Nike, Fear, and Revolution…

It’s common for the conservatives to get the early crowing so I’ve learned to wait a beat.  The most recent faux-row has the cons all up in arms in protest of a black man protesting unarmed people of color being gunned down by police.  So, they burn their shoes.  My guess is, these are shoes no longer worn or perhaps picked up at the local thrift store.  Nike’s stock plunged – initially.  That’s the early crowing.  But then?  Nike’s stock has reached an all time high.  Sure, certain conservatives think people of color should just take their shootings  with a “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” attitude but it looks to me like Nike got it right…

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Wow, President Snowflake sure did get upset by Bob Woodward’s new book, ‘Fear’, didn’t he?  Anything that paints him in a less-than A+ light (which means “anything true”) really upsets the guy.  He seems to have spent his entire privileged, protected life using the money his daddy gave him to whine and throw tantrums to get his way.  It seems he’s been convinced that this behavior “works” because, through most of his life, it has worked.  It looked like it might be working on the US as well – for a terrifying while.  But the cracks are forming…

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I had occasion to see a video of an interview with Russell Brand by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman.  The clip I saw is about 10 minutes long and it’s a couple of years old but it’s a fascinating conversation.  Here’s a link.  Basically, Brand takes the position that the overall system has become so corrupt and out of balance that the inevitable result will be revolution.  I think history makes a strong case in support of that position.  Then he says he doesn’t vote, not just because of his conclusion but in an effort to speed the result along.  I think he should vote – for two reasons:

One, it’s the system we have.  I feel a little silly even taking this position.  I honestly believe that as long as electorates are forced to use electronic or computerized voting systems, we’re living in pseudo-democracies and the masses are NOT doing the “electing.”  We MUST use paper ballots so that the votes can be counted and recounted if necessary.  If the corrupt officials insist on the machines – and they do – then we use absentee ballots.  But we vote.  When we discover the systems are corrupt, we work to improve the systems from within – even if we believe we can’t win.  Because…

Two, revolutions are messy and unpredictable.  Oh, did I say “messy”?  I meant destructive and deadly.  Wreckage and ruin, death and destruction; these are the kinds of things people should be trying to avoid.  But they’re part and parcel to revolution.

Sure, wipe everything away and start again – this time better!  But will it be?  Look back through history.  Revolutions don’t always go the way the revolutionaries think they’re going to.  Remember the White Bolsheviks?  They teamed up with the Red Bolsheviks in the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” mold, then got wiped out by the Red Bolsheviks after the Tsar was gone.  Whoops.  What, too “foreign”?  Okay, a little closer to home, then.

The American Revolution would not have succeeded without help from the French.  Frenchmen were with us every step of the way.  They not only saw but participated in making the American Revolution play out the way the founders hoped it would: we formed a new democratic Republic and moved on (for a time) in the best interests of the masses.  Then the French, applying the model the Americans had just successfully used, tried their own revolution.  Their results were…different.

Having watched and participated in the American Revolution, they nevertheless couldn’t steer their own revolution dependably.  THEIR revolution became so bloody, history knows at least a portion of that time as “The Terror.”  THEIR revolution led to Napoleon and over a decade of war and death.

I’ll tell you this: It’s one thing to say one believes that revolution is inevitable.  It’s an entirely different thing to call it desirable…

Dems and Devils…

Somewhere along the way, I realized there was a difference between a Democrat and a Progressive.  There’s not supposed to be but there it is – clear to anyone who cares to take a look.  The Democratic Party moved right, leaving Progressives behind.  Why?  The usual suspects: greed, money, power…

At turns I’ve felt isolated in my understanding but from time to time something happens to remind me that I’m not alone.  Recently, it was the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  This morning, it’s this piece in the Guardian by David Sirota.  It’s a good read.  He lays out the disconnect between Democratic rhetoric and Democratic actions quite well.  He makes a point I’ve made many times: “…liberal America’s pattern of electing corporate Democrats – rather than progressives – has been a big part of the problem that led to Trump and that continues to make America’s economic and political system a neo-feudal dystopia.”

The piece gave me hope because I realized while I was reading it that Progressives are doing to the Democratic Party what Libertarians did to the GOP – only saner.  The Libertarian Party has existed since 1971 but they were mostly – and correctly – dismissed as far-right, no-practical-application extremists.  They couldn’t get any traction with the mainstream conservatives.  So, they eventually packed up their far-right, no-practical-application “ideas” and registered as Republicans.  They ran as Republicans.  Eventually, they took over the Republican Party and Republicans have appeared cruel and insane ever since.

But the Progressives these days seem to have co-opted the idea (thank you, Bernie) and are running as Democrats, hopefully moving the party in the right – I guess I should say the correct direction.  It will take time but maybe not as much time as it took for the Libertarians to deconstruct the Republican Party.  Hope springs eternal, I guess…

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We’ve all heard of the Seven Deadly Sins but do you know what they actually are?  These days, it’s important to know because they’re living in the White House.  All of them.  They are Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth.  Trump hits every one of them with perfect precision.  Every time he opens his mouth (or his Twitter feed) he reinforces his fealty to at least one of them.

If I were a religious man, I would be concerned about the anti-Christ.  According to Revelations 13:5, the anti-Christ will be allowed to exercise power for 42 months.  That’s three and a half years.  (Then things get ugly.)  Trump took power in January, 2017.  That puts the end of his reign at July, 2020.  I’m just sayin’…

Kavanaugh…

Can somebody – anybody – please tell me why we, the people are suffering through this Kavanaugh show-hearing?  It’s a massive waste of time and money.  It’s clear the GOP doesn’t want anybody to know anything about this guy.  That was made evident when the White House decided to withhold a hundred thousand pages of documents about him.  Of course, they need plausible deniability so they dump forty-two thousand pages on the Democrats fifteen hours before the “hearing” begins.  Nice.

Worse, though…none of the people in the spotlight of one of these “hearings” shows up without having been trained and prepped and Kavanaugh is no different.  He’s not going to tell Diane Feinstein how he feels about guns.  He’s not going to answer honestly regarding his views on abortion or whether he thinks a (Republican) President should be President for life.  He’s going to regurgitate the non-answer response that some “expert” told him to say.

We all “know”, though.  He was selected in the first place because of his belief that a sitting President can’t be criminally investigated – a “belief” he has apparently developed since he helped Ken Starr stalk and harass Bill Clinton.  He worked for the Bush 43 administration and I recently heard John Yoo say nice things about him.  Of course, John Yoo should be expecting to spend a few eons in hell as the legal crap-stain who authored the idea that torture is okay if you juuussst call it “enhanced interrogation.”

Roe vs Wade is in the cross-hairs now, as well, but Kavanaugh isn’t going to SAY so during the show.  He’ll just blubber out some words about how he’ll always make all decisions with respect to established law and blah, blah, blah.  People refer to Roe vs Wade as being about abortion but it’s my understanding (I’m no lawyer) that it really codified privacy between a doctor and a woman patient (including abortion).  Once unraveled, perhaps men can once again get their wives doctors to issue a full report to them regarding what’s happening with their wive’s now semi-private parts.  Don’t worry, ladies.  We men know what’s best for you…

The Republicans don’t care that he’s issuing canned answers and the Democrats can’t do anything about it.  They don’t have the information they need to research the guy and they’ve been intentionally denied the time to seek it out on their own – which really just reinforces the fact that when the Republicans say, “Show’s over.  Let’s vote,” the vote will happen and the Democrats can’t stop it or change it.  The Republicans will vote “yes” in lock-step, the Democrats will vote “no” in lock-step and Brett Kavanaugh will become the next “Justice” of the United States “Supreme Court.”  (These days, “Supreme” just means it comes with Sour Cream…)

So…if the GOP is hiding as much information as they can – and they are – and the GOP has enough votes to push the guy through regardless of what the Dems think – and they do – why are we wasting time, money, energy, and resources on this dog-and-pony show?

McCain…

Last week was pretty quiet, comparatively.  John McCain’s passing kept our National Embarrassment off the front pages.  His final, decent act.  Even in death, McCain out-maneuvered Trump.  Out-maneuvering Trump isn’t much of a trick, I know.  Hell, a squirrel could out-maneuver Trump.  But McCain did it dead!  You gotta respect that.  He didn’t just make the right squeaky noises like the rest of the GOP.  He didn’t have positions.  He had principles.  He was, I think, the last bulwark defending what’s left of America from the foil hat right.

I’m digressing a bit, here, but I used to enjoy debating various topics with my right-leaning brethren.  Then I became aware they were taking religious stands – that is, there was nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that could convince them to reconsider their unsupported assertions.  It’s the old, “God said it, I believe it and that settles it!” position except with ‘Fox and Fiends’ replacing God.  THEN I discovered – OMG – they were “with Q.”  Full-on conspiracy theorists.  Nuts.  It’s not fun debating them anymore.  I don’t think it’s ethical to pick on the disabled…

McCain didn’t play that game.  He did what he thought was right.  He wasn’t always.  He was part of the “Keating Five”, the bi-partisan group that set up the artificial housing bubble that crashed the Eighties and destroyed the Savings and Loan industry, replacing it with Credit Unions.  But that was just more right-wing “less regulation is better” bullshit.  I think McCain learned from his mistakes and, honestly, who can ask more from anybody than that?  Everyone makes mistakes.  The measure of intelligence is ‘how many times’…

I’m glad we get this weekend to savor the relative quiet of last week.  McCain cast the vote that kept the Affordable Care Act alive – for a little while longer, anyway.  Now I expect the GOP to eliminate it entirely.  It benefits Americans.  The GOP can’t have that.

I’ll tell you this: I don’t know who Doug Ducey (R), the current Governor of Arizona, will appoint in McCain’s place.  I don’t know much about Ducey.  Is he old-school, loyal-opposition GOP or the more modern disloyal-opposition, burn-it-to-the-ground GOP?  We’ll all find out together.  But either way, we’ll not see John McCain’s like again…

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In an effort to pretend Facebook has it’s users best interest at heart, they’re no longer allowing me to post automatically from my blog site directly to Facebook.  If I forget to manually post it, you might miss out.  It makes more sense, to me, to just go to my blog site – The Bacon Press (www.mybaconpress.com) <– that’s a link – and click on the little button at the bottom that says subscribe.  They’ll ask for an email address and it LOOKS like they’re asking you to “join” WordPress.  In truth, though, they just need the email so they can forward these little bits of (hey, you fill in the blank) directly to your inbox…

Damages…

I’ve been thinking about the National Embarrassment’s EPA (now known as the Environmental Profiteering Agency) and the recent announcement that they think using asbestos again in manufacturing is just a peachy idea.  It was brought to mind the other day when I saw a commercial on television – yes, some people do still watch television – for a lawyer’s firm seeking people who suffer from Mesothelioma and may have been exposed to asbestos.  Now, I’m not a doctor – unless that’s the plan for the evening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) – but I’m pretty sure asbestos has been linked fairly clearly to Mesothelioma.

Question: if you KNOW there’s an ARMY of attorneys out there just itching to sue your ass for exposing people to asbestos and, having already successfully sued many other asses for exposing people to asbestos, are you going to use asbestos?  The LAST crowd to use the stuff – those now doing the paying out – could at least offer as a defense the suggestion (I know…) that they didn’t know it was harmful when they used it.  Nobody gets to use that today.  NOW the suits will allege the companies did it with full knowledge of the danger and reckless disregard for the people who might come into contact with the stuff.

Maybe – just maybe – the Dumbass Don’s declaration that people can use it will fall on deaf ears and nobody will.  I can’t say for sure, though.  Greed is a terrible thing and Crapitalism boosts greed to an exalted state.  Crapitalism turns it into a simple formula: if they can make more in profits than they’ll have to pay out in punitive damages it will be worth it to the company.

I’ll tell you this: It sucks for humanity but the DOW may go up a couple of points, so…

Lying is lying…

The other day I was on social media – Facebook, to be exact.  One of my conservative friends had posted an item from conservative commentator Michelle Malkin.  In it, she was observing that social media was removing posts from conservative commentators.  You might want to let that sink in a minute, though some of you are with me already.  I was watching a conservative commentator on social media complaining that conservative commentators were being deleted on social media.  I followed a link on the post and discovered she has an entire page hosted on Facebook with post after post – all of which had NOT – obviously – been deleted.   I wonder if she appreciated the delicious irony…

I suspect her reference was about Alex Jones.  But Alex Jones is a flim-flam man.  He just wants to sell things and he’s found an audience gullible enough to buy anything he puts forward.  He plays to his weak-thinking audience by saying the most outrageous things he can.  He claims, for example, that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and convinced his audience to harass the parents of the victims.  He – and Malkin – claim it’s a matter of free speech.  I think it’s the equivalent of yelling fire in a theater when no fire exists…

The reality is that social media outlets these days are worrying about being blamed for the raft of fake news being produced by various players and they’re working to tone down the bunk a bit.  It’s not their fault it’s mostly conservatives who fall for and repeat fake news.

The thing about Michelle Malkin is that she’s a master of the Lie of Omission.  The things she says are factually accurate – as far as they go.  It’s only in the aggregate that her “information” becomes false because she doesn’t share ALL of the facts – only those that support her position.  But a lie of omission is still a lie…

 

Questions and Observations…

Are you with Q?  Ancient Alien theorists say, “Yes”!  I mean, really, who wouldn’t be?  He seems like a fun guy.  Granted John de Lancie played Q a bit…over the top as the saying goes but I think it gave Q that certain…je ne sais Quoi that made the character special – unforgettable, even.  Those episodes were always fun and he…what?
Wait, what?  ‘Deep State’?  What’s that?  Really?!?  Okay, one question:  when you make your hats, do you use the heavy duty foil or is the normal weight okay?

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I finally saw a climate change denier say in the social media that it would be inappropriate to try to say the fires currently raging across the entire western region of the United States have anything to do with Climate Change, specifically, Global Warming.  The “thinking”, apparently, is that because many of the fires have human-caused ignition points – several are attributed to arson – they can’t possibly be blamed on global warming.

And here I thought the IPCC said the fires that DID happen would be larger, more intense, and harder to fight.  I’m no expert but I don’t think sources of ignition even entered into the discussion.  Two record-setting fires in as many years seems to back the IPCC position.  You know…again…

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“Americans HAVE the sticker shock of health care as it is and what we’re also not talking about is, why aren’t we incorporating the costs of all the funeral expenses of those who die because they can’t afford access to health care?  That is part of the cost of our system.  Why don’t we talk about the cost of reduced productivity because of people who need to go on disability, because of people who are not able to participate in our economy because…they’re having issues like diabetes or, or they don’t have access to the health care that they need?  I think at the end of the day, we see that this is not a pipe dream.  Every other developed nation in the world does this.  Why can’t America?  And that is the question that we need to ask.  We have done these things before.  We write unlimited blank checks for war.  We write…we just wrote a two trillion dollar check for that tax cut – the GOP tax cut – and nobody asked those folks, “How are they going to pay for it?”  So MY question is, why is it that our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and health care for our kids?  Why are our pockets only empty when we talk about 100% renewable energy and it’s going to save this planet and allow our children to thrive?  We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do.  But when it comes to, uh, tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war we seem to be able…to invent that num…invent that money very easily and, to me, it belies a lack of moral priorities that people have right now, especially the Republican Party.”
_                                                                                                                   – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez