Monday, April 23, 2018

Bar-bar-bar, bar-barbara's gone



Well, these people seem to be having a good time, black dresses aside.  Maybe it's because they just finished burying Barbara Bush, "a mean drunk" according to Roger Stone, and a hater without peer according to Richard Nixon (something of an expert).  And nobody looks happier than her husband, in the gray suit and the wheelchair, if that rictus is a type of smile.  Since he is widely believed to have cheated on her without let or hindrance, he's probably relieved she went first.  Imagine what her smile would look like.  And thanks to the Lying Media, we all got to witness the granny-drop in real time, covered with the solemnity of the final round of the Masters.

I wouldn't have brought it up, but I remember when President Obama attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela in a football stadium in Johannesburg.  Thousands of people were singing and dancing, as South Africans do to celebrate a life of consequence.  Obama took a selfie with, I believe, the prime minister of Denmark, and was trashed for days for failing to show the proper amount of dignity and respect.  Those people just don't know how to behave.  Fast forward to last Saturday -- I see teeth, not tears.  Where is Jeb, Mama's choice for eulogist because she was sure George would louse it up?  (Note blue necktie.)  Is Laura thinking, "God, I want a cigarette"?  Were Melania's feet the model for Malibu Barbie's?  As I said, black dresses notwithstanding, they could be at the dedication of a Bass Pro in Huntsville.  Michelle:  "Don't get too close, he does this David Cop-a-feel thing."  Melania:  "Dun't vurry, I know all about eet, dollink."

I'm handling the grief well, too, thanks.

A sovereign citizen with no pants...

...walks into a Waffle House.

This one has something for everybody.  Stay with me and keep hands and feet inside the ride.

Very early on Sunday morning Travis Reinking arrived at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, outside Nashville, and went to work.  Dressed only in a jacket (presumably he needed someplace to put spare ammunition), he shot two people in the parking lot and four more inside, leaving a total of four dead.  James Shaw, Jr., then emerged from the bathroom and wrestled the AR-15 away from him.  Mr. Shaw is African-American, which will become significant as we go on; he was unarmed and had no combat or law-enforcement training.  A bullet grazed his arm and he burned his hand on the gun barrel.

Reinking, a self-described "sovereign citizen," packed a lot of experience into his twenty-nine years.  Last year, for instance, he was arrested outside the White House and prevented from having an important discussion with Trump.  The report filed by the Secret Service reached the sheriff's department in Tazewell County, Illinois, where he lived.  Although he does not recognize their authority (sovereign citizen, remember?), they violated his sacred right to Keep and Bear Arms.  They revoked his gun permit and confiscated the AR-15, a .22 caliber rifle, a Remington 710 and a 9 mm. handgun.  Unfortunately, they gave them to his father, who gave them back.

This was probably unwise.  Sovereign citizenship aside, Travis had shown signs of mental instability before.  He once arrived at a public pool in a pink dress, stripped to his underwear and went for a swim.  He complained to police that someone was "tapping into his computer and phone" and barking like dogs in his apartment.  (Perhaps he went to the White House to compare his experience with the "wire tapps" ordered by Obama at Trump Tower.)  He also became convinced that he was being stalked by Taylor Swift.  Apparently she is worshipped on the Nazi right as a "pure Aryan goddess."  You want to know more, there's the Google.  I already know too much and would like to forget it.

And so, on to the restaurant, where four people died because they wanted something to eat at three in the morning and it was open.  Reinking fled without his Bushmaster, took off his jacket, put on some pants and ran into the woods.  At this hour he is reported "in custody."

Fresh ammunition (poor choice of words) for the Never Again movement spearheaded by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivors.  For Black Lives Matter, another white (alleged) mass murderer arrested without incident -- funny how that happens.  From Trump, who is generous only with opinions, a blizzard of semi-literate Sunday morning tweets about Hillary/Uranium/Lying Media/Witch Hunt/conspiracy/poopoo/caca/random nonsense but not a word about James Shaw, Jr., hero.  (Did I mention he's African-American?)  For the NRA, clearly the issue here is mental illness, not guns.  Never guns.  Could have killed four people with a fork left on a table.  For the two people in the hospital, thoughts & prayers.  For the sovereign citizens, I guess another martyr.  For Taylor Swift, oh, who the fuck cares?

See?  Something for everyone.

Update:  The NRA has responded!  Its spokesman, Grant Stinchfield (I swear), says James Shaw did moderately well at the Waffle House, but he should have had a gun.  Then there would have been more killing and the police wouldn't have had to hunt for Reinking and Antioch would not have been locked down, as it evidently was for a while.  But, all right, not bad for an unarmed man.

Last week, two black men were arrested for sitting in a Starbucks for several minutes without buying anything.  This was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not the one in Mississippi; I checked.  What do you think happens if a black man with a gun enters a Waffle House in the "open carry" state of Tennessee?  At three a.m.?  Probably.

Instead of responding to this crap, James Shaw has established a GoFundMe page for the victims.

So go.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rudy!

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"One day I'll be president...and you'll be my lawyer."

Baby on board

Image result for tammy duckworth pictures

And now, a tribute to Donald J. Trump.

For a man celebrated for his lack of self-control, you have shown remarkable restraint in tweeting about Senator Tammy Duckworth.  She is everything you hate:  a woman, a veteran, disabled, a Democrat and Asian-American.  She named you Cadet Bonespurs.  She has no use for your bullshit in the name of phony bi-partisanship.  And now, she has milk coming out of her...wherever.  On the Senate floor.   People are worried about you.

Senator Duckworth successfully challenged a rule about bringing family members into the august chamber where Preston Brooks once beat the crap out of Charles Sumner and got off without even a censure.  Where John Rankin used to dog-whistle the rednecks by revealing the "real" names of celebrities he thought were passing as gentiles.   Where Mitch McConnell refused to allow the President to name a Supreme Court justice because guess.  That bear-pit.  Senator Duckworth is the first senator to give birth -- at age 50, which is impressive enough -- and she will damn well not retreat into the wheelchair-inaccessible cloakroom or the ladies bathroom to nurse her daughter.  If she changes diapers at her desk, too, it can only improve the atmosphere.

Still nothing?  Not even a demeaning racist nickname?  (What's the Thai equivalent of "Pocahontas"?)  Well, I'm going to assume she hasn't been smeared by the White Couch Gang yet.  That is your main source of "information," isn't it?  Meantime, Donald, thoughts and prayers.  We count on you to set the terms of the hate debate.

Lady milk!          

A world elsewhere

With 24-hour cable news and that stuff from the old networks, you might think you have a pretty good handle on the world and all its crises.  You also might think everybody is obsessed with our American obsessions:  porn actresses and their lawyers, dramatic weather, the occasional outbreak of some disease that could have been prevented by better food inspection, and a federal government  whose executive branch would make William M. Tweed moan with envy.  This is why I try to watch the BBC news, with its coverage of Asian elections, African economy and the permanent state of war in the Middle East.  And then I go read The Guardian.

Even I was unprepared, however, for this opening sentence in the April 5 London Review of Books:   "The university strikes reached the end of their fourth week just before the start of the Easter break."  What now?  Malcolm Gaskill goes on to say that over a million students have been affected at 65 universities, including the ones Americans have heard of, Oxford and Cambridge.  The issue is the same one that has brought public school teachers out on unprecedented state-wide strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and elsewhere:  money, and the government's determination to screw them out of it.  Specifically, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (love those British bureaucracies) wants to reduce the pensions of academics, librarians and administrators by as much as sixteen thousand pounds a year.  (In 2014, the top earner at the USS got a raise to nine hundred thousand pounds a year, and that money has to come from somewhere.)  Of course, students now have to come up with thousands in tuition, leaving many graduates as much as fifty thousands pounds in debt (welcome to our world).

Coverage of the American teachers' strikes has been spotty, with emphasis on Republican governors comparing them to ISIS or Hitler, yawn.  Coverage of the university action:  nil.  The guest list for Prince Harry's wedding is more absorbing, apparently.  I have to wonder if American teachers know their British colleagues are as fed up as they are with being squeezed out of the jobs they love by the need to make a living now and to survive in retirement.  Ever since the Thatcher catastrophe of the 1980s, Britain has been getting more like the United States -- the same LRB has a very long, detailed, nauseating account of the slow starvation of the National Health Service in the name of, you guessed it, "freedom" (like the freedom to die on a gurney in the hallway of an overcrowded hospital, if you even make it off the ambulance).  The young, who need teachers, and the old, who need care, simply don't figure in the schemes of the greedy.  I hesitate to suggest that workers of the world unite, which didn't work out well the last time, but damn.  It's time to do something, and I'm in the mood for burning.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sorry, what?

Apparently today's Big News was the revelation that Trump fixer Michael Cohen also represents Sean Hannity.  So what?  Hannity's big square head is so far up Trump's ass, it would take the Jaws of Life to dislodge him.  Who cares if they share a lawyer, or a dermatologist, or Ivanka?  Oh, are we working from the premise that SpongeSean is some sort of journalist?  I need to read over my memos.

Or better still, I'll just go to bed.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Burning man

An apartment fire on the fiftieth floor of Trump Tower this morning killed one man and injured several firefighters.  The owner/developer took time out from Fox & Golf to tweet praise of the "Firemen (and women") and to celebrate the building's superior construction.  This did not include sprinklers on residential floors, the owner/developer having lobbied (and in one case bribed) a number of city council members back in 1999.  The tweet did not mention the dead man.  I guess he knew what he was getting into.

It's been that kind of week, April foolishness competing with outright madness.  It all began on Easter Sunday, when Jiggs & Juggs put on a show of amity to host the White House egg hunt.  Because now we can say "Happy Easter" once again, free of Sharia constraints.  The assembled kids, average age six or so, were nonplussed by an improvised speech from their host about American military prowess, which is in "tippy-top" shape  now, just like the building behind him, whatever it's called.  (Hint:  it's a house...it's white...)  This was actually coherent and appropriate, compared to the Wednesday performance in Pellagra, West Virginia, which was supposed to be about taxes but quickly turned into a raging verbal evacuation about his new obsessions, rape and caravans.  So much rape.  Nobody has ever seen so much rape.  (This will be news to women who were living in Berlin in 1945, among other, but let it go.)  So troops must be sent to the border at once to stop the rapey horde and begin turning the area into a copy of the Korean demilitarized zone, only with a Wall.  The Pentagon has no planning for such an operation and the governor of Oregon, to her credit, refused to send the National Guard, but it sure impressed the Mountaineers.

Oh, it gets better, or at least funnier if you have an Ambrose Bierce streak of humor.  One of America's heroes unearthed an old interview with Trump Jr., in which he talks about showering with daddy and possessing at least comparable genitalia.  (Dr. Freud, pick up line one, please!)  That's not at all retch-inducing.  I'm glad Junior enjoys showering with men.  Perhaps Mr. Mueller can arrange for him to do this on a regular basis.

Blake "Bunny Pajamas" Farenthold (R-Guess) has resigned from Congress without paying back the $84,000 he owes the taxpayers for settling a sexual harassment complaint.  Maybe it's enough that he's gone.

The Cowardly Ryan and a number of fellow chickenshits are holding "closed-door town halls" this week, which sounds like an oxymoron but is actually a smart way to avoid rude questions from people who don't want to lose their medical insurance, teenagers who don't want to be gunned down on the way to French class, Native Americans who don't want their land despoiled by the Koch brothers, DACA folks who don't want to be sent someplace where they can't speak the language, and other nuisances.  Makes for such unpleasant video.

Some Republiklan legislators in South Carolina have introduced a bill calling for secession if the feddle gubmint makes any move to take away their slaves.  I'm sorry, that should  be "take away their guns."  I get my secessions mixed up.  You boys need help packing, you let me know.

It's on!  Sean Hannity has embarked on a battle of wits with Jimmy Kimmel, if you can call it a battle when only one side is armed.  Hannity is already losing the battle of ratings to Rachel Maddow, so he's going on the offensive.  (Many people have told me she's a Big Lesbian!)  Meanwhile, poor Laura Ingraham is back and virtually commercial-free, thanks to David Hogg's bullying and the Deep State.  How is a hateful bitch supposed to make a living, huh?

Roger Stone says he was poisoned by Russians.  The fact that he's alive to make this claim is rather suspicious, but it's supposed to prove that he and his friends Julian and Donald were definitely NO COLLUSION.  Also, the sanctions on Russian oligarchs voted last year by Congress were implemented this week, giving any wide-awake oligarch ample time to move assets to the Caymans, Channel Islands, or virtually anywhere else.  His courageous actions earned Trump a tongue-bath from the Lying Media, for they prove he is in no way Putin's cock-holster.

A woman who was angry about having her channel shut down entered YouTube headquarters and shot several people before killing herself.  Don't worry, the video of the Warren G. Harding School's production of Cats was undamaged.  No need to post it again.  Really.  The woman had an Islam-y type name, so theories abound as to her real purpose.  These can be ignored.

If you're one of the "dumb fucks" (Mark Zuckerberg's characterization) with a Facebook account, close it.  Why would you not?   I believe it was Nikita Khrushchev who said, "When the time comes, the capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with."  The evidence suggests that he was wrong -- we'll give it to them, grateful for a place to post our hanging videos.



Saturday, April 07, 2018

April is the crudest month


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Friday, April 06, 2018

A home is not a school

I stopped by Juanita Jean's (the world's most dangerous beauty parlor) for a quick comb-out, and the chairs were buzzing about the late Benjamin Morrow.  This one definitely slipped under the national radar, what with porn actresses and the staggering stock market and such.  Mr. Morrow blew himself up in his Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, apartment last month while attempting to build a bomb.  The building was contaminated with toxic materials and had to be demolished, leaving ten families homeless, but first authorities found the usual collection of guns, ammunition, bulletproof clothing and white nationalist literature.  So he wasn't a terrorist in the current definition of the word, just a very troubled graduate of a bible college in Florida.  In other words, nothing to see here.

But the regulars noticed that prior to Pensacola Christian College, the late Mr. Morrow graduated from "Morrow Home School" (according to the obituary).  And they recalled that Mark Conditt, who spent the last month leaving bombs around Austin, was similarly home-schooled; his activities ended when the police closed in and he blew his mind out in a car.  Unlike Morrow, this troubled individual had already killed two people and injured several more.  Connection?

Home-schooling in and of itself is not bad, depending on who does the schooling and why.  If your school district lacks the funds for special education for the gifted or the challenged -- and increasingly this is the case -- the child may benefit from a specialized course of study.  Most states have at least some standards which have to be met by home-schoolers.  But much of the time, parents who choose this method want to isolate their children from a world they see as corrupt and irreligious, and to indoctrinate them into the kind of people who think building bombs and collecting weapons is a reasonable way of life.   A shortened life, to be sure, but proof against the evils of tolerance, multiculturalism and the "Democrat Party."

I didn't much like school, for a lot of reasons -- and this was back in the middle of the last century, you understand, when there was still money for art and music, and the teachers didn't have to shop at the local food bank.  (Did we even have a food bank?)  But looking back, I'm glad I went.  Where else are you going to learn the three basic rules essential for a woke life?  (We definitely didn't have the word "woke" in this context.)

1.  Nobody is on your side.
2.  All authority is arbitrary and self-serving.
3.  Athletes will always be rewarded far above their actual value.

You may have been taught Latin and Greek at age six, like John Stuart Mill, but your parents never taught you those things.  High school teaches you.  I went to a high school with three gymnasiums and a library the size of my first (studio) apartment.  OK, got it.  The vice-principal in charge of discipline was a rancid little shit who didn't care what you did as long as he didn't see it or have to do anything about it.  "Ignore it," was his advice to the bullied and taunted -- I can't remember why we never came to school with guns.  Maybe the AR-15 hadn't been invented.  Looking back, I guess it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good.  It could have been better.  It should have been.  Sorry, it's only been half a century and I'm still a little...angry.

As I say, it's not the curriculum, it's what you need to know.  As George Ade said, "There are at least two kinds of Education."

And so the Buttermilk Sky Organization proudly supports public school teachers who are fed up with starvation wages, collapsing schools, scarce resources, and the tax-cutters who cause all these conditions in the name of ignorance, superstition, fear and Republican votes.  The public is with you. Organize.  Strike.  You are the last line of defense for the old, democratic America.  

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Play ball!

Somebody set the pitching machine on Bob Gibson Fastball, but I'm batting them out as fast as I can.

Remember Adm. Ronny Jackson, the Navy doctor who lied his ass off about how Trump was so fit and healthy, he'd outlive us all?  Today he got his payoff, being named Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  Does he have any experience running a huge bureaucracy, or even a small bakery?  Of course not.  Why would you even ask?  Seat him between DeVos and Carson and let him soak up their wisdom.  Which picture is a camel, Ronny?

Will Trump congratulate Abdel al-Sisi on his victory in the Egyptian presidential election?  Of course he will.  Sisi got 92% of the vote, which is almost as historic and amazing as Trump's yuge electoral college total.  Of course, only 40% of Egyptians bothered to vote, but it's still...impressive.

Louie Gohmert (R-Himagain) wants March 31 proclaimed "National Border Control Day," for no particular reason except it's the birthday of Cesar Chavez.  Get it?  Meanwhile, Trump's continued failure to build the goddam wall has cost him the love of Ann Coulter, author of In Trump We Trust and several other volumes suitable for training a puppy.  "Ignoramus," she calls him, driven by frustration into cod Latin.  I love it when they scrap among themselves.  

Trump's got all manner of woman trouble, not even including the Stormy front.  Rumors swirl that FPOTUS, still in Mar-a-Legomyeggo, wants to take her anchor baby son and go far, far away.  Trump's pants must be wrinkled because he spent the morning yelling for Hope Hicks; he had to be reminded that the Communications Director quit, and the replacement is still cleaning out her desk at Fox News.  He was too busy with Executive Time to call the family of Stephon Clark, but he did manage to congratulate Roseanne Barr on her "new" sitcom.  (If the show gets "picked up," as the TV people say, Sarah Palin will have to find another diction coach.)

So he cheered himself up with another semi-literate tweet about perpetual foe Jeff Bezos, proprietor of the Washington Post and self-made billionaire, two distinctions that make Donzo crazy.  Crazier.  He accused Amazon of driving retailers out of business, which is probably true -- it began years ago with brick-and-mortar book stores, not that Trump has ever been inside one.  Then he ranted that they don't collect sales tax, which is, as Addison DeWitt would say, "a stupid lie, easy to disprove."  Most bizarrely, he accused them of "using our Postal System as their Delivery Boy," which begs the question, just what the hell does he think it's for?  Amazon pays the postal service, the postal service delivers its packages, and this is somehow "bad for the US"?  What harms the postal service is Republican congressmen demanding it pony up seventy-five years' worth of pension funds all at once (I'm looking at you, Darrell Issa -- and bleh, I'm quickly looking away).  Under the circumstances, they're probably happy to get Amazon's business, until drones start delivering everything.

Laura Ingraham, the reasonably priced Ann Coulter, decided to attack David Hogg over his failure to get into the University of California.  Bad idea.  The sponsors of her radio show were in full flight by noon, and she had to issue a half-assed apology.  Be afraid, Murder Lobby.  Because this time we ARE coming for your guns.

By the way, I notice that "Real Time With Bill Maher" is a rerun this week.  Maher hates religion, but he doesn't work on Good Friday.  Interesting.