orthodox clerical parties with the nationalistic chauvinism of the Jewish Home, led by Naftali Bennett who makes no attempt to hide his annexation plans, has been orchestrated by Benjamin Netanyahu in no uncertain terms. Along with Likud, Netanyahu’s home, which is the largest party in Israel today, and Kulanu (All of Us – a breakaway of Likud), this whole bloc is unambiguous in its Jewish, nationalistic agenda. (Emphasis added)
She believes that this explosion of truth into what was basically polite lies and cocktail conversation between Israel's leaders and the world was foreshadowed and made inevitable by the two month long attack on Gaza by the Israeli army in July-August 2014. The implicit issues between the US understanding of the agreed path forward -- Two State Solution, Camp David Accords, etc. -- and what Israel's government intends is pretty well illustrated by the odd mis-translation of the name of the operation. Operation "Tsuk Eitan." was announced to the world as Operation "Protective Edge" which has a somewhat defensive tone; she says that a more accurate translation would be "Firm Cliff" which has a vaguer yet more threatening tone. My use of a Google translator resulted in "A Rock" which opens a wide range of possibilities. Perhaps "Perhaps Operation Masada" or "Operation Stoning" would have been more appropriate.
one thing i'd say about our cultural moment: people hate to argue, or even disagree. they don't want to argue about politics, or art, or anything else, and the sheer fact that you disagree with someone threatens their self-esteem. now people do still want to insult and berate people but only in the company of other people who agree with themselves. no one wants to have an actual exchange. i am going to be uncomfortable in a world like that, and really it's not a world conducive to philosophy, for example. i do think it's a chickenshit moment: people are scared that they're going to be harmed by a well-turned phrase; if you live in fear of words and ideas, i think you need more grit. i grew up among extremely combative and definite adults, arguing all the time about everything. most of the time, this was good: straight up fun for all concerned, even when they were turning red in the face and exploding with insults. if disagreement is prohibited, we'll merge toward completely unjustified consensus within groups and a total incomprehension and ignorance between them that is the last straw of polarization. people are making themselves stupid cowards on principle. also people are credulous to the point of emptiness within their own little spheres of fake consensus, merely subordinated, and by their own choice. you might think that arguing pulls people apart, while agreement pulls them together. but in politics, this approach is liable to leave us in two camps, bristling with hostility toward one another and totally disabled in communicating with one another. arguing is what keeps a democracy unified.
i do think philosophy is pretty essentially agonistic. many would deny that, or seek to overcome it, or connect it to the male-dominatedness of the profession, etc. but usually people who have thought that a consensus must emerge merely fantasized that everyone would eventually agree with themselves. (i don't know why people would think that women can't argue or are always agreeable or something.) but anyway: plato vs. the sophists and aristotle v plato, right? all those hellenistic schools against one another. empiricists against rationalists, and each against each other. an important source of kierkegaard's philosophy is his loathing of all things hegel. nietzsche against everyone. quine against carnap or austin v ayer. or even: confucius vs. lao tzu and mo tzu, etc. people want the issues to be resolved; i'm especially interested in those i think never will be, which are wide-open contexts for debate. seriously, i just wrote a big old 'system of philosophy' a la schopenhauer or something. do i think that it will set things, or anything, to rest? i hope not, even if i do think (right now, provisionally) that my positions are right. i know my fantasy of owning the future with my philosophy is just that. i'd like to be read, but i'm as happy to read with hostility as with agreement, though i'm happy about that too if i ever get any. but without my extreme rejection of plato, kant, hegel, rorty, etc, the thing wouldn't exist at all.
the guy who landed a gyrocopter at the capitol flew out of here: gettysburg pa. coulda used my place if he wanted, though he didn't. what i love about the constant cases along these lines is that though these security/surveillance pigboys always try to portray security around, e.g., dc, as implacable and unavoidable and hyper-competent, they actually run incredibly big slow stupid bureaucracies that are always vulnerable to a thousand pinpricks, or just any sort of bold decision. if you can improvise, you can outthink these folks, for they have all the imagination of cinder blocks. that's why they're in law enforcement: all they want is for someone to tell them what to think, say, do. it's a total intellectual disability.
The news of the guilty verdict in the Boston Marathon Bombing has elicited something like a shoulder shrug from a lot of people, including me. I wasn't paying attention, but then neither was the media. I was more than a little surprised then to read Masha Gessen's column this morning at the Times about what the unanswered questions that remain and the rather pathetic job the responsible organizations have done explaining the thing.
That bothers me. In my journeys amongst the Conspiracy Theorist Collective, I have learned one thing about the Conspiracy Paranoid Mindset. Things that set them off down the rabbit hole occur when something doesn't make sense to them and to a lot of people. Their lack of reason comes from asking reasonable questions and getting silly answers or none at all. "We're the government, trust us" pretty much should have stopped working in 1775 but it found a new life in 1803 . Since Vietnam and the Kennedy assassination, it's continued to fester...and outliers are now getting to be mainstream.
Missha Gessen is well worth your time and effort. Spend it and see what questions now bother you.
Crusader AXE has a new piece on the Iranian deal up over at Veterans Today and while I think it's fairly reasonable, I was initially gratified to find the comments were all written not in drool or feces. Well, it went down hill, fairly quickly...Eric Holder, the Rothschilds and the Kardashians are all tied up in the minds of some of my readers. If General Jack D. Ripper hadn't gone to his reward in Dr.Strangelove, I'm sure our precious body fluids would also have been an issue...however, some decent music and a nice sort of overview for those who feel the only response to Iran-Nuclear-Tea Pary-Republican speculation and explanation is Jack Daniels mixed with absinthe and delivered intravenously...
Yeah -- have you ever seen a rattlesnake nest at mating time? Thousands of the bastards, all crowded all over each other just pumping away. So, the guy appears to believe that having more snakes in the nest -- Lebanon -- is a difference in quality rather than quantity. Worth debating, I suppose. However, they are both snake fucks. Best avoided.
I seem to have found my niche over at Veterans Today. I appear to be the columnist in charge of pissing off the proto-Soviets and the Neo-Nazis both, along with being a general irritant to the conspiracy fringe. When one commentator goes off saying how dare I compare Netanyahu's campaign to Dr Goebbels, Goebbels was a fine, honorable model for ethical propaganda, and another starts in on the joys of life under Putin, you realize that life can have meaning. Now, the third character in my piece, the soon to be congressman from Illinois with the atrocious bookkeeping and Downton Abbey style or his supporters haven't weighed in yet. Maybe I can hit the trifecta.
Short Long Story: Re-election of Bibi is one of the worst things that could have happened to Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East. The right wing, flawless red heifer types in the US are going to be delirious at the approaching Armageddon. Putin is a micromanaging creep because he's a creep and the only things that work in Russia are things he micromanages. He ten day retreat to the Trappist Monastery outside Ekaterinaberg got people panic-stricken because they are subject to panic of not just change but anything that looks like change. And, if Shock had gone for 20th Century Feed Store as a decor as opposed to Downton Abbey's Red Room, the other criminal behavior would probably not have surfaced until he was in the Republican leadership.
Most of my writing appears over on Conspiracys are US.com, and I occasionally feel badly about that. When I recently read a bit about how the Je Suis Charlie thing was really a Mosad false flag operation to punish France for voting for Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly, I felt like sending the managing editor some new and improved tinfoil. However, I didn't. I like writing for and with nutcases; it appeals to my sense of the right of free expression. And, my bizarre background and sense of humor, of course.
But sometimes thing just overload you. We spend so much time in today's world being bitchslapped by reality and media and what the fuck is that, that we end up confused, and disoriented, So, when I had nothing better to do, except read the comics on line which I have still to get to, I wrote this and out it up over at Veterans Today where the editorix will toss it up later; and over at the Defeatists.
And in thanks to Crispin for letting me share a better class of wingnuts, here's some British Blues by someone who looks a lot better than Jeff Beck or John Mayall, Joanne Shaw Taylor.
My dad told me that a good manager was right more than 51% of the time. I think he was right -- great managers and leaders probably get it right around 60% of the time, and generally get the big things right. Republicans tend to get facts and theories and bullshit confused and are seldom right but their voters don't care that much. Like heroin, most Republican voters lose in the long run, but it's all about the rush! Quants generally get all the minor shit absolutely spot on, but punt the big things. Go figure.
Crispin is a philosopher and card trickster. He doesn't care about being right until he does, and then it's usually too late. But, Crispin is right about 50% of the time and when he's wrong, it's usually due to some misplaced faith in human beings.
It's not that nothing happened; it's just that everything that happened pissed me off more. However, I saw an article today in Foreign Affairs that as Kant said of David Hume, awakened me from my doctrinal slumbers. Actually, it just pissed me off some more, but...
Ever listen to one of these dweebs as they talk about stuff that they have no experience with but took a seminar from someone who had no experience with it either but had talked to someone about it, so...really made me think of this one...
Since I write for several sites, it can get painful to have to reformat for each site because they all use different software and variations on HTML. I guess from a Geek point of view, there are religious reasons for using Typepad over Word Press or something else over Typepad. As a guy with thick fingers and neck, this is frustrating.
You know what else is frustrating? People. They're also fascinating. Two recent pieces I published at Veterans Today show that the United States is in genreal not falling into any sort of standard deviation pattern in terms of populace. Nobody should claim to have cornered the market on truth, and yet I keep finding readers who do, often from a population who should understand the idea that reality is complicated.
The second piece was my post mortem on the post mortem of the post mortems of why Barrack Obama and the Democrats blew it. As they did, in great detail. The lack of moral courage, conviction and adoption of a Republican light strategy resulted in taking the US into the pits for two years while the world runs around the track. Accusations of Putin feeling up the Chinese President's wife aside, it's like the US is headed toward the height of irrelevance. Caligula famously sent a legion to the English Channel and had them invade the ocean and gather sea shells as a sign of their conquest. Obama and the Dems are marching to the sound of the Caligulan rhythm section...but, Caligula had an excuse, he was fucking crazy. If there was a way to throw out an incredible political advantage after pissing on it and insulting us all, the Dems did it. Scipio McConnell and Scipio Minor Boehner left a wasteland, but they figured to have won...whatever the hell was left.
we are constantly barraged by information. more and more all the time. who can make sense of it all?
this is one of those cliches that everyone spouts together for a few years. then they move on to something else. i sort of don't see how you utter sentences like that without being aware of your redundancy, or boring yourself to death. personally, i don't feel barraged by information. i like information, overall. and if i'm not in a mood to be informed, i just turn the thing off or stop reading or something. really, 700 channels is better than 3, but there's still nothing on. do you think people really experience this as a crisis of some sort? i'm trying to figure out how this might mess me up or even annoy me, really.
and actually, the world has always barraged each of us with infinitely more information, or things that might be experienced, than we can possibly take in. if the information doubles every week - somewhere in hard drives or on the net - how does that damage or bewilder or even affect me? i can't take in any more than i did last week, but i might possibly find something interesting by rummaging around if i'm in the mood. somehow instagram has to turn out to be a moral crisis, i guess.
I realized recently that I have made several attempts at the blogging equivalent of the unified field theory, that is, following part I of an essay several days later with part II. I just don't usually do that because I'm lazy and easily distracted.
But the continuing debacle of policy and politics that has prevailed since Bush and the Rehnquist stole the Supreme Court 14 years ago has hit a point where the outrage meter is pegged out here, and it's easy to remember why I was so pissed off the first time.
I admit that I consider the Republicans in the House and Senate, the leaders especially, to be lower on the chain of consciousness than sunflowers and slugs. But I have absolutely no clue what the President is doing and why...he's a smart guy. OK, got it; so was Herbert Hoover. He's trying to be Kennedyesque, except most of us who remember John Kennedy and Bobby are members of AARP. Being Kennedyesque today comes off as Mike Dukakis.
So between them, I'm irked. And, this Ebola Czar nonsense is insane. McCain the Rs have a bad idea -- we need a Czar! Long live th Czar!'; Obama appoints one, and they start screaming "Not that one; another one." Meanwhile, we have a very logical CZAR, the unconfirmed head of the National Health Service. Since nobody in Congress is bothering to pretend to do anything, aren't they recessed? Couldn't Obama appoint him? Or at least make him the CZAR? Nah...too easy.
If I were Barrack Obama, I'd feel justified in asking God what the hell I'd ever done to him that merited this whirlwind of insanity. I think that smart, thoughtful presidents in the 21st Century aare at an awful disadvantage politically, and have been really since the Kennedy assassination. The guy is trying to do good things, but the world doesn't cooperate. It can't -- it's the world and consists of a lot of insane people with guns, money, lawyers, ski masks and a mass of contradictory hidden agendas and open manifestos. In some ways, ISIL is a nice change -- they don't have a secret agenda, they're pretty open. They don't report to the same God that most of us recognize in the 21st Century. Still, they may call him Allah, but I think they worship Cthulhu or some other very dark overlord with a completely different agenda.
Crispin, as most of his devoted Crispyheads know, doesn't like Dylan. However, I was driving home the other day, and something I'd never heard before that was obviously an older number because he didn't sound like the late Bob Shepard, Yankee Stadium PA man channeling Son House while introducing Mickey Mantle and it struck me. And, got me thinking about how screwed up the world is...we've got a brilliant president replacing the village idiot; we are a pretty smart country. And we keep stomping on it with cleats...not rubber cleats, but sharp steel ones like Ty Cobb wore
I've been shilling Russian mail order brides to all my lonely, unmarried or thinking about it friends. I'm helpful that way. One of my buddies, recovering from his third or fourth marriage told me that he would run before having anything to do with a Russian woman because they come from the womb crazy. This from a guy with 9 cats who wears thin lapelled suits and thin ties with a fedora at work...my comment was fairly simple. "And..." figuring with the Russian bride, you don't have to fool yourself that it's going to be wonderful.
While I'm not a big fan of the Daily Kos, I was pleased by this article. As things go from, "Damn, that's better..." to "What the hell is this guy trying to do?" ExPat Girl summed it all up well in her Diary Entry for August 18th, "The Dumbest Police Chief in America." Great catch, rescuing defeat from the jaws of victory for Ferguson Chief of Police who says Nihh...bring the boy a shrubbery.