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Showing posts from March, 2016

Heidi Hole

Trump sure ended it! — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 30, 2016 He did indeed. The "it" in question was the battle of the prospective first ladies between Cruz and Trump and Coulter's insight was posted in response to a tweet by Kasie Hunt of MSNBC News who thought Anderson Cooper had a cleaver response to Trumps nuclear Twitter strike in this war. Here is how it goes down in the land of TV "journalism" and I want you to think about the exchange real hard. Donald Trump: "He started it." Anderson Cooper: "Sir, with all due respect, that's the argument of a 5-year-old." The first question to ask yourself is did Ted Cruz start it? The second question is (and I happen to have a 5 year old) weather this is the "argument of a 5-year-old" and even if it is, does that invalidate the point being made respectfully or not? The answer to question 1 is YES, Ted Cruz did start it and the attack (and eventu

on the dark side of the road

It ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe That light I never knowed An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe I’m on the dark side of the road Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say To try and make me change my mind and stay We never did too much talkin’ anyway So don’t think twice, it’s all right For my money, Don't Think Twice, it's All Right is one of Dylan's greatest songs and The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is a beautiful album published in 1963 in the early years of the information age. Computer Science was all done on a mainframe in those years and since there were no computer science departments at any colleges (and wouldn't be for another 20 years) the guys from Bell Labs and IBM raided the Music Conservatories to find talented software writers - it turns out that musicians have a facility for writing code which isn't surprising if you think about it but is sort of ironic in light of the Watson AI advertisement p

the cross

Of all religious symbols the cross, to my mind, is the most damning and, in it's way, misleading (at least as far as Christ is concerned).  The cross represents the material world and the limited perception afforded us simple humans under the constraints of time and space. The cross is the instrument of temporary victory enjoyed by the forces of government and religion who, if the gospels are to be believed, together perpetrated one of the most egregious injustices ever conceived and executed by their institutions. Putting aside the divinity question, the murder of Jesus and the fecklessness of the leadership of the day is one of the most radical and subversive stories ever told and should give every thinking citizen pause before they entrust anything to a government or religious leader. The fact that a unique religion, professing to follow God, was born from this event is one of the eternal mysteries and can not be rationally explained by anyone who's read the text and imbib

Ordinary Lives

Ordinary In America we have something called "spring break" where ordinary people just take a week or two off from the daily grind and do something else - something fun like skiing or going to the Bahamas and just kicking back. Baseball junkies go to south Florida or Arizona to watch the major leaguers toss the ball around and now, in the nearish future, they'll probably be going to Havana . No big deal, just another day in the "land of the free" and nothing - I MEAN NOTHING - is going to get in the way of our spring break. "The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people's ordinary lives," Obama said Tuesday in Havana when asked if he had second thoughts about attending the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team. You see, the Presidents "ordinary life" is somewhat different from your ordinary life and so while you might not feel like kickin' back with some peanuts and watching 9 innings of base

"It's Alive!"

Oh no, the "American Experiment" is in danger of dying (or something) because, well, after two and a quarter centuries it's still in the experimental stage and the International Community (and their domestic compatriots) aren't sold on it's viability. For all the eternal skeptics of this "experiment" there is now proof - proof I tell you! - of its dismal failure in the personage of Donald J. Trump. He's "a guy who tears at the social fabric, who insults the office of the presidency by completely unprepared for it, who plays on bigotry and fear, who is the sort of demagogue our founders feared would upset the American experiment in self-government, well, that kind of guy, you just can’t support, even if it means a defeat" according to Founders expert David Brooks *. And sure, Brooks is a loser, but he's hardly a lone voice in the media sphere . Which begs the following questions: Have any of these worry-warts ever read the Autobiogr

The greatest advertisement ever

Advertising is all about selling shit and what the creators of SquatyPotty have done here is the ultimate in dream factory product marketing. These guys will push a lot of plastic stools through their distribution pipeline and make people feel like they're eating delicious unicorn poop. Working on multiple levels the commercial is informative, illuminating, humorous, scientific and fantasy all wrapped into one tidy package. At a meta-level it is one of the most subversive advertisements ever created as it lays bare-bottom the base purpose of ALL advertising in consumer culture. Bravo! 

Cherubino gets sucker punched

No more you'll wander, my amorous little butterfly, Flitting about by day and night Disturbing the rest of all those pretty women My little Narcissus, young Adonis of love No more you'll have these pretty little feathers, This smart and jaunty cap, Those curls and that lively air Those rosy, girlish cheeks. Among soldiers, by Bacchus! Great moustaches, well-guarded knapsack A gun at your shoulder, a sabre at your side, Head held high, bold of face A great helmet, or a big turban, Plenty of honour, but not much money, And instead of the fandango A march through the mud! Over mountains, through the valleys In the snow and burning sun To the music of trumpets, Of shells and cannon-balls Whistling past Making your ear sing! Cherubino, to victory And military glory! Yes, Cherubino has been cast out by the duke, but don't worry Little Marco, you won't really have to join the military - you'd never make it there anyway. And besides, believe it or

Empty for a year

Transitions are hard. It's hard for people to change and even harder for institutions to change and usually any change requires either a crisis or a "change agent" to spur on the needed transformation. Sometimes you get both. When we talk about transitioning into the White House and what a monumental task it has become we're illuminating the crisis. Just filling the job openings left by the previous administration is a terrible burden on the incoming President and his staff - in fact, you actually NEED a big bloated campaign apparatus to grow head count for all the patronage you're able to dole out once you're in the Oval. A candidate that runs a lean, cost effective campaign can't take the reigns of power because he won't have enough yes men to act as cogs in the machine. CHAOS. Even BHO, who had a huge campaign operation with lots of eager beavers willing to take a corner office in DC, could not fill the jobs at the Treasury Department for over a

a two-way street

Everyone loves the game. Weather that game is March Madness Bracketology or political primary jousting. Points are scored and votes are cast in the mighty effort to win. Yes, winning is the goal and people give their all to achieve victory and humble their "enemies" but remember, for every winner there must be a lot of losers. There is no shame in losing - in fact, losing can be more rewarding in it's own way than winning (but usually it takes a little time for this truth to sink in). The important part of life is a willingness to compete despite the long odds against you. To fight and fight and fight some more and if you do go down to defeat be damn sure you go down clawing and brawling to the very end. Never get bounced from a bar and tread meekly on your own two feet tipping your hat to the muscle as you exit past the velvet rope but force two or three of the meatheads to lift your writhing, kicking body and physically toss your sorry ass out into the street. Curse t

Blue Shirts

Hitler consolidates power in Germany - Age 45 Mussolini elected Prime Minister in Italy - Age 39 Stalin consolidates power in USSR - Age 44 Mao leads his "long march" - Age 41 One of the great things about living in the USA (at least I think it's great) is how little ANY American understands, as in comprehends, the forces of Communism or Fascism. We the People simply have no idea what these movements mean or, in truth, have any first hand experience with the societal forces that give them life and power. Fat, Happy and Free we experience these "movements" as abstractions and go on about our lives drinking sugar water and playing video games - we invented the Internet for Christ's sake. You want proof? Take a look at the two leaders of our political "revolution" in 2016. Revolution? On the "left" we've got a 74 year old grumpy uncle who can't keep his mouth shut about all the things that need fixing around the house. A

Number 13 Baby

Got hair in a girl That flows to her bones And a comb in her pocket If the winds get blown Stripes on her eyes when she walks slow But her face falls down When she go, go, go Black tear falling on my lazy queen Got a tattooed tit say number 13 Another debate down with one more to go? There have been 12 of these GOP debates to date and to tell you the truth they've blurred in my memory to a few glowing embers of smoldering heat. Let me think back, think KOTCB, THINK! Debate summaries August 6, 2015 – Cleveland, Ohio - Huge ratings! Trump won it and, oh yeh, Megyn Kelly had PMS and bitched at Trump . September 16, 2015 – Simi Valley, California - George Pataki is a clown . October 28, 2015 – Boulder, Colorado - CNBC + Boulder, CO don't make for a good GOP venue  because Republicans hate Government (don't ya know). November 10, 2015 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin - FBN showed up CNBC and moderated a pretty good debate but I don't remember any of it. December

Fidei defensor

Where have I seen that hairdo before? As a young man traveling abroad I once found myself living in the home of an elderly Catholic woman of modest means in the suburbs of London. Her grandson was a curious young lad and loved to hear stories about life in the United States and one day, almost as an aside to the topic at hand, he asked my religion. I told him I was Episcopalian - "It's sort of like being an Anglican," I explained. Looking at me sternly he questioned, "Don't you have a fear of going to Hell?" Family members shushed the boy but he persisted because, liking me as he did, he really was quite concerned for my soul and I appreciated his heartfelt charity. I explained to him that living in the USA is quite different than living in England and while we acknowledge and sometimes make fun of each others religious differences there was very little history of State sanctioned persecution of a religious sect or denomination. We all get along, Catholi

The postman always rings thrice

My wife was reading an astonishing report from her FB feed the other day - "DNA Tests Prove Retired Postman Has Over 1,300 Illegimitate Children." Busy fellow and a true lover thought I, but in reality the story was all made up by a fake news web site . But this fake news story was spread around the world via social media shocking millions of people and I'll bet there is a huge percentage of those "Likers" that still don't know the story is false. A few days later, as an indictment of the GOP debate,  Coy Barefoot posted three gems from Neil Postman on his FB feed . “When a population becomes distracted by trivia , when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.” “[It] is not that television is entertaining

The Hanger

There are a lot of ways to cheat at cards and some of the tactics are very subtle but one dead give away that someone is dealing from the bottom of the deck is a hanger. The hanger: Made popular by the poker-playing police in Rounders, the hanger is virtually impossible to catch. It is however a dead giveaway that a player is dealing from the bottom of the deck. When an individual card is being dealt from a deck, it is uninhibited by any card above it. When a card is dealt from the bottom however, it can push out the card above it if pushed out with too much force. This results in the bottom card of the deck sticking out from the rest of the deck. The bottom card of a deck should never pop out as a hanger.  When politicians start accusing their competitors of being sympathetic to the KKK you're looking at a hanger. Especially if that competitor is a Yankee real estate developer, thrice married (twice to immigrants) and with a Jewish daughter (converted). For anyone with even