Saturday, October 31, 2015

I'm going to scare some people tonight

I'm going to dress up tonight as Bernie Sanders and scare the crap out of my conservative neighbors.

"For God's sake don't open the door, Sharon. It's a...a...SOCIALIST!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Republican's Benghazi Blunder

The political sites I visit online are all leading off with articles about Hillary Clinton extending her lead over Bernie Sanders in the polls. Gee, why the sudden surge in popularity for Hillary? Let me think….


That’s right, folks. We have the walking brain-dead Republicans to thank for Clinton’s sudden rise in popularity. It apparently never occurred to any of them that a calm, articulate, intelligent woman being hounded for eleven hours by a rabid, redneck lynch mob might not play well with the public. So wrapped up in their delusional hatred of Clinton, Congressional Republicans gave full voice to their ignorance and ineptitude last week, and voters are responding accordingly.

The failure of the Benghazi witch hunt is just the latest example of how out of touch with reality Republicans have become. Just look at their presidential candidates. Their only concern right now is who can throw the largest chunk of red meat to their loony followers and, as of today, that honor goes to Ben Carson. I can hear Carson preparing for tonight’s Republican debate right now.

Carson: I don’t believe abortion is right under any circumstances.
Consultant: Crazier.
Carson: I don’t think abortion is right under any circumstances, and any woman who even thinks about it should be arrested.
Consultant: Give me more crazy, Ben.
Carson: I don’t think abortion is right under any circumstances, and all women should be jailed for the term of their pregnancy to prevent any abortions.
Consultant: Perfect.

No one, not even some Republicans, believed the Benghazi hearings were anything but a partisan hit job on Hillary. The fact that the pinhead Gowdy and his posse thought this public hearing would be a good thing for Republicans simply blows my mind. Lost in their delusional fog, Republicans continue to believe that they can bend reality to justify their ideology, but that never has and never will work.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Chess Match - A New Scary Short Story

Chess is more than a game for Kevin Holt, as his deceitful wife discovers too late. Read The Chess Match and other short scary stories at They're Only Shadows.

Monday, October 19, 2015

More Iraq Lies Unearthed

A newly released memo shows that in 2002 then British Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged his support to the Bush Administration for an invasion of Iraq a full year before the attack took place. During that year, he lied continuously to the British people claiming that he was seeking peaceful means for dealing with Iraq, while he had actually committed himself to be part of an armed invasion of that country.

That’s bad enough, but it also strengthens the argument made by some that the Bush administration had been planning an attack on Iraq from day one. Depending on where you stand, 9/11 was the fortunate Pearl Harbor moment that allowed the administration an opening to invade Iraq, or was a government orchestrated event intended for just that purpose.

It has to make one wonder. We know Cheney and Bush wanted very badly to bring down Saddam Hussein, that they were loathe to leave the vast oil reserves in Iraq to an avowed enemy and (from the PNAC documents) wanted a strong military presence in the Middle East. So along comes 9/11, and in our moment of panic, the media and the American people gave the neocons in the administration a blank check to take away our Constitutional rights at home and kill hundreds of thousands of people in the Mideast. Doesn’t that strike you as an amazing coincidence?  On a September morning early in Bush’s first term, the physical manifestations of our economic and military might are attacked and thousands of Americans die, and this event allows him to do exactly what he and Cheney and the other administration necons want to do. 

For me, it is too much of a coincidence. From my reading and research, I am convinced 9/11 was an inside job, a false flag event, intended to gain support for an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Morning After

Perhaps even more interesting than the Democratic debate itself is the reaction of the mainstream press on this morning after. The media has quickly declared Hillary Clinton the winner, but polls taken after the debate (CNN among others) indicate those watching it felt that Bernie Sanders won. What’s going on?

Let’s start with the obvious. CNN is owned by TBS, aka Time Warner who is Hillary’s seventh largest donor. In addition, Anderson Cooper, the debate moderator, works for the Clinton Initiative. Only six or seven mega-corporations own virtually all of the media and entertainment in America, and they are, of course, run by the 1%. Do you think they want a democratic socialist to sit in the Oval Office? Of course not.

One glaring example I came across this morning was on Yahoo’s landing page. There were three featured stories on the debates. None of these teasers included a photo of Sanders or mentioned Sanders in their leads. They all focused exclusively on Clinton, with one dual image of Clinton and Joe Biden, who wasn’t even in the debate. The mainstream media’s agenda couldn’t be any clearer than that.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe this country’s elites are stacking the deck against Sanders, and today’s reaction to the debate is living proof. America’s wealthiest citizens fear a Sander’s win, and for good reason. The question I and others have is how far will they go to keep him out of the White House?

Friday, October 09, 2015

Why the Mainstream Media is Failing Us

I think Paul Kurgman is brilliant and agree with his positions most of the time, but his latest commentary, published in the New York Times today, comes off being a bit on the naïve side. In this piece, Krugman wonders why the media keeps allowing Republicans to say the most ridiculous things without any push back. The Benghazi hearings are a perfect example. It’s been clear from the start to anyone paying attention that the Congressional hearings were nothing more than an effort to score political points against Hillary Clinton, yet the mainstream media has treated this blatantly political circus as if it were a serious inquiry.

In his essay, Krugman writes:

"Sometimes I have the impression that many people in the media consider it uncouth to acknowledge, even to themselves, the fraudulence of much political posturing. The done thing, it seems, is to pretend that we’re having real debates about national security or economics even when it’s both obvious and easy to show that nothing of the kind is actually taking place."

He’s clearly right about the failings of the mainstream press, but neglects to mention the true motive behind the networks’ approach to politics in America: Money. In a capitalist society such as ours, profits are all that matter, and everything else needs to take a seat at the back of the bus. This includes morality and even truth. The reason why the media pretends “we’re having real debates about nation security and economics” is purely financial. The truth would alienate viewers, and no network wants to do anything that will cause their viewers to switch channels or cancel a subscription.

So we live in a fantasy world were the most outrageous lies can be said with a straight face and reported as fact. Instead of a government-controlled media we have a corporate controlled media that serves the interests of the one percent, which basically amounts to the same thing. It’s all propaganda dressed up as objective news.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

How Does Your Ideological Team Stack Up?

Sports metaphors are used often in political commentary. “The race is neck and neck.” “Joe threw a hail Mary pass during the debate.” “Jane’s moved up to the big leagues in her new position at the White House.” What if we took the sports metaphor a step further and looked at the win/loss record for the two largest political factions in America — Liberals/Progressives and Conservatives. Just how have these two teams stacked up over say, the last 150 years of America history? Let's look at the record.

Civil War
Child Labor Laws
Workplace Safety Regulations
Women’s Right to Vote
The New Deal
Ending Jim Crow
Civil Rights Legislation
Ending the Vietnam War
Opposed Patriot Act that has led to the American Surveillance State
Long opposed to the War on Drugs that is now being recognized as a disaster
Knew starting wars in the Middle East was a terrible idea
Opposed austerity measures
Opposed privatizing Social Security

Wow, that’s quite a record. Over and over and over, conservatives have been on the wrong side of history. There are still major issues that the two sides are battling over right now, such as a woman’s right to an abortion, equal pay and rational gun control, but if the record is any indication, the outcome can be predicted.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

My Personal Top Ten Lists

I like lists. Everyone likes lists. So I decided to create my own personal lists. These aren’t lists of what movies or books or TV shows I think are objectively the best, but the ones that I personally like the best. That’s the fun of it, to see if we agree or disagree on our faves. So here we go.

Top Ten Movies

The Godfather 1 & 2
Silence of the Lambs
The Magnificent Seven
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Strangers on a Train
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Exorcist

Top Ten TV Shows

The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Sopranos
The Twilight Zone
Chicago Blue
I love Lucy
The Simpsons
Saturday Night Live (first ten years or so)
Mission Impossible
Star Trek

Top Ten Musical Groups/Musicians

The Beatles
The Rolling Stones
Jimi Hendrix
Led Zeppelin
James Brown
Neil Young
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Janice Joplin
Buddy Guy

Top Ten Books

The Catcher in the Rye
Skinny Legs and All
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Huckleberry Finn
White Noise
The Divine Comedy
The Name of the Rose
Invisible Man
The stories of Edgar Allen Poe
Gone Girl

Top Ten Websites

The Huffington Post
Boing Boing
That’s Going Too Far!
Daily Kos

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Corrupt, Dysfunctional Mess We Call the Federal Government

A Salon headline asks, “The Secret Service’s Mind-blowing Abuse of Power: Why do Government Agencies Keep Spying on Lawmakers?” The article focuses on a report from Homeland Security detailing how Secret Service employees hacked into private databases in an effort to find and leak intimidating and embarrassing information about a vocal critic of the agency, Chair of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chavetz.

The answer to Salon’s headline question is very simple, government agencies spy on lawmakers to intimidate them and keep the money pipeline flowing into their agencies’ coffers. It’s a form of blackmail, and it works extremely well. Despite the occasional outburst of indignation when the spooks get publically caught with their hand in the cookie jar, the system in place to keep elected officials quiet and generous runs smoothly. Heck, no one even knows exactly how much money Congress gives our surveillance agencies because it’s all top secret, you understand.

Everyone has skeletons in their closets and, if you’re a Congressperson, you are acutely aware that the NSA, CIA, Secret Service and other organizations have access to every detail of your past, and won’t be afraid to reveal it if necessary. So, when funding time rolls around, you’re more than happy to give our spies whatever they desire.

This is definitely not the type of check and balance our forefathers had in mind.  In fact, they would be appalled at what only nominally passes for a federal government in the United States. The Supreme Court is in the clutches of partisan ideologues beholden to the one percent, the executive branch (since George Bush) has given itself unprecedented powers to wage war any damn place it wants and murder anyone it pleases, and Congress is a dysfunctional mental asylum made up of half-wits and demagogues who are the property of America’s billionaires.

The “why” in the Salon headline is simple to answer, but the “how,” as in how do we fix the corrupt mess we call our government, is nearly impossible to answer without some very drastic changes.