Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stand. But Do Not Deliver

Did Private Smucatelli die for America's sins?

I don't think so. Let's stop making our servicemen so Christ-like. People of the overly-patriotic persuasion spend a great deal of time delineating why our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines die and it's usually for "freedom". That's a little broad but it's often broken down into individual, personal freedoms that generally fit someone's personal political agenda. Sometimes it's used to declare something they did not die for, like the *right* for transgendered persons to use the bathroom not designated at their birth. Evidently, no serviceman or woman ever took a round for that.

This recent business with Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the National Anthem is just the latest in a never-ending series of affronts by Americans to other Americans over individual and/or group freedoms. I'm not offended by what he did- or didn't do. I understand why he did it. But, that's because I choose to understand. Many people don't.

In my old age I'm learning to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. Set your own temperature in life. Don't be the thermometer that heats up or cools down according to other people's climate.

Kaepernick fired up a lot of people with his refusal and his explanation. America is leading the league in people who want to be offended. We have an entire internet built upon it. You certainly have a right to be offended by Kaepernick. The thing is, no one died for that right.

That's not the way war or death works. It just isn't.

Nobody ever died so- for example- Goddamned hippies could smoke marijuana and wear the flag on their ass! That just never happened, despite what you may have heard.

There are a lot of reasons to go to war but, the number one reason is always money. That's the one they never talk about but, it is the usual reason and has been throughout history. A country wants land. It wants power. Certain people profit from this and, thus, we have war.

Nothing is more Monday-morning quarterbacked than war and death. It trivializes a man's death on a beach in France or a mountain in Afghanistan to say he "died for freedom" so don't worsen it by claiming he died for any particular freedom, right, or cause. What about civilian deaths in war? Did each man, woman and child die so they could be free? Or so that Americans could be free or to vote or whatever?

Most of the people condemning Kaepernick for not standing, take war sitting down. The same folks who think that America is not currently great, take umbrage with his perceived un-American stance. That's some fine irony there. They might not even think any American soldier ever died for civil rights. War is a cafeteria of  reasons and excuses and some folks go back for seconds and thirds of what they like best. That's the way they are.

Stand for the anthem. Or, don't. It doesn't matter to me. Just don't drag the death of Private Smucatelli into it or into any political agenda you might have. The fictitious Private Smucatelli died in war for his own reasons- not yours. Good Lord- as he lay there on the beach or in the jungle, trying to hold in his guts while gasping for his last breath, do you think he thought at all about your frivolous rights or sentiments? I think he only asked himself "Why?" He may or may not know. You never will.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I'm pretty damn sure Hillary Clinton will be our next president. I'm also pretty damn sure we're screwed.

No, I haven't gone over to the reichtard side. No, I have no real problem with Hillary. Yes, I was and am a Bernie Sanders supporter but, we'd be screwed with Bernie too. We're just a nation hell bent on fucking ourselves. There's no stopping it. It's the American way of late.

Robert Reich recently pointed out that there are 31 republican governors. And maybe more coming in November? The GOP will lose a few seats in the house but still retain it. Quite likely they will lose the Senate majority but the democrats will likely not have that obstruction-proof 60 vote super majority. Add in a media with a voracious appetite for all things Clinton- real or imagined- and you are looking at that much more complicit negativity. You think Fox is bad? MSNBC needs Clinton *scandals* ratings too.

So, we can anticipate 4-8 more years of republican obstruction. We can look backward to more religious bullshit and state's rights sponsored murder and mayhem as conservatives over-legislate America- but via the good way of small gubmint. In a nation of 330 million people, you have to allow for a lot of fucking idiots who willfully connect the dots given to them from point a to point c. C for Clinton! Remember it was "b" for Barack!

Everything will continue to be blamed on the president. That's what people do when they are so bad at winning the presidency. They have nothing to lose but the White House running a ridiculous idiot like Trump. It's quite obvious these people are not even trying. They secret fear might be that he wins. Whether Fox or Paul Ryan, who wants to defend a Trump presidency? The nightmare that a President Trump would be would also cost them those governorship's, and probably the House and Senate too, by the next mid-terms. Fox and friends in the GOP desperately need Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House.

It's embarrassing, indeed. We are only The Greatest Country In The World if you believe the brochures. If you get down to it, we just have the greatest military in the world. We haven't won a war of note since 1945 but we win even when we lose because we are THE best at the fragile, antiquated system that is capitalism.

The republican party as we knew it is dead and will never rise again but, don't blame Trump. He is the natural progression of the downward spiral set in place by the GOP in 1980. If not sooner. Maybe 1964? Trump is making America hate again but, he's just pounding the final coffin nails in with his forehead. He's nothing new in the GOP. That hate has always been around. 

It's around because America likes it and we're jammed to the rafters with stupid people. At least on the internet, at least where I travel. There is no shortage of idiots who buy into every reichtarded piece of propaganda offered them. Is it possible to be too nice? There are millions who believe we are too nice. Too nice to blacks, to the poors. Too nice to women. Too nice to other religions and the immigrants who brought them. They think being nice is a weakness. We must punish the aforementioned people- for their own good, mind you- and not allow them to disrupt our dedicate, hard-working, Christian society. Of course, we are a Christian nation, you know.

It's very frustrating. Topix used to be amusing with cartoonish politicos like Sublime, the various Sams' (pictured elsewhere), Denny Crane and all their cum-stained socks. But, those same idiots can be found all over the internet, not just the tiny cesspool that is Topix. Worse, they can be found in voting booths, voting against American interests. It won't do them any good presidentially, of course but, that's not what it's all about.

The business of America is business. It always has been but, stupid people believe that we cast that aside when we allowed black people to elect one of their own. (They did, ya know. After a few decades of exclusively voting for old white men, they turned their backs on America and voted for the first black guy that came along, the first chance they got...ungrateful bastards!) Pardon the hyperbole but that nonsense is available all over the internet. It's embarrassing to think that people can call themselves lawyers and engineers or even ditch-diggers and be so fucking dense. When you vote and/or go along with state-sanctioned discrimination against a group of people, how can you Nazi that you are opening doors, windows and load-bearing walls to the same thing being done to you? Did you see what I did there? Some will Nazi what I did there. And they will continue to Nazi.

Now they want to make that business official with an unofficial billionaire businessman. They'll be very upset when he loses but, that's all part of the strategery. They're just too fucking dumb to see it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Profiling Life

While I'm certain that there are racist cops, I believe that beyond that what we really have is a bad cops problem. I bet that every shooting or beating of unarmed citizens is perpetrated by men who are not capable of being of being good at their job.

Think about what you do for a living and who you do it with. You likely know who is good at work- and who isn't- even if you are one of the less talented employees yourself. You know who works, who doesn't and who is just showing up and collecting a check.

I've mostly been a commercial painter and I've worked on a lot of crews. I was the guy that worked, that people in the know knew they could count on. Separate issue perhaps but, others not so much in the know also resented that level of performance. You'd think that they appreciate working alongside someone who is very productive as it should make them look better. That's not always human nature though. People get jealous, even at their own expense. Work becomes more like "Survivor" where people think they need to "outwit, outplay, outlast" to win.

A black, ex-St. Louis police officer recently broke down his assessment of his fellow cops as 15% being good cops, 15% being bad, and the remaining 70% kinda blowing with the wind, depending upon which cops they were around. I'd say the percentages are about right for any occupation.

And being a cop is an occupation. These men and women are not born to be cops or assembled in a factory somewhere. You went to school with one at some point or one is your neighbor. They are people who come from the general population.

Well, do you know people? They are a mixed bag, for sure. They are good, bad, ugly and indifferent. You probably know someone that you are extremely glad does not have a gun and a badge and the authority to make decisions. The thing is, you don't get to make the call on who gets to become a cop. We're all at the mercy of whoever does the hiring. Police work is more of a business now than ever before in our history. They drug test and give psychological tests the last 20-some years to weed out potential trouble-makers. I think this might be more of a financial move than trying to perfect the system because a beating or a shooting can cost a city millions of dollars. It's all about the Benjamin's.

The Dallas PD, which earlier this year lost 5 cops to a crazed gunman, had already taken steps to weed out their bad apples when that misguided tragedy happened. They fired the cops with poor performance and put the word out that they would not tolerate brutal or lazy cops. This is what needs to be done across the nation. There are over one million cops in this country. At the rate above, that allows for over 150,000 bad cops willing to abuse or kill citizens. Tragedies waiting to happen. 700,000 cops willing to go along with their actions. 150,000 cops angry at their coworkers but, maybe grudgingly going along with what they do. The thin, blue line creates a thick, blue code of omerta, seemingly impenetrable by conscience and compassion.

It's a top-down solution. Whether the higher-ups in a department are fiscal conservatives looking to save the city millions in lawsuits, or progressive democrats looking for social justice, management has to make a serious effort at protecting the public from those that protect the public.

You get rid of the hard-ass, brutish thugs and you'll possibly eliminate the seemingly racist shootings  of black men, women and children. You better-train the 70% of cops and leave them only the 15% of good cops as role models and you create better cops on the job. Being a cop can be a life or death situation at times but, bad cops are out there doing most of the killing. You've seen the headlines. Killings of police officers are actually at an all-time low. They may be afraid out there on the streets and they should be cautious at all times but, we the people should not have to fear them as we do because of the color of our skin.

On Topix yesterday I saw one of the usual suspects waxing off about how he got a speeding ticket on his motorcycle. "If I were black", he went on, "I'd say the cop was racist!"

On his next post he noted about the cop (a State Trooper) that "he might have messed up and didn't like guys on bikes...a lot of cops ride but he didn't look the type..."

Oh- the irony! Black people see everything as "racist" according to him. He see's this as anti-biker sentiment...

See what I mean about the good, the bad and the ugly in people and professions? I'm glad that guy's not a cop. You should be too. Whose lead might he follow on the job?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Trumping Reality

The media says that Donald Trump has awakened a sleeping giant of the great unwashed in this country. Well, they need to go back to sleep.

I really don't have a problem with Trump. He was a joke before he ran but he's no longer funny now. This guy was a supposed billionaire with four bankruptcies under his money belt, a stupid reality show and a ridiculously unnecessary feud with Rosie ODonnell (and others) as his real claim to fame. Was it smart to add a failed presidential campaign to that? Time will tell but, if he was ever taken seriously before, he won't be after he loses in November. And that's if he makes it that far. He can never go back to being the goofy billionaire fool that he was before he ran for the GOP nomination for POTUS. He won't wind up destitute and on the streets as a result of his self-indulgent fool's errand but, it will be what he is remembered for.

My beef is with the sleepyheads he awoke. Who knew there were so many fucking idiots in America? So many gullible deadheads! It's one thing to be Trump and spout off bullshit about border walls to be built and paid for by Mexico, but another to be so dumb as to believe a guy can pull that off. Even supporters candid enough to recognize that the wall is a bluff still go on to proclaim that it's good that he said it. Like his heart's in the right place even though his head is up his ass.

The very notion that a billionaire could be considered a Washington outsider  and a man of the people is pathetic and sad. His supporters regularly regurgitate that it's a good, refreshing thing that he's not a politician. I can't fathom that as a plus where the presidency is concerned. He has no knowledge of what a president's powers are, or of our Constitution and how it operates. Presidentially  he has more in common with the late Saddam Hussein that Barack Hussein Obama. And that's probably the allure to his peasants. Guess which one poops on a gold toilet.

These people are the same dumb-asses who believe that President Obama is a dictator because Fox and Breitbart told them he was because he- you know- shoved Obamacare down our throats...via congress... And, he used executive powers on a few other things- but less than most of his predecessors did.

These are the people who are certain that he still will take their guns away even though that foolishness would take an act of congress to do. They have no concept of what a president can do so, it follows they can't grasp what he cannot do. He can't build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, for example.

The problem is that millions of Americans buy into his bullshit. It isn't so much the messenger as it is the messages. Frankly, he's any idiot on the internet as far as his message and delivery goes. He's nowhere near being a gifted speaker. Hitler and Mussolini he's not. He's more like the idiots who call themselves "Sam" on Topix. Absolutely anything he says could be said by tens of thousands of internet commentators on hundreds of sites. Other billionaires doubt his assrtion that he's a billionaire himself and, of course, he won't release his tax returns because that most likely would prove them right. I've known men who have won and lost millions. They have the air about them to prove it. Trump has a portfolio of failure. That goes with the territory for a lot of successful people but, not four bankruptcies. It's sad to hear unemployed coal miners defend bankruptcy as a "wise business tool" when bankers have made it virtually impossible for them to use that tool. Trump has also caused many small businesses to go bankrupt not only through his normal business moves but, also through his go to move of not paying contractors for work they have performed.  The people who trump for Trump could well be the people he trumps- the painters and carpenters and other working men and women- who have been told by his lawyers on payday "We'll see you in court..."

It's one thing to get screwed by a politician that one is unsure about. GW Bush comes to mind. Hillary Clinton might come to your mind. But to think for one second that a douche bag like Trump could be good for anyone but himself is simply insane.

If the soft, troubled underbelly of America has been awakened by him, they need to have a little coffee, wake up some more, and realize that border walls and Muslims are not the problem in America. Nope. It's stupid people looking for stupid people to lead them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Stealing Thunder


Funny thing is, it wouldn't even bother me if some black dude called me a cracker. I'd just smile and say - "you jealous of my white privilege bro?".

Giving some r-tard the power to offend you, is more power than they deserve."
The slice of irony above comes from one of the most vile trolls on Topix. I lol'ed at the advice but, even considering the source, it's true. It's just so ironic coming from one of the worst trolls on the internet. 

The advice giver is Angelique770 herself, a dude that may or may not be named, John Schanahan. I gotta invoke Larry Mysteriouso here and say, "I'm not sayin'..." You find stuff out when people are stalking you. Elsewhere in this blog there is a photo of "Sam", one of the dumbest people ever to hit "reply" on Topix. He's pretty much what you'd expect in a troll. 
I was thinking about all this when I read a nice piece by Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks and her decision to give up Twitter. As a journalist, Ana felt she needed to be on Twitter to stay current and keep her name out there while interacting with fans and, yes, detractors too. She finally gave up on it when she realized that life without trolls was pretty good. I don't tweet but I'm familiar enough with it to not want to get involved. I don't care about followers or following people or whether I get re-tweeted or not. I recall reading that the life of a tweet was like 45 minutes- unless you're Trump or some other idiot like that.

There are waaaaaay too many people like that, like Trump. 

And they're on Twitter and Topix and pretty much everywhere else on the internet. Lord knows they will find you... One of my favorite tools in life is sarcasm. I'm quite good at it. In fact, I teach it on the internet. I'll post something that falls under Poe's Law and, within minutes someone is telling me what an ignorant asshole I am. People are stupid. I appreciate though when someone *gets it* and gets me, and notes that I was probably kidding. I generally am but, as per Poe, you can never be too over the top for some people. Many people likely go on line looking to be offended and they'll run with that for the duration of a thread. The life expectancy of a Topix or Facebook post is far longer than Twitter, though subject to monitoring of varying degrees. The moderation is better than Topix though. Most Topix mods are trolls themselves and exist for that purpose. It's a perk in lieu of payment. They remove posts mostly for their friends to punish enemies.  

At some point you have to realize that the people you are dealing with are seriously mentally ill. You cannot reason with them. Ignoring them really doesn't work. They'd prefer that you do engage them but, they actually believe that if you don't, they are still *winning*. It really is all about showing up for them. 
Ana opted to take herself out of that equation and I certainly understand that. She tired of the death threats and vulgarities hurled at her by people she would never want to meet. Earlier today she was doing a Facebook Live feed as she hiked in the hills above LA. Some asshole who didn't seem to actually know who she is got mouthy with her and her fiance' and took umbrage at his assholiness being broadcast live to Facebook Nation. He put his hands on Ana and (I gather) tried to destroy her phone, the evidence of his assholiness. Getting molested like that is a one-off scenario but, no doubt she's experienced far too much of the verbal molestation on line and one of those chickens came home to roost. She had already given up Twitter but, the abusive trolls never give up.

I don't think they can. People like that truly have nothing better to do in life than hound others, *anonymously*. They all think of themselves as Bond villains. Invincible. A few weeks ago, Crunchy John, promised to stop trolling me if I would post a photo of a gift my son recently gave me. Who makes demands like that? Mentally ill people who think they are Bond villains, that's who. No one who does something like that can ever convince me that they have an enviable life, no matter how much they post that they do. The guy admitted he's a troll and that his entire focus in life is posting to me. He just hasn't figured that out yet. He never will. Poor bastard.