Friday, September 30, 2016

Project NN


I'm old enough to remember when USA Today launched in the Fall of 1982 with its streamlined content and colorful pages (all newspapers were B&W back then kiddies) which were garish and low-brow - simpleminded you might say. In fact, that's exactly what everyone in the publishing world DID say. You would have thought the world was coming to an end based on the reaction the big-foot media had to this dumbed down news source. It was a dumbed-down news, light on substance and targeted to people (rubes) who read small town regional newspapers like The Brookfield Citizen or The Long Valley Advocate or The Talbotton New Era. It was the Walmart of newspapers that put a lot of small town papers out of business and replaced them with homogenized, centralized, corporatized BlueRedPurpleGreen mush.
Some derided it as "McPaper'' — junk-food journalism for television viewers who didn't like to read. Newsweek once described its founder as "the man who shortened the attention spans of millions of Americans."
It's founder, Allen H. Neuharth, was an interesting character with a bright idea and the fortitude to make that idea a reality.
Newsroom smart and board room savvy, Neuharth was audacious, flamboyant and a self-described "dreamer and schemer." He used all those talents, and a dose of Midwest charm and common sense, to help build Gannett into one of America's largest media companies.
An audacious, flamboyant dreamer and schemer not only created USA Today but lead the Gannett media conglomerate to amazing corporate success in the 70's and 80's - making himself a lot of coin in the process.
Under the leadership of Neuharth, who was named CEO in 1973 and chairman in 1979, Gannett underwent a steady period of growth and diversification.
In 1971 Gannett merged with Federated Publications; in 1977 it merged with the Speidel Newspaper Group. In 1979 Gannett merged with Combined Communications in what was then the largest merger in the communications industry.
With the opportunity for growth came the opportunity for diversification. In 1979 Gannett owned 78 daily newspapers in 33 states and Guam, a national news service, seven television and 14 radio stations, outdoor advertising plants in the United States and Canada, 21 weekly newspapers and the research firm of Louis Harris & Associates.
Pretty powerful and important - controlling the news that's distributed through all those outlets + the 7 million subscribers to McPaper. All pumped out from a central source in  Tysons Corner, VA under the motto "It's all within reach" - which is true, and folks at Gannett plan to keep it this way. So today they published "Trump is unfit for the presidency", a ringing un-endorsement of the Elvis from Queens, in their flagship "newspaper".

  • He is erratic
  • He is ill-equipped to be commander in chief
  • He traffics in prejudice
  • His business career is checkered
  • He isn’t leveling with the American people
  • He speaks recklessly
  • He has coarsened the national dialogue
  • He’s a serial liar

He sounds a lot like a guy named Al Neuharth by these descriptors and the crazy truth of the matter is - Trump probably IS a lot like Al Neuharth. Except for one thing - one very important thing - Trump wants to move power and money OUT of Washington DC and back to the people and communities that Al Neuharth wanted to "incorporate" (psychologically) with his stupid newspaper. This USA Today editorial endorsement - an endorsement to "stay true to your convictions" - was the first of its kind in the papers 30+ years of publication. The message: Vote, don't vote, do whatever you want but whatever you do remember, #NeverTrump raises very troubling questions (at least it's troubling to me).

How can we have created a society were it's okay for an erratic, uninformed to incoherent, racist, sexist, xenophobic, liar and flim-flam grifter who speaks coarsely and recklessly to become a Billionaire? Shouldn't those attributes disqualify someone from becoming so extravagantly wealthy and powerful? Isn't Trunp's unfitness for the presidency also an indictment of Americas capitalist system of finance, ownership and commerce? Why is it alright for someone like Trump to make millions of dollars and control a vast real estate empire (or in Neuharth's case a vast newspaper empire) and NOT be qualified to become POTUS even under emergency circumstances?

When I contemplate these questions I keep coming back to the same conclusion - it's all bullshit. Trumps not unfit or unqualified to be president - no more unqualified than a junior Senator for Il or a Texas Gov - in fact, if anything he's more qualified than most having clawed his way out of Queens to a 5th Ave penthouse he must have some talents and capabilities. My guess is that the newspapers editorializing against him just don't want to see him use those gifts on behalf of the American people and at the multinational conglomerates expense.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Line of Control

Built the Wall
When I was kick'n around India in the mid 1980's the Kashmir was a hot mess and getting hotter. Fighting every day and horrible stories in the newspaper and on TV. It's sad truth that one of the most dramatic and beautiful regions of our earth is also ground zero for the intersection of India, Pakistan and China or Hinduism, Islam and Confucianism or Democracy, Islamism and Communism. It is one of the most dangerous places on earth and since all three occupying powers now have nuclear missiles it's a place worth keeping an eye on. So when I see a report about Indian special opps sneaking over the "line of control" to attack Paki terrorist camps preemptively (i.e. before the Pakistani forces can sneak  over the LoC to kill Hindus) I take notice. It's a pretty big deal and could result in a terrible conflict which would move the focus of the world media to a whole new theater of operations - maybe learn a little bit about what a Line of Control actually means (or maybe we're already figuring that out ourselves).
The barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet (2.4–3.7 m) in height, and is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as "fast alert signals" to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in. The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.
Living with Islamic Terror

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sic semper tyrannis (forever)

Want to stop Terrorism cold in its tracks? Sic the personal injury lawyers on 'em.
WASHINGTON—Congress Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow Americans to sue foreign governments over terrorist attacks, the first such rebuke to the president since he took office.
The House voted 348-77 just hours after the Senate, in a 97-1 vote, moved to overturn Mr. Obama’s Friday veto of the bill. Families of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have long sought the right to sue Saudi Arabia for any alleged role in the attacks, which the kingdom has denied.
Crusader
Talk about building a wall!!! Take that New World Order. We're building a wall of paper and manning the ramparts with teams of lawyers (and we have the biggest and best army of lawyers in the world) to sue your asses into oblivion. We can drag this out for years or decades - doesn't matter to us - and you will pay and pay and pay. This is asymmetrical war at its finest and amazingly our Peace Prize winning president thought he could veto this law, in the final months of his second term, against the wishes of his parties loyalist voting block (trial lawyers). Obama must really love droning these terrorist every day, but at long last he's being sent a message loud and clear. 97 votes in the Senate and 348 in the House is not an override - it's a spanking. Too little, too late from my perspective, but let's face it, FBPOTUS has only found it necessary to veto twelve (12!) pieces of legislation in eight years and, frankly, all of those vetoes should have been overridden hard. Congress has treated him like a slow learner with a fragile temperament but now that he's on the way out the gloves are off and he's going to get a whipping.

Things are about to change and if you were wondering how much they're about to change a good benchmark came with todays endorsement of Hitlery by former VA Senator John Werner. This endorsement means one thing, and one thing only - The DC Establishment is freaking out because HRC is losing Virginia. They have a Clampett lapdog as sitting Governor, a Senator as VP and the Dems still can't wrap up the Commonwealth because the State's motto is "thus always to tyrants" and there are still enough Virginians who know what the Latin means and believe it. The tyranny of the beltway bullies will be killed by paper or sword and they know it - and they fear their destruction.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

why am I feeling this way?

CLINTON: Lester, I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police. I think, unfortunately, too many of us in our great country jump to conclusions about each other. And therefore, I think we* need all of us to be asking hard questions about, you know, why am I feeling this way?
Good question and the answer is probably that your education and worldliness is dragging you off course. It's true that trivial issues (birtherism) were raised in last nights debates and Trump was playing defense much of the night being targeted by HRC and the "moderator" simultaneously. On the other hand, he landed some hey-makers that simply go unnoticed by those who rigorously follow the news and current events - Pointing out that the email server was NOT a "mistake" and that her staff all took the 5th (nice touch holding up the right hand) was one that comes to mind. You know this and consider it old news but my guess is that most voters do not (if they don't watch Fox News where would they have ever heard about it?). Also, for good or bad, Trump dominated the focus of the event which is to say, everyone was watching him (not her) and when she spoke I found myself wishing she would speed up the boilerplate and finish so that I could hear what HE had to say on the subject - even while she was speaking I found myself watching him and his reactions - I don't think I was an outlier in that regard. Then there are the intangible differences that speak louder than words and impact debate watchers at a deeper level which is not quantifiable but is real (implicitly real, if you know what I mean).

implicit bias NOT a problem
A bad night for those who wanted to see him beat her in a debate, but a good night for those 20% of the voters (the undecided) who are just now tuning in to this circus and trying to figure out which of these two numbskulls they're going to put in the White House - and make no mistake, it is the 20%, the miserable, milquetoast, squishy 20% (people you have absolutely NOTHING in common with), that decide the presidential elections. How they think and make their decisions is a mystery to me, but I believe that Tump understands them and how to win them over.

*That would be the Royal "we", not the We the People "we".

Monday, September 26, 2016

Make America France Again


You can imagine my surprise at the endorsement by the NYTimes editors:
In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Dede Wilsey — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway.
In a glowing review of her lifelong struggle to do good, improve peoples lives and break through life's glass ceilings while keeping subordinate social climbers in line Dede has proven that she's got what it takes to lead the nation. Besides, like it or not, she's not going anywhere folks.
 “You can’t beat me,” Ms. Wilsey said, stroking the dog, Dazzle. The top of its head was stained pink from her lipstick kisses. “You will see me prevail. That’s what you will see.”
Just bravado from a septuagenarian who refuses to turn over the reigns of power you say? Wrong.
Her coal eyes flashed when she was asked to identify the anonymous wag who had told a reporter her run had come to an end. “I have no idea, and I’d like to kill them,” Ms. Wilsey said. No one was going to run her out, she added. She would remain, overseeing politics and fund-raising. And to her detractors she would like to say: “You will look like a bunch of idiots. And I am going to laugh myself silly.” 
This is the kind of forthright politics America desperately needs and Dede will carry the NYTimes sword into battle held high, ready to butcher her (their) enemies. What does she think of her detractors?
“I personally feel they should be erecting a statue to me,” she said.
Indeed, they should and come January 2017 they will. MAFA people - Let's do this thing. It is often forgotten that a big chunk of America once belonged to France and this November we can Make America France Again. Out with the freedom and in with the fraternity (or sisterhood as the case may be) because we’re stronger together and that means doing what we're told "together". There will always be those who scrape and claw their way into lofty social and political circles and this journey requires great sacrifice and pain on the part of "the climber" who must suffer the recriminations of those who were in the way and needed to be cast out, bought off or killed. They didn't want to be "together" and so...

Let them eat cake. Let them eat ka-ka because they just hate women and that's all there is to it. That's the only reason voters are against the girl and the NYTimes knows it - they're not going to stand for it because it's just plain wrong. Sexist and misogynistic and many other things:
While accepting the change, Ms. Wilsey said: “There is no way if I were a man I would be the victim. A man who gives as much money as I do?”
This is the kind of Pulitzer winning journalism for which the NYTimes has justly earned the title - The Paper of Record - and since the US Government does not own and publish a newspaper the duty falls on The Gray Lady to be the official paper of record with each issue deposited in the National Archives. What a treasure it will be for those historians 500 or one thousand years from now to read the inner workings of the mind - the unvarnished truth and life force - that animated political candidates in the early 21st Century.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

In your bones

It's barely yours on loan
What you think you own
The place that you call home
The ideas in your bones

A few days ago I drove in the RVA to catch a Built to Spill show at The National (great venue for music BTW) and if you're like most people east of the Mississippi you're probably asking "what is Built to Spill?" So BTS is like a cross between Neil Young and Yes with a white Jimmy Hendrix on lead guitar. Basically, it's a revolving band of musicians orbiting Doug Martsch - straight out of Boise - that plays a highly cerebral rock n' roll that, if you get it, has a devoted gang of followers (like me) who consider it to be the best thing ever.
Spin: Ira Glass has a quote where he essentially says that every creative person does terrible work in the beginning. Everybody who’s every wanted to make art is terrible at first. But as long as you create a “volume of work” — even if it continues to be terrible — it will get better. That’s kind of reassuring.
Martsch: Well, I’m going to go one further and say that it doesn’t get better. You will not get to a point where you write good things. I’m saying that even now, 99 percent of what I write is really stupid, and it didn’t get any better.
security risk?
So true. As true for the KOTCB blog as it is for rock music. And one of the many great things about BTS is the way they take their performance seriously without taking themselves too seriously. For instance, when the warm up bands wrapped up at The National there did not follow the obligatory hoard of roadies scouring the stage doing sound checks and pampering the band - nor was there some showy entrance when the band took to the stage. They just walked out, did a sound check themselves and started playing - no big deal - let the music speak for itself. Doug Martsch, for his part, looks like a mountain man come out from the wilderness with an axe strapped over his shoulder to tear it up (which he did) and though this incarnation of BTS is spartan with a three piece arraignment (drum, bass and guitar) the wall of sound was mighty. As for the audience it was entirely comprised of middle-aged white dudes with a smattering of girlfriends dragged into the theater kicking and screaming (BTS doesn't resonate with women for some reason) and these guys are, without a doubt, harmless. The people who listen to Doug Martsch's quirky melodies don't kill or even hurt others - they're almost all introverted thinkers who politely listen and clap after every song.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post - On the way into the auditorium every patron was required to show ID (even the 50 year olds) and everyone had to empty out their pockets and let a security guard wand them in search of weaponry. Like entering a court house or something - this is insane people. This is antithetical to the spirit of rock n' roll and, most certainly, antithetical to the spirit of Built to Spill. I ask you, dear reader, is this the kind of society you are willing to live in? A cavity search to go see a R n' R band? America 2016 is a security state where the police are just the first line in a multi-tiered apparatus that interrogates EVERYONE who does ANYTHING.

I don't think your message is getting through
How did we get here? It didn't happen overnight but somewhere along the journey the reality of liberty got stripped from the American skeleton - the idea is still with us, floating around in the ether but on the ground it's abused and forgotten. Prisoners in a prison we created desperately in need of a jail brake.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

SlowBirthing

Have you ever been to Hawaii? I'm from the mid-Atlantic region of the USA so for most of my life I'd never made the trip. If I need to visit some island paradise I hop on a jet and fly down to the Bahamas or Jamaica or (maybe) further south to Antigua and kick back with a lime punch in hand surveying the pink sand and crystal clear aqua sea while surly natives cook, clean and bang out some sweet melody on the steel drum. The gated compounds are lush, manicured mirages populated by beautiful people and if you're feeling adventurous you can always hire a van to drive you and your friends/family to a remote and magical spot on the island for a swim underneath the waterfalls or snorkeling at a fish flushed reef. It's beautiful and relaxing and exotic so why waste the time (10 hours from IAD) and money (Hawaii ain't cheap) to visit some remote islands located in the middle of the pacific ocean when the West Indies are so much closer and (sometimes) cheaper. I mean, Hawaii couldn't be THAT much more spectacular and amazing than Jamaica, right? Wrong!

Hawaii is Shagri-La. Hawaii is one of the most amazing places on planet earth and makes the dingy Caribbean islands look like rat and bug infested sand traps where people drink like fish and pass out in their back porch hammock waiting for the next hurricane to sweep them and their flimsy aluminum shack out to sea. The Hawaiian islands rise out of the sea like the mighty crown of Poseidon encircled with clouds that sprinkle rain on it's lush green fields and forest scattering rainbows across the sky. There you can walk, as Adam, sky-clad eating delicious fruit picked from the trees and watch whales breaching a hundred yards off the beach your Eve is sprawled upon waiting for you to make mad love to her. And where is this paradise located? If you're like me you probably envision Hawaii located just off the Cali/Oregon cost surrounded by a white box - you know it's out in the Pacific Ocean somewhere but its longitude and latitude is a unknown and trivial.


Hawaii is the most isolated population center on Earth. It is 2,390 miles (3,846 km) from California, 3,850 miles (6,196 km) from Japan and 4,900 miles (7,886 km) from China. Hawaii shares the same general latitude of 20°N with cities and environments such as Hong Kong, Mecca, the Sahara Desert and Mexico City.
Hawaii exists in the middle of nowhere. It is so remote that it's incredible there were any indigenous people inhabiting the islands - how the hell did they get there? Who was the brave Polynesian that canoed deep into the endless sea to find it, and how did he find his way home to tell the tribe? Europeans didn't even know the place existed until two years after the US Declaration of Independence was signed when Capt. James Cook washed up on shore and started infecting the natives with disease. Those natives that did not die of measles killed each other in bloody civil war that left the islands a political basket case for 150 years until it became a US State in 1959 (a little over a year before Barack Obama was born there). Hawaii is a lot of things but one thing it is NOT (except on paper) is the United States of America.

Which brings me to "birtherism" and the insane drama surrounding the issue of Obama's birthplace. The truth, the larger truth, is that the DC cartel and their PR department called the national media don't care if Obama was born in the USA and they think the entire issue, constitutional though it might be, is an anachronistic requirement from a bygone and discredited era. They wouldn't care if he was born in Kenya, which is only slightly more distant and exotic than Hawaii, far away from the US mainland - they don't even like the fact that this "illegitimate" issue is being raised. The 44th POTUS didn't live in "America" (the North American Continent) until he was 18 years old so his formative years - the years where he leaned what it actually meant to BE an American were spent in paradise and hell (Jakarta, Indonesia). This is the birtherism issue and it has nothing to do with race, but rather, weather this USA should be lead at the top by someone who has so faint a connection at the deep psychic level (in his subconscious) with the land, traditions and people of the country he represents.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Decius drops the mic

What goes up, must come down
I recently blogged about "The Flight 93 Election" by Publius Decius Mus posted on the CRB web site. I was tipped off, like 20 million other Americans, when El Rushbo read part of the essay on his radio program and so I checked it out. I cybersurf around the internet and read a lot of opinion posted on web sites from all sides of the political spectrum - I read NatReview, Powerline, RedState and I read Vox, The Nation and the Guardian and I read funky, off the beaten path blogs like the Journal of American Greatness that made an iconoclastic case for TRUMP. Flight 93 is basically a distillation of JAG that strips out some of the most inflammatory and abrasive arguments which I assumed was done in an effort to make the slaps across the face of the "conservative" punditry bracing without being lethal. The right-wing big-brains responded with their customary lies and denial and I've now come to believe that the opinion piece was just the tap-tap setting of the nail in the wood because what followed in Dedius's Restatement on Flight 93 is a righteous hammering of the #NeverTrump ninnies deep into the pine of irrelevancy. It is the greatest polemic on the subject of modern day conservatism and where (and why) it fails that I've read from any writer, of any political stripe - ever. Blow after merciless blow he beats them down, down, down and, as before with the initial flight 93 piece, I'm not going to pull many snippets for comment because you really should read the entire thing but I would like to say something about the final blow that buries the nail and leaves a hammer head indentation in the wooden cross of the modern conservative movement.
"One of those who most objected to the Flight 93 analogy also accused me of “sophistry.” I remind him that, according to Aristotle, “the Sophists identified or almost identified politics with rhetoric. In other words, the Sophists believed or tended to believe in the omnipotence of speech.” Is that not a near-perfect description of modern conservative intellectuals, or at least of their revealed preferences? Except that one wonders what, in their case, is the source of that belief, since they haven’t been able to accomplish anything in the political realm through speech or any other means in a generation."
The first point I'd make is that sophistry is not actually as bad as its current popular definition implies and that, yes, in pre-Socratic terms Decius is a sophist - the best kind of sophist. Politics right and left could do with a hell of a lot more of this kind of sophistry. Instead we get this:

  1. a gratuitous accusation of "sophistry" (the bad kind) and then calling out the anonymous author by name ("I presume").
  2. Rhetorically undermine the substance of the essay by waving the bloody shirt of valiant flight 93 passengers who died fighting Islamic inspired terror.
  3. Q: Is any American more distant than Donald Trump from the spirit of heroic self-sacrifice that animated the passengers on Flight 93? A: Umm... maybe... er... Bill Kristol comes to mind. Do these #NeverTrump scolds think that DJT is NOT putting his very life on the line by running for POTUS? If so, then what the hell does the "Never" in #NeverTrump stand for? In truth (which they won't admit) it probably stands for nothing to them which is why they don't perceive it as a threatening hashtag, but for some lonely, desperate souls Never means Never and those folks are keeping the candidates secret service detail very busy (and worried).
  4. "Sad to see...", oh yeah, it's sad. Sad that flight 93 even happened and what transpired in it's aftermath - and also sad that the federal government still doesn't track visa overstays 15 years on since some of the 9/11 hijackers were in the USA illegally on temporary visa overstays.
Folly Wall
This is sophistry turned inside out and upside down - this is folly. Our current politics is a folly cloaked in sophistry which argues that citizens should live with squandered taxes, endless war, mountains of regulation, fractured families, sexual ambiguity, open boarders, crime and murder (+terror), Trillion dollar debt, drugs and multi-cult disunity. The politicians are all inverted sophists and the media, punditry and academic voices whisper and shout their twisted arguments irregardless of truth - in denial of truth - into the politicians ear who in their turn inform the voters (their loyal and disloyal subjects) how it's going to be.  At the metaphysical plain (which is the only true home this folly occupies) a wall of nihilistic bricks insulates the elites, the chosen, the insiders - whatever you want to call them - from the "real world" which they've purposefully shut out with a folly wall so thick and high they can't get over it. It's the main reason Trump's call to "Build the Wall" is so potent and discombobulating to the Bill Kristol's of this world - by building a physical "real" wall Trump is tearing down and replacing the virtual bricks in the folly wall that protects the ruling class with hard red clay. Call it creative destruction of the mind or whatever, he's doing the work that American politicians will not do. It's real, it's authentic, it takes courage and it's wonderful. #MAGA


Monday, September 12, 2016

What's up, Funny Girl?

Babs rubs a lot of intolerable people the wrong way what with her goofy politics and vitriolic rhetoric it's a given that racists, sexist, homophobic xenophobes would hate her with everything they've got. Not me. Barbra Streisand has had a perma-link on the KOTCB blog for over 10 years and I doubt it shall ever be removed. Why? Because she's a clown dipshit and whatever her politics, she loves America and knows how to belt out a song* - Also, she has impeccable comic timing which she showed off in hear early stage and screen work in the '60s and '70s. Take for example, "What's Up, Doc?" the brilliant 1970's slapstick where she played the mischievous Judy Maxwell and caused a lot of trouble for everyone she met (not the least for her father Judge Maxwell). Well, she's still got it and she showed it off at a Hitlery fund raiser the other night. Fortunately for America HRC has none of this woman's gifts for delivering a line - in fact, they're almost polar opposites in that regard (and probably lots of other regards)


*Also, she seems to have a thing for goyish guys like me (which I like).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The US Airways Flight 1549 Election (You're perfectly right)

This is your captain speaking
This is your captain speaking
To tell you I'm out of my brain again
This is your captain speaking
And if you think I'm freaking
You're perfectly right
And I'd be delighted if any of you could give us a hand
And land the plane.
It's odd, considering the amount of time people spend on airplanes (especially pop stars), that there are not more songs written on the subject of flight. Most of them suck but there are a few good ones which I'll list in no particular order:

  • "Eight Miles High" - The Byrds
  • "San Antonio, TX" - Frank Black
  • "This Time Tomorrow" - The Kinks
But probably the best is Colin Blunstone's meditation on the stark reality of air travel titled "This is Your Captain Calling" (and, of course, it's about a lot more than just air travel).


The song speaks to the feeling of absolute helplessness air travelers experience when they're strapped into their seats and being piloted by an insane captain who's asking for their help to land the plane - or worse, telling them to brace for impact into a sky scraper or remote rural patch of dirt. The sort of thing one contemplates on 9/11 or when reading "The Flight 93 Election" an essay that's been roiling the "conservative" websphere for the past week with its stark indictment of #NeverTrump specifically and the conservative movement generally. I'm not going to cherry pick a bunch of paragraphs from the piece and comment because the whole thing should be read in its entirety = it really does make a powerful and unified argument but there is one paragraph that hits the bulls-eye:
"Let’s be very blunt here: if you genuinely think things can go on with no fundamental change needed, then you have implicitly admitted that conservatism is wrong. Wrong philosophically, wrong on human nature, wrong on the nature of politics, and wrong in its policy prescriptions. Because, first, few of those prescriptions are in force today. Second, of the ones that are, the left is busy undoing them, often with conservative assistance. And, third, the whole trend of the West is ever-leftward, ever further away from what we all understand as conservatism."
This is a point the KOTCB blog has been making repeatedly over the past 18 months:

  1. The gullibility of normal politics
  2. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war
  3. Jonass buys his ticket to Tarshish
  4. Nelson Chaney washes his hands
  5. incompetent at governing and unwilling to be governed
  6. Rip its heart out
  7. Mission Accomplished
  8. His Saturn in Cancer

No one reads the Keeper of the Clown Bell, but everyone reads the CRB and boy are they pissed.
I could keep on posting negative reviews and you can read them if you like, but you won't find one that challenges the "blunt" statement I pulled from the article above. The pundit that gets closest to the truth is Jonah Goldberg who torpedoes the premise of the article like this:
It’s also not true. Truth would exonerate him. But it isn’t true — and even if it were, he can’t possibly know that it is. I am the first to concede that if Hillary Clinton wins it will likely be terrible for the country. But America is larger than one election for one office in one branch in one of our many layers of government. Indeed, if it’s true that America is one election away from death, then America is already dead. Because the whole idea of this country is that most of life exists outside of the scope of government. Yes, this idea is battered and bloodied. But I fail to see how rejecting the idea — as Publius does — is the best way to save it.
And this, dear reader, is the fundamental disconnect that the Alt-Right is illuminating for the conservative pundit class. America is already dead if "the whole idea of this country is that most of life exists outside of the scope of government" because this idea is not just "battered and bloodied" - it's none existent. The left certainly doesn't recognize this "idea" as legitimate and, when you get right down to the "blunt" reality of our politics, the right (NatReview, WSJ, etc.), while recognizing it, can hardly make it out and doesn't believe what it sees as legitimate either. "Even if it were" true - "it's also not true."

What, for the love of God, "exists outside the scope of government" in the USA circa 2016? A subject of the administrative state can't wipe his ass without government being involved in every aspect of the act - controlling the food supply, taxing the food, taxing (and regulating) the toilet and the toilet paper, rationing the water, processing the waist and recycling the gray water, even telling you who you have to share the bathroom with. This has all happened with the help of the conservative movement who play to lose with honor, but lose all the same. And by this point they will even admit that they've lost - admit the concept into their mind - but they can not or will not believe it. There is a big difference between admitting something and believing something and in that opaque journey is a flight path to sanity.

This is not the flight 93 election because the plane is not flying a normal cross country trek and being commandeered by a malicious band of outsiders hell bend on national destruction. The 2016 contest was going to be an inside job pitting "progressive" HRC against "constitutional conservative" JEB! but something unexpected happened shortly after takeoff that's put everyone involved - the pilots, the stewards, the passengers, air traffic control and federal regulators - in a very uncomfortable spot. This is a flight 1549 election - The US Airlines flight out of LGA that hit a flock of geese and blew out both engines forcing captain "Sully" Sullenberger to ditch it in the Hudson river. This jet plane is going down folks so are we going to try and glide it back to the airport or find a pilot who can pull off a water landing so that most of us can survive? We're not talking about saving "conservatism" at this point, we're focused on saving our lives and reforming our country into something We the People can live with, be it "constitutional conservatism" or not.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Real Dogs Eat Meat

In most elections the Libertarian candidate steals votes from the GOP candidate and when the Republicans nominate is a bible-thumper or warmonger the free-thinking Randian can often take enough votes to throw the election to the Democrat in the race. So the media, being good Democrats, leave the Libertarians alone and let them go about their business. Not this year.

This year the Libertarian Gary Johnson is taking votes from HRC and here's the proof.


There was a bit of lead up into the Aleppo question and it's worth reading the full transcript of the event but here's how it should have gone down:
BARNICLE: Which of those candidates of the two-party system — Republican candidate, Democratic candidate — do you draw the most votes from?
JOHNSON: You know, in all of these polls it’s just, remarkably, 50-50. Amazingly, I think, though, that with the exception of just a few polls it’s more votes from Hillary.
BARNICLE: Do you —
JOHNSON: But I think — I think when it ends up it will really be 50-50.
BARNICLE: But do you worry about the Nader effect in 2000?
JOHNSON: I don’t worry one bit about it. I really do think that the two-party system is broken. I don’t think Democrats are able to balance a checkbook these days. That’s it’s all about bigger government and higher taxes. And then Republicans with, I think, the social agenda. Look, whatever your social inclinations are just don’t force it on me. And I think the Republican Party has gotten really extreme in that category.
BARNICLE: What would you do, if you were elected, about Aleppo?
JOHNSON: About?
BARNICLE: Aleppo.
JOHNSON: Go fuck yourself you partisan Democrat stooge.
BARNICLE: You’re kidding.
JOHNSON: No. You think you're going to throw out some random word - totally out of any context - signifying a place, chemical or military term and try to make me look stupid or uninformed and I'm not going play your bullshit game.
BARNICLE: Aleppo is in Syria. It’s the — it’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.
JOHNSON: OK, got it, got it. Well, I bet there's not one person out of ten thousand in this country that could even find Syria on the map. If I were president I wouldn't do anything about Aleppo and neither will any of the other candidates.
BARNICLE: OK.
No, not OK. Johnson is pulling votes from Hillary so he must be destroyed. Many of the Republicans that are supporting Johnson are men married to Democrat woman who can't take the nagging at home so will keep talking about the Libertarian until they draw the curtain on election day and pull the lever for the Elvis from Queens.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

She was "sexy", but "too much hard work."


I'm a regular Fox & Friends viewer (mostly in protest of the other insipid morning programs like Today and Good Morning America) so over the years I've gotten to know Gretchen Carlson pretty well. Stuck between Steve and Brian she always seemed a prudish scold with an irritating, self-righteous demeanor that I simply put up with because I figured some people in the Fox audience actually liked her persona. It was obvious that Steve and Brian did not, but they were stuck with her like so many talking heads and had to make the best of it - which they did. Besides, she was no worse than any of the other women on morning show TV - I mean, you're only going to find a certain kind of person to do this kind of work and that kind of person is the Gretchen Carlson kind. Then, one day, she was gone and replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the F&F ratings began to climb, and climb and climb - in two months viewership was up 10% which is real money in TV land. But what to do with Gretchen? Stick her in the 2PM slot for a full hour and maybe she'll find an audience of like minded middle-aged women with nothing to do in the afternoon. Didn't happen. She didn't grow audience and competitors like CNN and MSNBC were winning share. Broadcasting is a very tough business and if a TV hostess doesn't make her numbers she's gone... period. It's not personal, it's not about sexual favors - she could give the best blow job ever but if she doesn't deliver audience and advertising dollars she'll be fired.

But in this commonplace firing Gretchen Carlson did what Ted Turner, Jon Stewart and Barack Obama could not do - she killed Fox News. How'd she do it? Well, in what Think Progress calls "stomach-churning allegations" surfaced in a civil action law suite (so you can read it yourself) Roger Ailes demonstrates that he has Gretchen's number, knew she was a loser, but couldn't figure out how to get her to leave his cable news network. As the complaint makes clear Gretchen is the kind of girl who thinks it "only rains on women" and is "easily offended about everything." That's because she's a "man-hater" and "killer" (as in buzz kill) who's always trying to "show up the boys." That while she's probably capable of "doing sweet nothings when she wants to" being married to Gretchen is probably "boring", "hard and "not much fun" raising the obvious question - who would marry her? All of these observations are simply true for anyone who's watched Ms. Carlson's work and if truth is harassment then so be it but my stomach is feeling fine.

For stomach-churning allegations one needs to read Gabriel Sherman's article in NY Magazine titled "The Revenge of Roger’s Angels" which tells the whole story (through a jaundiced lens).
It is unfathomable to think, given Ailes’s reputation, given the number of women he propositioned and harassed and assaulted over decades, that senior management at Fox News was unaware of what was happening. What is more likely is that their very jobs included enabling, abetting, protecting, and covering up for their boss. “No one said no to Roger,” a Fox executive said.
If half the stories in this article are true, and even reading between the lines as I do with profound skepticism, it is clear that everyone in the media industry knew that Roger Ailes used his position of power to "force" women to have sex with him. When I say everyone I mean everyone - not just Murdoch and the Execs at Fox but all the people in the business - the make-up artists, the news readers, the producers and writers - everyone. And that includes everyone at the other cable news networks, everyone in the New York newspaper business, everyone in the magazine trade, everyone in radio - they all knew because they all socialize and work with each other and talk and talk and talk. In fact talking is what those people do best and gossip about the boss requesting sexual favors gets around pretty fast. So while Gretchen's tale of woe is news to most of America, it's not news to anyone who works in the Manhattan media bubble which raises the question, why now?

Answer: Trump

Ailes was allowing Fox News to be used as a platform for Trump to get his message out to the masses  which was causing a civil war within the "Fox family' and the Murdoch family had to put a stop to it. Simple, promise a 50 year old mediocrity $20M if she'll file a civil law suite and get some of the other disgruntled ladies at Fox to jump on the payday bandwagon. In a kind of cosmic justice Gretchen Carlson is elevated to feminist hero and all those smarty-pants liberals have to eat a decades worth of nasty words they've said about her - better still, she stands tall as a mirror reflecting the true face of "feminism" right back at 'em and they see, incredible though it my be, that they are Gretchen Carlson.

Fortunately for me Roger Ailes was still running the show earlier this year when he picked the fetching Ainsley Earhardt to take the center seat on the curvy couch. She's a beautiful, charming, southern and God fearing American who lights up my morning in a way that Gretchen Carlson never could. Whatever she had to do to land this job was worth it and I thank her for it.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

a sacred moment in a secular democracy

Back wherever they came from?
Leave it to the The Ragin' Cajun to "teach" us about the futility in decrying a rigged systems - like there's never been any ballot stuffing in Louisiana. Oh no, the best you can do in Jimmy's opinion is cram in 100 fake ballots here and another hundred over there, you know, it happens but "a fundamental attack on the country itself" now that's going too far. Out of bounds to call into question widespread voter fraud because... well... er... um... well, it's like I say to my Tulane mush minds:
"I tell my students, if there's such a thing as a sacred moment in a secular democracy is when the former president gets on the helicopter and goes to Andrews [Air Force Base] to go to the plane to go back wherever they came from and a new president takes office. That's the moment, that's the key moment in any democracy because, you know, you lose, you leave or you're eight years up and you go and the new person comes in," Carville said.
If that's the case then his former boss has pissed all over that sacred moment from day one.
A. Bill Clinton would have never left office were it not for the 22nd Amendment - I dare say that he'd still be POTUS today if he were not forced, clawing at the door jam, from the white house by constitutional constraints. He loved it and (obviously) will do anything (including foisting his wife on America) to get back in the oval.
B. When Clinton's did get on the helicopter to leave the White House in Jan. 2001 they didn't have to go "back wherever they came from" because a month earlier they had purchased a $3.5M home at a steep discount of $2.8M in Washington DC (not a bad deal). Whitehaven is exactly what it's name implies - a haven from Little Rock, Arkansas and as white as Washington DC gets - whiter than the White House.
C. It is a fact that the Clinton team will do whatever it takes to win an election - including befouling the franchise - and don't care any more about the sanctity of it's democratic "underpinning" than they do about its "sacred moment." If they can rig the ballot box they'll do it without batting an eye - they're shameless.
James Carville know all this, and being the loyal in-fighter that he is, he'll gladly stuff ballot boxes, count hanging chads, hack computerized voting booths, drive illegal aliens and convicted felons to the polls and whatever else to swing the election. That's how it's done and if it's close that's how it will be done but I'm getting the feeling from brother James that he's not so sure it's going to be close. There's a sense of desperation on Morning Joe this September that wasn't there in August. As if the clown makeup is smudging and slipping off their faces and that even though the media always talk about the Clinton's "home" in Chappaqua, NY the voters are starting to figure out that the Clampetts actually live in NW Washington DC and they can't "go back wherever they came from" because no such place exists.

Monday, September 05, 2016

hammer and sickle

"hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on... hammers?"

Yep, smashed them with hammers like they do in some Hollywood crime drama. That's how criminals dispose of evidence. Not that your average voter will ever get this information because, just like the news anchor in this video clip, they have no idea that this actually happened and unless a Trump spokesperson brings it up they will never report on it. The producers at CNN simply don't want their viewing audience to know the inconvenient truths outlined in the HRC interview with the FBI and one of them is the destruction of federal property to dispose of emails that they were under court order to hand over. Hey, it happens, just like the "oh shit" moment HRCs high tech guru had before he wiped clean the server email archive with BleachBit.

You can't really blame these Clinton staff members and lackeys - Hillary kills people and if you don't want to die then you just gotta do what you gotta do. It's politics. But does the news media need to play along and cover it all up year after year? It seems to me that if someones using a hammer then someone else has to cut them down and put an end to it. Where, oh where, is our sickle of justice.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

#KapSoBlack

Leave it to the shady ghost in the machine to give the definitive review of Kaps "sit down" protest of the national anthem - turns out it's all about his big beautiful afro. And I'm fine with that actually because hair is important and if it takes disrespecting your nation to call attention to that fact then so be it. Too many of our citizens mock the head bush forcing extreme shame and angst on the innocent and causing them to shave their head or use toxic chemicals to flatten out their hair - sad.

As for not standing during the SSB, it ain't no big thing - This is the new America people and all that pledge of allegiance, In God We Trust, hand over heart, e pluribus unum stuff is old school. Last year I surfed over the StubHub and grabbed some tickets for the Redskins vs. Cowboys game in RalJohn, MD. In the Row and Section of the stadium that I was sitting in only a few people stood for the national anthem, most didn't remove the fan cap from their head, and they didn't stop talking when the song was played. And these were not bad people, "thugs" in the popular parlance, but funny and outgoing and very friendly Redskins fans - we had a great time together the entire game until the final seconds when the dreaded Cowboys kicked a field goal and squeaked out a win - sad.

They were not obviously oppressed either, though most of them were blackish in skin tone, and some of them were wearing thousands of dollars worth of Redskins merchandise. We laughed and joked and cheered together, but in the end we cried alone - and what we thought about the USA didn't really matter much. Welcome to the modern NFL with it's idiotic rules, marketing ploys and stars - someday (soon) people will just stop watching the games with "real" people and will play the Madden video game instead. At this point the video game is actually better than the real thing - the graphics are insane, the plays are great, the action never stops and as a fan you're actually in control of everything that happens. If you want your star QB to stand then he stands and if you want him to sit then he sits. The "future is bright" indeed. Very bright.

I will say this about Colin Kaepernick's commitment to the BLM cause - he means it! How do I know? Because he knows there are a lot of Defensive linemen and linebackers who love America with a capital L and they are going to absolutely kill the Kap if he's ever unlucky enough to get put out on the gridiron again. The good news for him is that he probably will never be a starting QB again or even play again in the NFL, so he's physically safe, but the bad news is that this pre-season is probably the last time in your life you will ever hear anyone say anything about Kap.
#KapSoBlack





Nuclear Fallout