How Half Of America Lost Its Mind

I’ve been driving across the great beautiful chunk of freedom referred to (by assholes) as “flyover country”. I’ve been counting political signage and it’s fascinating. However, when I wrote what I’d seen it was eaten by the cloud. What can I say? I’m in an area of sketchy WiFi. (Usually I write locally and upload when done. I should have stuck with what works.)

In lieu of original thought, I’m going to refer to Cracked (which is hardly a fount of depth but sometimes they hit the nail dead center). David Wong slammed one out of the park with How Half Of America Lost It’s Fucking Mind.* Here are a few random quotes:

Donald Trump is a brick chucked through the window of the elites. “Are you assholes listening now?

An obvious observation, but there’s more:

“But Trump is objectively a piece of shit!” you say. “He insults people, he objectifies women, and cheats whenever possible! And he’s not an everyman; he’s a smarmy, arrogant billionaire!”

Wait, are you talking about Donald Trump, or this guy:


You’ve never rooted for somebody like that? Someone powerful who gives your enemies the insults they deserve?

I’m in awe. An analogy bridging Trump with Ironman; it’s silly but it’s brilliant. A rich jackoff that scares the squares and breaks shit while you cheer him on; unless of course this movie wasn’t meant for you. Brilliant.

I encourage everyone to read it all.


* P.S. I could point out the inherent bias of equating “support Trump” and “lost it’s fucking mind” but if you didn’t notice it on your own you never will. Also it’s Cracked fer crissakes, Let it slide for comedy and you get a winning headline.

** P.S. 2. I should mention that I haven’t seen the latest Ironman movie. I’m basing my approval on older movies. I’m assuming the character is about the same. If, in later movies, Ironman and the  Hulk went all Brokeback Mountain after they immolated a busload of kittens then the analogy might be a bit weak.

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The Debates As Interpreted By “Wait But Why”

I recently discovered a blog called Wait But Why. (Warning, huge time sink… lots of great stuff to read! Give yourself time to peruse.)

The author took the time to transcribe the entire second presidential debate. This is one of the shorter posts and funny as hell. (Link here.) Here’s a sample:

Clinton: He’s lying about everything, it’s all on my website, and let’s just be happy that this loose cannon isn’t in charge of the law in this country.

Trump: Because you’d be in jail.

Audience: Oh dayome!

Anderson: We’d like to remind the audience to stop being a piece of shit.

Martha: But really, Hillary—what’s up with the emails you sneaky fuck.

It goes like that through several topics. Hilarious!

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Bad Advice From People Who Hate You

I’ve noticed a pattern. I call it “bad advice from people who hate you”. Rather than wallow in the cesspool of election coverage I’ll describe the same process in another venue. Reporting on Papal Conclaves is where I first noticed it.

Bad advice from people who hate you runs ankle deep in the streets whenever a Pope dies. The pattern has been repeated for as many instances as I can remember. It goes like this; the Pope dies (which is a bummer) and then a bunch of guys with pointy hats sequester themselves in a room (doing God knows what) until they decide who the new Pope should be. I’m cool with this; I’m not a particularly religious man but I respect folks’ beliefs. I would never presume to interfere with how a religion chooses its leader (also I think the colored smoke thing is pretty groovy).

Once the new Pope has been selected, the press kicks in with “bad advice from people who hate you”. Earnest looking blowdried airheads with microphones will stand in front of the Vatican and look into the camera. Then they spew advice to the new Pope:

“We here at MSNBC / CNN / New York Times / America’s Pravda (NPR) are glad to hear the new Pope is such an awesome guy. We hear he saves kittens in his spare time and he’s going to look really good in a robe. In no way do we want to remind our viewing public that we spend six hours a day 365 days a year bashing any non-Islamic religion as ‘backwards hicks’. Also we think the new Pope has a great opportunity here…”

Wait for it…

“…what the new Pope needs to do is embrace changes that will increase the popularity of his religion. He should totally chill out with complaining about divorce, or abortion, or drugs, or premarital sex, or homosexuality, etc… Also, our polling suggests that young people think this whole focus on sin is a huge turnoff.”

See where it’s going?

“So if the new Pope just quits complaining about sin and stuff he can really improve the church!”

They do it every time.

Who are these peons? They say words like they have thoughts behind them but they’re just airheads. Worse yet they’re airheads who presume to know what Catholics should do. I mean how much bullshit can be squeezed into a journalism career? What fries a mind until one thinks you’re better than the Pope… at being the Pope?

Even if I could get over the idea of giving advice to a dude who has “direct word of God” on his business card, what about the next assumption; that popularity is the point. I’m not a theologian but I’m sure I read somewhere that the purpose of the church is eternal salvation. It doesn’t say anything about being popular. Perhaps they’re confusing the goals of a centuries old organization with the season finale of “Dancing With The Stars”?

Finally, suppose the Pope takes the advice of America’s Pravda (NPR). Suppose he quits talking about sin and pre-marital sex and tones down all the God stuff? Maybe he starts hanging out with rich Hollywood actors and flies around in a private jet bitching about global warming. Maybe he decides all that celibacy crap is lame and so he picks up a supermodel girlfriend and shacks up for a couple of long weekends. It might make him really popular and he’s done everything they’d advise him to do, but is he really a Pope anymore? How far can he go before he’s just a guy with an epic hat? Isn’t their advice on how to be Pope instructions on how not to be Pope at all?

Obviously nobody in the press is qualitied to say jack about the Pope. He’s got Cardinals and bibles and stuff to advise him. Nor should the Pope give two shits what some moron on TV thinks. Depending on your level of belief he answers exclusively to a higher power.

There’s something very creepy about a hack churning out 800 word articles for the New York Times who presumes to offer “advice” about something that far exceeds their grasp. This is what I mean by “bad advice from people who hate you”.

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There Was A Debate Sunday

In the interest of an informed electorate I’m posting this clip from Sunday’s debate.

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Venezuela: Follow Up

I know that piling on Venezuela and Socialism is shooting dumb fish in a small barrel but I can’t quit. There’s a part of the tragedy I hadn’t previously considered. It had never occurred to me that a nation could be too poor to operate a prison. Holy shit! What to you do then? Clearly some people must be in jail. But what if your nation is so crapped out that you can’t manage a prison? There is nothing worse than putting a person in a cage and starving them to death. It’s just too ugly to ignore: Prisoners starve to death in Venezuela’s jails as country’s economic collapse sees food and medicine run out.

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Juxtaposition: Venezuela

March 6, 2013: Three years ago Salon whined we should pay more attention to the epic socialist success of Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle:

When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism…” (I added emphasis to this and other posts.)

OK, I’m game. My opinion is that socialism fails every goddamn time and all that really changes is the number of years between the glorious revolution and the inevitable starvation or mass murder. But I could be wrong. Salon in 2013 told me Venezuela was just peachy. Is it? Lets look at socialism’s impressive record of economic achievements just three years later:

June 16, 2016:

“A wave of lootings and food riots in crisis-hit Venezuela claimed a fourth life Wednesday… …The government blames the chronic food and medicine shortages on the opposition and an “economic war” it says is being waged in league with the U.S. government. To avoid the threat of unrest associated with long food lines, it has assigned neighborhood committees linked to the ruling socialist party to distribute food.

July 31, 2016:

“The Marxist “paradise” once worshipped by such Hollywood naifs as Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover and Michael Moore is now forcing its citizens to work on neglected farms… Home to the world’s worst economy, Venezuela is beset by severe food shortages, riots in the streets and hyperinflation that’s closing in on 700 percent… So Maduro has now issued an executive decree that subjects all workers to being forced to work for 60 days (or more, “if circumstances merit”) in the fields, growing badly needed food. Economically, the move makes no sense. Morally, it’s barely one step up from government-sanctioned slavery.”

September 1, 2016:

“‘We have been retained by the National Guard in at least – six checkpoints. It’s not fair,’ she said. ‘I feel sad. This government is not what we expected. We’re tired, tired of hunger and humiliation.'”

September 6, 2016:

“Over the weekend, Gen. Padrino announced the appointment of 18 military generals and admirals to oversee the production, distribution and commercialization of 18 categories of food and items considered basic staples for Venezuela’s economy.”

I’ll say it loud enough to be heard from the cheap seats; when a county goes socialist it ALWAYS craters, not sometimes or occasionally… but always. That’s why Russia and China (unlike twits in American universities) gave up on it. Socialism has repeatedly declined into food riots, forced agricultural labor (a form of slavery that’s as cruel as it is ineffective), and party/military control of everything (including food).


P.S. One thing raising food on my little homestead has taught me is that it takes skill. It’s not just musclehead effort. It’s a delicate dance between you and everything nature might throw at you (genetics, biology, chemistry, climate, predation, you name it). Rounding up a dozen schmucks from a city (dentists, accountants, school teachers, truck drivers) and dropping them on my yard for a 60 day “work detail” would seriously screw up what little food production I can manage. Nothing says socialism like burdening precious food production with a herd of urban slaves that know jack shit about the task at hand.


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How To Detect Propaganda

I wince as the electorate careens between the Felon and the Hairball. Just as the transition from child to adult is uncomfortable and ugly, so to is a nation’s devolution the other way. Men and women are meant to stand on their own two feet. As they devolve from citizen to subject (or ward) things feel awkward and disturbing. I don’t like the warm sticky embrace of socialism and failure.

People mill about, thinking about the van. It looks scary but the press says there’s candy inside.

Don’t get in the van!!!

Are we mostly being fed bullshit? Sure. Look at propaganda from a distance and it looks silly. That’s one way to tell propaganda, it seems stupid in retrospect:

Vote for me and I’ll give you free gas and pay your mortgage an Obamaphone free college. Well don’t vote for him of course, we’ve already decided and your support will not go to the Hippie but rather the Felon.

Why don’t you deplorables like me? The Russians ate my homework. I’m fit as a fiddle except the pneumonia which I suddenly got two days ago… look I’m hugging a child.

Vote in an irrelevant non-binding preference poll. Well not that way you fools. Even if Cheeto Jesus gets the highest number of primary votes in the history of the party we won’t support your choice. I mean who wants a president that looks like Rodney Dangerfield with a spray on tan? Back in the gimp box with you.

I love America’s freedom so assume the position bitches.

Look… another distraction. It’s a gorilla! No a lion! Holy shit; some dude isn’t kneeling!

This cake is evil and we won’t sell it but you must bake this cake or we’ll ruin you!

Really? Cakes and gorillas?

Forget the headlines and ask yourself; “how is all this unreality playing out in my life?”

Is your job keeping up with inflation? Does you kid come home from school smarter? Observe what you can see in your own world. Are you enjoying the $2,500/year savings you were promised? (Link to YouTube.) If the promises were true you’ve saved fifteen grand by now. What did you buy with it?

Are there real issues? Is the economy steaming along nicely? Do we have riots in the streets every summer? Do terrorists periodically blow up shit?

Right… stories about gorillas and cake.

If someone 50 years removed in time saw the article you’re reading would they think “what kind of dingbat cares about that?” If so, you’re reading propaganda.







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