Saturday, March 16, 2019

We Need To Make Racists Afraid-Deathly Afraid

The recent shooting in New Zealand has made one thing very clear to me: racist gun humpers aren't really afraid of ordinary society. They look at liberals and see vegans who listen to NPR and talk too much about diversity. In short, they see weakness. We need to disabuse them of that notion. Yet how can we accomplish that without arming ourselves to the teeth?

Well, that's not exactly true. The federal government has a standing army that should be put to use on what is clearly domestic terrorism. Rather than focus on the very much weakened (if even existent at all anymore) Islamic rooted terrorism, we should turn the laser focus on assholes like this.

White men are the fucking problem. Period. Social media is filled with assholes like this and they should be targeted and jailed. Terroristic threats are a felony. The shooter in New Zealand live streamed his attack. How about we live stream racist, white pricks getting the shit beat out of them? Better yet, we just make these fuckers vanish into a black site somewhere. Gitmo their asses. 

Until mass shooters feel fear from civilized people, they are going to keep doing what they are doing. It has to be much heavier than just a possible armed person at the scene. That's why the good guy with a gun nonsense won't work. They'd actually probably love that. It has to be a relentless and daily oppression on a number of fronts. Their guns seized immediately or prevention from even owning them in the first place. Their jobs, gone. Constant harassment on social media and in their daily lives. Forced diversity training. Jail for some if they get too out of line. 

White supremacists aren't afraid of us. We need to make them feel that fear. Otherwise, they will keep doing this shit. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hijabs in Nebraska!

My wife and I were taking a lunch break at a truck stop while driving across Nebraska when we saw a woman and her daughter get out of a car. They were wearing long dresses that went all the way to the ground, and had their hair covered.

Clearly, they don't believe in the Constitution, as "Judge Jeanine" implied on Fox News that Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota does not:
"Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested," Pirro said. "Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?"
Were the women I saw Muslims bent on subverting the Constitution, replacing it with Islamic Law?

I doubt it. They were blonde and blue-eyed and in the middle of Husker country. They were probably Mennonites, like these:

Until the 1960s it was extremely common for American women to wear long dresses and cover their hair in exactly the same way that some (not all!) Muslim women. Many still do: Amish women do. Many orders of nuns do. The Christian bible prescribes modest dress for exactly the same reasons that the Quran does. Are they defying the Constitution?

And it's not just women. What about Jewish men who reject American custom and wear yarmulkes during the US national anthem, putting the law of the Torah before the Constitution? Are they anti-American, or simply devout?

How do you think a Trump supporter would react to a Jew wearing his kippah during the anthem at a football game? The same way they react to Colin Kaepernick?

Personally, I think customs requiring women to cover themselves up are evil: they put the onus of avoiding rape on women, rather than demanding men behave like civilized human beings.

But if women want to wear halter tops, or miniskirts, or hijabs, that's up to them. No one else has any business telling them what they can wear.

But then you've got people like Jeanine Pirro and Sebastian Gorka condemning an American citizen in the starkest terms for a stupid wardrobe choice.

And why? It's not because they actually believe that wearing a hijab means these people are trying to subvert the Constitution, any more than Amish or Mennonite women wearing the same outfit are.

No, Gorka and Pirro and Fox News only care about inflaming public opinion, inciting hatred against Muslims and Democrats in general, and Ilhan Omar in particular. They are always searching for a sacrificial goat to demonize, and this week it's Ilhan Omar because she dared speak the truth about the vile behavior of Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative government in Israel.

They and the rest of the Fox News propaganda machine are a bunch of baby Goebbels intent on perpetuating the discriminatory, racist and corrupt rule of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Most Republicans don't really care about Jews or Israel. Trump thought many of the neo-Nazis chanting "Jews will not replace us!" in Charlottesville were fine people.

Many evangelicals believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is contingent on the Jews returning to Jerusalem. And then Armageddon comes, Israel is destroyed, the Rapture comes and the world ends.

These people don't support Israel because they love the Jews (they want to make Christianity the national religion after all). It's because they want their blasted prophecy to come true. The same prophecy that would have all Jews die because they haven't accepted Jesus as their personal savior.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Madam of Miami Massage and Citizens United

Jeb Bush's 2016 presidential campaign was just socked with a huge fine for receiving foreign campaign contributions:
The Federal Election Commission on Monday doled out $940,000 in fines to the super PAC that backed Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential bid and a Chinese-owned corporation that made illegal donations to it.

The unusually large FEC fines came after the commission found evidence Bush’s super PAC took money from a foreign national, which is prohibited under federal election law. The super PAC, Right to Rise, was fined $390,000 for the violation, while the FEC gave an additional $550,000 fine to American Pacific International Capital, Inc. The company had donated $1.3 million to Bush’s super PAC in the spring of 2015, as Bush was gearing up for a run for president.
So what, you say. The problem is that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians. Other decisions have allowed contributors to donate to PACs (political action committees) with complete anonymity. That means there is no way to know whether foreign money is being funneled into American campaign coffers. Only idiots like Neil Bush (of Silverado Savings and Loan fame) will get caught, however.

Jeb lost, so this is irrelevant, right? Nope. Take the case of Cindy Yang, the founder of the massage parlor where Patriots owner Robert Kraft was arrested for soliciting prostitution.

Yang has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Donald Trump and other Republicans and has made a business of selling access to Trump at Mar a Lago. She brings foreigners into his inner circle, getting them into places that he frequents and connecting them with Trump surrogates like his sons.

Besides the obvious scandal of Trump and his family posing for selfies with the Madam of Miami Massage, who is apparently involved in human trafficking and prostitution, and the pay to play aspect of foreigners buying access to Trump and donating money to his campaign, this is a huge security risk.

Trump conducts real government business in these locations and he's bringing people linked to Chinese intelligence into his very home. Trump is notoriously careless with secret intelligence, blabbing everything to the Russians he can think of, so what kind of intel is he giving to the Chinese at his shindigs? And are they leaving surveillance devices in Mar a Lago?

And this is all possible because of the Supreme Court's Citizens United, which equated money with free speech and said that there was no appearance of corruption if corporations are free to donate unlimited quantities of cash anonymously....

Sunday, March 10, 2019

How Trump Wins in 2020

Matt Schlapp recently scored the much coveted first segment on Real Time with Bill Maher. Schlapp is the head of CPAC and a conservative podcaster. He had many interesting things to say but the most revealing were his thoughts on how Donald Trump could win the 2020 election. Of course, this is assuming that he will make it to the election. I still don't think he will. But let''s assume that he does, for argument's sake.

Schlapp thinks that Americans will look at what Trump said he was going to do when he got elected and how he followed through on it. Schlapp believes Trump has done a good job on this. Certainly, Republicans are happy that Trump got the two SCOTUS judges, got out of the Iran deal, is (kinda) building a wall, and is being the troll they love him to be. But are independents? Or the two time Obama Democratic voters who voted for Trump in 2016? I'm not so sure. Trump can't win without those voters.

The biggest miss by Schlapp is who Trump will be running against. Obviously, the candidate the Dems put up is going to truly tell the tale. I think it has to be a Gen Xer, non Senator who is a woman of color. This same candidate should have a deep populist streak in her and spend most of her time on kitchen table issues, steering clear of trollbait. The Dems won in 2018 because they took this tack. They should stick with what wins and get back that element of the voter base that peeled off to Trump in 2016. They should start with how Trump voters are pissed about their tax returns.

Here is the full interview with Mr. Schlapp.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Own Your Bad Eggs

Check out the last few minutes of Spike Lee's masterpiece, BlacKkKlansman.

Start owning your bad eggs, conservatives. They are leading to your downfall.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Think Like a Dictator

There's an upwelling of anger against Donald Trump among his allies for his defense of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. When asked about the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died from a brain injury after being released from a North Korean prison, where he had been sentenced to 15 years hard labor for stealing a propaganda poster, Trump said:
I don’t believe that he would have allowed that to happen; it just wasn’t to his advantage to allow that to happen. Those prisons are rough — they’re rough places — and bad things happened. But I really don’t believe that he — I don’t believe that he knew about it.
He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.
Is Trump totally oblivious? Kim unquestionably allowed it to happen: Otto died, Kim is the absolute dictator of North Korea, he could have let Otto go at any time before the injury. Ergo, Kim allowed it to happen.

No, Kim didn't personally bash Otto over the head with a lead pipe. He lords over an evil dictatorship that kidnaps foreigners and throws them in prison for decades for bogus offenses. He then uses these victims as pawns to extort favors from foreign governments. For example, to get a meeting with Trump.

How can Trump not understand that Kim is evil incarnate and that he is directly responsible for Otto's death? Because Trump thinks like a dictator.

And by the way, Trump is doing exactly the same thing to women and children that Kim did to Otto Warmbier.

When victims of gang violence and poverty come to the United States from Central and South America seeking asylum, Trump's policy dictates the ICE throw them into privately-run for-profit prisons, separating parents from children. Some of these kids are put in cages. Some of them have been sexually assaulted in ICE detention. Some of them have died. Many of them will never see their parents again because they were so young when they were taken that they don't even know their last names, and their parents have been sent back to their home countries (or died).

If Trump admits that Kim is guilty of Otto's death, he would be admitting that he is responsible for all the travesties that happen to children in ICE detention centers.

It's the same with the Saudi prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: MbS wanted Khoshoggi dead, and now he's dead. MbS didn't slice up his body, but he ordered the hit and is responsible. But because MbS is best buds with Jared Kushner, and he's a dictator like Trump wants to be, Trump "believes" his denial.

Trump is jealous of dictators like Kim, MbS and Putin (who's had dozens of journalists and political opponents murdered) and wants to pull the same crap that they pull. Trump constantly trashes our democratic allies, but consistently lavishes praise on the most heinous tramplers of human rights.

It just baffles the mind to think that so many Republicans are defending a creature so thoroughly and indisputably corrupt. In a few months or years they will find themselves in exactly the same position that Michael Cohen finds himself in: they will rue the day that they defended Trump, that they lied for him, that they threatened people for him, that they sold their souls to this ineffably corrupt demon who will throw them under the bus the instant he no longer needs them.

Like Michael Cohen, or Michael Flynn, or John Kelly, or Reince Priebus, or Steve Bannon, or Rex Tillerson, or Jeff Sessions, or Rod Rosenstein, or Jim Mattis, or... Well, you get the picture.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Exactly How Stupid Is Donald Trump? 42 Billion!

Donald Trump is, to put it mildly, stupid. But have you ever wondered exactly how stupid he is? What if there was a way to put an actual number to his level of stupidity?

Well, there is a way. And since money is the only thing that matters to Donald Trump and Republicans, that number should be a dollar figure. We will roughly calculate this based on Trump's proposal for controlling forest fires.

One of the major causes of forest fires in recent years is climate change. Donald Trump is relentless in denying this basic fact. He thinks that we can stop forest fires by raking, which he said the president of Finland told him was how they prevented fires (note: Finland is near the Arctic Circle and has 187,000 lakes). The Finnish president denied ever saying this.

Trump doubled down on stupidity in an interview on Fox News last November, this time claiming that a governor of "a certain state, I won't say which," told Trump they tested raking forests and that it stops forest fires. The reason Trump won't say which states is because he's lying and doesn't want to be embarrassed, as he was when the Finnish president called him on his lie.

So, down to brass tacks.

According to a 2014 USDA report, there were 819 million acres of forest and woodlands in the United States in 2012. California alone has 33 million acres of forest.

So, how long does it it take you to rake your yard? A couple of hours? We'll just say two hours. The average American yard is 0.22 acres. That means it takes 4.5 hours to rake an acre. The average lawn maintenance worker made $11.53 an hour in 2012, and that price has only gone up since then. But we'll low-ball it and use that number.

It would take 148,500,000 hours to rake all 33 million acres of California's forests, at a cost of $1.7 billion. That's 74,250 man years.

If we apply the Trump forest fire solution to the entire country, it would  take 3.7 billion hours (1.8 million man years) and cost $42 billion. Every year. Forever.

So, where do we put all those leaves and pine needles that those workers rake up? And how do we get those leaves and needles out of those forests, many of which have no roads? And what happens to the animals and insects that live in those forests when all these guys with leaf blowers and rakes come tearing though? And what happens to the trees when they no longer have the nutrients that decaying dead leaves put back in the soil?

So that's how stupid Donald Trump is: 42 billion.

Given the dire straits a lot of employers are in these days trying to find people who will do menial jobs like lawn maintenance, where are we going to find 1.8 million people working full time raking forests?

For a start, I hear that 10 immigrant groundskeepers who worked illegally at Trump's Westchester golf club are newly available.

How can anyone take this clown seriously? He's a stupid, senile old man who thinks you can solve forest fires by raking. Now, I doubt he really believes this is an actual solution to forest fires. What he's doing is insulting the intelligence of everyone who's listening, in particular his supporters.

He has been feeding his voters a completely stupid and unrealistic line of bullshit on everything from forest fires to immigration, while at the same hiring hundreds of foreigners -- many illegally -- to work at his golf courses, hotels and clubs to do jobs that he categorically refuses to give to Americans.

Trump voters get really mad at liberals who think they're stupid. But Trump constantly treats them like morons, feeding them an idiotic diet of total bullshit of every day, while taking their support for granted.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Too Many People Running For President

Now that Bernie Sanders has thrown his hat into the ring along with the 89 other people running for the Democratic nomination, I must say something. There are too many people running for president. Again. The GOP got stuck with Trump because so many people ran in 2016. Who are the Democrats going to get stuck with?

I've also got an issue with so many Senators running for president. We need them in the Senate, not the executive branch. I don't see any of that magic, populist fairy dust with any of the Senators who are running. Many Americans are going to see them as establishment and not as outsiders which is what wins elections.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that all of them are making is assuming they are going to be running against Trump. He will not even be in office by the time of the 2020 election.The Mueller investigation is going to put us into a place where he have never been in this country-prosecuting a foreign asset that colluded with the Russian government to win an election. They should be thinking about who is going to fill that void and start planning on running against them. It's not going to be Mike Pence or William Weld.

I want to see a populist nominee run for president who has previously won elections, isn't a long time senator, and understands that she or he will not be running against Trump.