Tuesday, December 11, 2018

going home hungry

Just because they're stupid doesn't mean they're stupid.
Except when it does.
Just because they're smart doesn't mean they're smart.
Except when it does.

A strange kerfuffle in which the disenfranchised know what they want and the enfranchised know want and no one is getting enough of what s/he wants. The anointed are too stupid to look back and the unanointed are too stupid to look forward.

Each may blame the other, but it doesn't work very well.

The abyss abides and everyone is going home hungry.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

once upon a time...

"Once upon a time, a Tuesday perhaps, there was a man called Pim."

The line popped up on my radar screen this morning. What did it mean? I had no clue. Perhaps it was the beginning to some wider tale of adventure and inventiveness. Perhaps not. I didn't really see "Pim" in my mind's eye, didn't really envision or invest or wonder. He was a fiction, which was somehow more beguiling than the rattle and shimmy of a silver-ware drawer. Current events fell by the wayside as "Pim" stepped forth.

Was he tall or short, plump or slender, laughable and affable? Had he had his heart broken in other times? Had he freed a mouse from a trap? I could not really find him and yet there he was, more interesting in my head than the current events served up along the news wires.

Could he sing? And if so, did he?

With the ice-rimed roofs up and down the street, with all that the world has to offer this morning, who is this Pim who has come to visit?

Or is is just the "once upon a time" whose muffled tintinnabulation fades softly, like Pim, in my mind? I somehow know he is not a man to go naked and yet dressing him is beyond my ability. Will he scatter bread crumbs in his wake as a means of marking the way back home? He seems unconcerned.

A bit of magic, I guess. I like magic. I like being tricked and bamboozled and knowing simultaneously I am being tricked and bamboozled. It doesn't matter how many times I see it, the woman really is being sawed in half in that coffin.

Fiction or fact ... I guess I am in a fiction phase.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Trump's undocumented workers

You knew it in your bones right along: Donald Trump, president of the United States, is a liar and a conniver and a member in good standing of the petite bourgeoisie ("everything has a price") whose stature would be lessened if he were not standing on someone else's back ... but ... well ...

"The president says that in the places he owns he does not hire any undocumented workers. ...It is a lie,” said [Sandra] Diaz, [right] 46, a native of Costa Rica who worked at the club in 2010 to 2013.
Who are you going to believe? Who's the "criminal?" Who's the "servant?" Who's the scum bag?
“We need to come out and defend ourselves,” said 47-year-old [Victorina] Morales, brushing away tears. “I had enough with suffering.”

Friday, December 7, 2018

brownies in the making

Nothing struck my fancy on a run through the wires this morning -- an increasingly frequent happening -- so I made brownies instead. With chocolate morsels added and a couple of tablespoons of raw chocolate and some crumbled cashews on one corner ... I like nuts, but others do not. I suspect the cashews will not hold out against the chocolate but I wanted to try it and cashews are one of my faves.

There's corruption out there. I saw it on the wires. And George H. W. Bush was buried in Texas and China seems to be pissed at the U.S. for dropping an arrest made on Saturday on a congregation of power players Tuesday. Perhaps the Chinese can borrow some polonium from the Russians and make Donald Trump a cuppa.

The day is cold-ish, but there is sun. Some CNN talking head is said to be in line to be U.S. ambassador at the U.N.

Drip, drip, drip....

Thursday, December 6, 2018

freedom of federal employee speech

Meanwhile, tightening the political noose....
New guidance warning federal workers not to discuss Donald Trump’s potential impeachment or the so-called “resistance” movement has sparked controversy, with some ethics advocates voicing concerns over what they see as an effort to crack down on free speech and limit dissent.
A memo released by the Office of Special Counsel last week clarified what constitutes political activity at the federal workplace, stemming from Trump seeking re-election as president in 2020.
In addition to avoiding topics that might suggest views favorable or unfavorable toward Trump, the document stipulated “strong criticism or praise of a presidential administration’s policies and actions” also amount to political activity.
The move prompted immediate backlash from government watchdogs and unions, who said the interpretation of political activity is too broad and exposes more than 2 million federal employees to undue risk and could hurt their free speech rights.
 Stay tuned: I have a hunch there's more where that came from.

not exactly a man of the people

A series of grey days and chilly. George H.W. Bush, former U.S. president, is lying in state, his well-heeled memories rising up like mists across a peat bog. Dying seems to have a healing effect. The only real memory I have of him came from a cop-shop reporter pal, Don, who had a friend in the Secret Service, which guards presidents, among other chores.

And it was from Don -- talk about hearsay evidence -- that I heard the tale of George H.W. Bush visiting a high school classroom in Maine. Bush was a globe-trotter and a former head of the C.I.A. His silver spoon was clearly clenched between his WASP-enfranchised lips as he tried to connect with the students in Maine. "How many people here have been to Paris?" he asked the class brightly. No one responded. "Well, how many have been to (another famous city -- don't recall -- in Europe?)"

And still there was no response until one student girded his loins and said, "Hell, Mr. President, most of us have not been beyond Augusta [the capital of Maine]."

George H.W. Bush, whatever his sense of noblesse oblige, whatever his patrician decencies, whatever his willingness to serve his country, was probably the very plant life of the swamp that guys like Donald Trump claimed he would drain.

Of course, Bush had the decency to laugh at himself, a thing Donald Trump is incapable of.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

dying to say "decent"

Last week, former president George Herbert Walker Bush died at 94. And as the corpse does its obligatory rounds before interment, it is interesting how many politicians and other wannabes have hastened to use the word "decent" to describe the man. It is as if the word "decent" were some sort of pariah in the face of Donald Trump's manipulations and lies.

Dying to say "decent."

Viscerally, Trump is indecent, and any recollection that will allow the "decency" genie out of the bottle is welcome, even the throw-back WASP who actually seemed to believe that a little decency was not a dangerous thing.

It may be a fib, but it's a fib that is pleasing to the mind.

Monday, December 3, 2018

another black man shot in the back

Sometimes the drumbeat goes beyond heart-breaking ... it is a travesty, a cruelty, a stupidity ... a litany. I guess this one just tipped my inured and blasé cup:
Emantic Bradford Jr, the 21-year-old African American man who was killed by a police officer on Thanksgiving at a mall in Alabama, was shot three times from behind, according to an independent autopsy released by a civil rights attorney on Monday.
His father told the Guardian the report showed his son was murdered.
According to the report, Dr Roger A Mitchell observed gunshot wounds to the right side of Bradford Jr’s body, in his head, neck and lower back. The report states: “The cause of death is gunshot wound of the head. Manner of death is homicide.”
Twenty-fucking-one-years old! Wearing a uniform the likes of which Donald Trump and his silver-spoon ilk never will!

It's apostasy of the deepest order.

That could have been my kid if my kid were brown.

Maybe we could move several deep-South states to Israel where shooting the poorly-armed or unarmed is more usual.

how to counter artificial-intelligence assertion

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has denied claims that he had died and was replaced by a Sudanese impostor, breaking his silence on a rumour that has circulated on social media for months.
Buhari, who is running for re-election in February, spent five months in Britain last year being treated for an undisclosed illness. One theory widely aired on social media – and by some political opponents – was that he had been replaced by a lookalike from Sudan called Jubril.
No evidence has been presented, but videos making the claim have been viewed thousands of times on YouTube and Facebook.
“It’s the real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong,” Buhari told Nigerians in a town hall session in Poland on Sunday.
When it comes to man-vs-machine, who are you going to believe? Does it matter? Replicants -- a la 1982's "Blade Runner" -- seem to be gaining a toe hold. And yet machines and lookalikes still retain what I consider a flaw -- they're flawless and hence boring. "Perfect" ain't never gonna cut it.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

failure and success

To fail at something you truly admire is better than to succeed at something that can only make you look good.

Is that true? I think perhaps it is.