Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Special Thanks

Nikto and I would like to thank everyone for reading our little small-town blog in 2019. We started off a few years ago with just a handful of readers and now, thanks to exposure on Twitter, Quora, Medium and Reddit, we average between 500 and 1000 readers every day.

2020 is going to be a crazy year in terms of politics. A sitting president will be running for reelection after being impeached and having a Senate trial. Will he make it through the year? Or will they find him emotionally exhausted and jibbering to himself with his thumbs on his Twitter feed? We can't wait to find out!!

Monday, December 30, 2019

"Conservative" SCOTUS Judges Vote With Liberals Nearly Half of the Time

Take a look at this graphic.

See, now what I can't figure out is why conservatives are so hell-bent on Kavanaugh. He is more liberal than Roberts! In fact, when you really look at the cases, 7 of the 9 judges barely move into the red area at all. Where is all that originalism I keep hearing about all the time?

I submit that they don't really care how the people they support vote. They just want them to be "conservative" whatever the fuck that means. It's pure tribalism.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Trump's Best Words 2019

Wow. Seriously, Trump supporters, this is your guy?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Deprogramming The Cult

There is a new poll out that shows the highest number of Americans that want Trump impeached and removed from office that we have seen thus far. 51% of those who responded want him out while 43% do not want him out. The more interesting numbers show that 54% show that the Senate should call additional witnesses who were blocked from coming to testify by Trump himself.

Further and far more significant, 46% of American strongly disapproves of the job Trump is doing while only 27% strongly approve. That tells me that Trump is fucked in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Something else of note is Trump's numbers among independents. 48% approve of the articles of impeachment while only 41% disapprove.

Taken all together, we are beginning to see how much trouble Trump is in if 51 senators vote to hear from Bolton, Mulvaney and Pompeo. I think several other senators want to flip as well given the reality of their political lives if they don't. Susan Collins and Corey Gardner are already likely to not make it. Joni Ernst and Martha McSally are also in trouble. Even Mitt Romney might be the man of integrity he is and vote for more witnesses and, ultimately, removal.

And then we have this...

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Living in Two Worlds

Check out the list of issues that are on voters' minds and how they rank their importance? Could we be any different?

Conservatives, seriously, your top priorities are

1. Don't impeach Trump
2. Don't ban guns
3. No slavery reparations
4. Build a Wall

Compare this to liberals.

1. Don't separate immigrant children
2. Impeach Trump
3. No ban on abortion
4. Don't build a wall

The party of "fuck you, keep away" compared to the party of compassion and law. Good grief...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Trump Costing US Billions of Dollars

The future of energy is renewable. Period. Donald Trump and the rest of the AGW deniers are costing the US billions of dollars in the race of this emerging market.

The withdrawal could lock U.S. businesses out of a huge portion of the rapidly growing global market, already worth an estimated $164 billion, that seeks to put an economic price on the greenhouse gases warming the planet — a potential economic loss causing concern among American-based companies such as the food and candy maker Mars.

...the push to reduce the world’s carbon pollution is also creating major economic opportunities. Those include trading systems, already present in parts of Europe and the U.S., in which companies essentially buy and sell the right to pollute — a setup that gives polluters an economic incentive to cut back while generating new income for businesses that help clean the atmosphere.

Yep, it's that fucking bad. And guess which countries are filling up that market and making money?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

How To Intellectually Dominate Someone Who Says, "We are a republic, not a democracy."

Ever been in an online discussion about politics, majorities and minorities, and someone (usually a libertarian) will say something like, "We are a republic, not a democracy," to sound all smart and stuff? Well, Ryan McMaken has a solution for you! He tells you what they are really saying...

"I don't like your idea, and since it involves aspects that are democratic or majoritarian, I'll invoke the republic-not-a-democracy claim to discredit your idea." 


"A majority of the population appears to support this idea, so I will invoke the republic-not-a-democracy claim to illustrate that the majority should be ignored."

and then he proceeds to tell you how to get them to STFU. Enjoy the entire piece. It's simply wonderful.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Cult of Both Sides Pwned

“The phrases “they’re all the same” or “everybody does it” are thrown around loosely in order to deflect criticism of indefensible behavior. And yes, of course, I’m referring to President Donald Trump. Some of my Republican friends try to excuse or rationalize Trump’s dishonesty, vulgarity and immorality by saying all politicians do it. They are guilty of employing false equivalency.

 If I’m a murderer and you drive over the speed limit, you wouldn’t claim we’re the same since we both broke the law. Similarly, it is not accurate or fair to equate a serial liar — a cheating, philandering, bribing narcissist — with the exaggeration and occasional dishonesty of traditional politicians. Trump is in a league of his own, bereft of decency, unique in his level of depravity. Equating him with other politicians is not only false, it is dangerous.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Trump Admits He Is Totally Full of Shit

Finally, Donald Trump has opened his big fat yap about something you'd think he'd know everything about: excrement. The man is so full of bullshit, you'd think he'd start turning orange. (Um, wait a second...)

But it turns out that he doesn't know shit about shit. Last week the Oracle of Mar a Lago had this to say:
“We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms, where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — you turn on the faucet, you don’t get any water,” [geeze, this guy is so inarticulate and incoherent] he said Friday at a White House meeting about small businesses and reducing red tape.

Mr. Trump also noted that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once” and that “they end up using more water,” according to a transcript of the discussion.
When Donald Trump says "people," he means Donald Trump. Apparently the notorious germophobe is totally full of shit, and needs to flush the toilet 15 times every time he takes a dump.

The reason there are rules mandating low-flow toilets and shower heads is that water shortages are rampant in many parts of the country, particularly in the Southwest, California and Montana. There's a thing called "senior water rights," which means that if you build a new house, the guy who owns the old farm up the river has the right to stop you from watering your lawn. Or even flushing your toilet, if the previous owner of the land didn't use water for that. It's really a bogus law, but it's endemic out west.

Even in places where there's plenty of rainfall, the deep underground aquifers that supply many suburbs (like mine) with drinking water are being completely drained, and those aquifers literally take millennia to replenish.

The average person urinates six to eight times a day. Defecation rates are more variable, ranging from three times a day to three times a week. Since people urinate between two and 14 times as often as they defecate, water usage should be optimized for urination.

You don't need much water to flush urine: the 1.6 gallons used in low-flow toilets is way more than enough. Frequent bowel movements are also likely to have lower stool volume, and require less flushing. Yeah, some bowel movements might require two, three or four flushes (but 15? Gimme a break!), using three to six gallons.

But so what? Instead of wasting the five to seven gallons of water that old-style toilets used every time you take a leak, just flush the number of times needed. If the "average" person urinates six or seven times more frequently than defecating, they're using only 10 gallons of water a day with a low-flow toilet, as opposed to 30 to 40 gallons as was the case with older toilets. Does it really make any sense to for every American needlessly flush 15,000 gallons of water down the toilet every year to satisfy Donald Trump? That would be four and a half trillion gallons of water!

In some countries toilets have two flush modes: one that uses a small amount of water and another that uses more. But why bother with that gimmick when you can just flush again if needed? One improvement in toilet design that's clearly necessary is a way to make the porcelain slicker, so that excrement and stains just don't stick. We definitely need to make toilets easier to clean, now that Trump is kicking all his undocumented maids out of the country: heaven forbid he'd have to clean his own bathroom!

Come on, Republicans. Don't you long for the days when a president didn't say something completely stupid and make a fool out of himself five, six, seven, ten times a day? Trump is making it so easy for the guys on late night TV to ridicule him. Just impeach him and save yourselves the embarrassment of having to defend his every stupid tweet and utterance...

By the way, it was a Republican, George H. W. Bush, who signed the original 1992 law mandating the 1.6 gallons per flush standard. Not all Republicans are horrible wastrels.

The Russification of the GOP

Ronald Brownstein from the Atlantic has a great piece up about the Republican Party. Essentially, conservatives have become stooges for Putin and his propaganda. Clearly, they view their fellow Americans (in this case, Democrats) as a greater threat than Russia, who is still trying to undermine our global hegemony.

As I have been saying for years now, conservatives are traitors. Time to put on trial and sent to federal pound me in the ass prison.

The Cult of Donald Trump

Monday, December 09, 2019

Best Sales Quarter in Years For Gun Grabbers, Dick's Sporting Goods

Remember when Dick's Sporting Goods decided to stop carrying assault rifles and high capacity magazines? The NRA and their mouth-foaming supporters tried to put them out of business. Well, they just had their best sales quarter in years.


Sunday, December 08, 2019

Crickets From The Right On The Naval Base Shooting

Why in the actual fuck is a Saudi Air Force guy training at a Naval base on US soil? I mean, I get that Trump loves the Saudis but I figured even an idiot like him would remember that 14 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. Saudis and our airplanes aren't a good idea. Not at all.

It was nice to see, though, how easily he could obtain a firearm. Terrorists who want to attack our country need look no further than gun rights supporters for help in killing Americans. Yet another reason why those assholes should be Gitmo'd.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Monday, December 02, 2019

Using Your Religion Against You

When I was a kid in the 1960s my mom was a Jehovah's Witness. She had been recruited by a woman going door-to-door for the Watch Tower Society. My dad didn't like it, for some good reasons (Witnesses are opposed to blood transfusions and discourage interaction with non-Witnesses), and for some bad ones (they condemn certain sex acts that my mom didn't want to do in the first place -- and yeah, it's weird that my mom told me that when I was a kid).

My dad went to the church closest to his real estate office and sought advice. The pastor told him that the Bible says the wife must obey the husband. My father battered my mother with this argument endlessly: "But the Bible says!" he would intone, even though he didn't believe in God or the Bible. Eventually she relented and quit the Witnesses.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult, and it's a good thing my mom got away. The Watch Tower Society is  infamous for predicting the end of the world is nigh. They predicted some form of Armageddon would come in 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918, 1925 and 1975. My mom was caught up by the Witnesses in the late Sixties and early Seventies, when they were pushing the "World-Wide Jubilee."

We didn't go to church, but before joining the Witnesses my mom sent us kids to an evangelical "Good News Club" at a neighbor's house, where we sang songs, did crafts, had treats and studied the Bible.

But the most important Bible lesson came from my father, who didn't believe in the Bible at all: he showed me that the entire purpose of religion is control. My father controlled my mother by using her own beliefs against her. The same way religion has been used to control people since time immemorial. It's not an opiate, as Marx would have it, as much as a yoke to keep the people pulling the ruler's plow.

Religion has always been a favorite tool of dictators for keeping the population in line: today in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran with Islam, Russia with the Orthodox Church. In the past, Chinese emperors with Confucianism, Japan with Shinto (which deifies the emperor), Medieval Europe with Christianity, which stipulated that kings ruled by divine right.

Tyrants had a fling with Communism in the 20th century, but it just doesn't work. True communism states that everyone is equal, that the working man has dignity, that everyone should have a voice in the operation of the commune. That's a hard sell when everyone on the Central Committee is a rich fat cat and your kids don't have shoes or food.

Religion, on the other hand, is extremely hierarchical. It preaches that you should suffer in silence and mindlessly obey those at the top, rendering unto Caesar, etc. The Bible is full of stories about kings who commit vile acts of murder and slavery, yet still enjoy God's support.

And this is where we get to the point: religious conservatives are all in for Donald Trump, even though he is the most corrupt, immoral, mendacious, sclerotic, vengeful, petty, cruel, greedy, hate-filled, immature, boastful, blustering, narcissistic, irreligious, gluttonous, racist, sexist, back-stabbing, money-laundering, mobbed-up, emolument-soaked, pussy-grabber/president this country has ever seen.

Oh, sure, religious conservatives pretend to deny Trump is all these things. But everyone knows what kind of scumbag he is. And yet his religious supporters don't care. "He's the modern King David," they intone, as though a Biblical analogy for sinfulness excuses all crimes.
“God uses imperfect people through history. King David wasn’t perfect,” Rick Perry said, before relating that he’d told the president that he embodies “God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet in our government.”
But as Eliot Cohen points out in his article in The Atlantic, Trump is no King David. For all his faults, David was a man of God, even though he was consumed by his other passions. He felt guilt and remorse. He repented and confessed. And he could actually read and write poetry!

Trump is utterly without conscience. He will not admit error, much less repent, confess or ask God for forgiveness. He does not or cannot read. His only use for religion is use it to control his supporters. He is bent on revenge and the accumulation of wealth (usually at the same time). He lies incessantly, without surcease, to sow chaos and confusion and hatred.

Trump supporters often claim that they hate liberals because liberals think they're so much smarter than conservatives. It's not so much that liberals think conservatives are stupid, it's that Trump plays them for fools (constantly telling lies that are demonstrably false and committing dozens of clearly unethical, immoral and illegal acts), and they go along with it. Some Trump supporters might be naive or misled or truly stupid, but that means the rest are complicit in Trump's perfidy. Which is far worse than being merely stupid.

And besides, it's Trump who is constantly telling us how much smarter he is than everyone else, when clearly he knows nothing about anything, especially religion (Two Corinthians, anyone?).

The David analogy plays right into this. Trump supporters claim he is an imperfect vessel of God's will, like King David. But his followers are being played for fools again, because they have forgotten (or never knew, as I didn't) what David's ultimate fate was:

As Cohen sums it up:
Nor does God (or man, for that matter) simply disregard David’s sins or dismiss them as peccadilloes that might perhaps merit private punishment but no public reaction. David lusted after Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, the Book of Samuel relates. He arranged to have her husband, Uriah the Hittite, placed in the front of a desperate attack. He died, and the king carried off the widow. Not quite murder, perhaps, but a foul and tricky deed.
In the next chapter, Nathan the prophet stormed into the royal palace, and told the startled David a story about a rich man who has stolen a poor man’s ewe. When David expressed indignation at the villain of the tale, Nathan thundered at him, “You are the man!” And then followed David’s doom, intoned in the name of the God of Israel:
“And so now, the sword shall not swerve from your house evermore, seeing as you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” Thus says the Lord, “I am about to raise up evil against you from your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your fellow man, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it in secret but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.”
David confessed and repented, but the doom came nonetheless. His son Absalom revolted against him, he was chased from his throne (which he recovered after much hardship); he was humiliated by his inferiors; and he ends his days in the midst of another son’s revolt, decrepit and apparently impotent. David’s sin was not only a private sin, and it did not receive a merely private punishment. Nor did he alone suffer: His humiliation included a revolt that turned his kingdom upside down, and led to waves of political murders even after his death. Apparently, the Ancient of Days was not willing to let bygones be bygones. 
Conservatives: please, please, please don't let Trump use your own religion to lead you away from what you know is the righteous path. Because he is not one of you. He is just using you to escape prosecution for decades of tax evasion and money laundering for the Russian mob.

In the end, Trump's reign will be just as disastrous as David's.

Sunday, December 01, 2019