Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Another Twitter Poll: Am I Safe In Ordering My "Biden Harris 2020" Bumperstickers Early?

Obama & Hamilton

First of all, Happy 59th Birthday to President Barack Obama.

What better way to celebrate than with one of the greatest cultural events in White House history from the first spring of the Obama presidency. On May 12, 2009, 'An Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word' gave us a sneak peak at a song from a proposed hip-hop album that would become the Broadway classic 'Hamilton' six years later.

Will we ever have a White House that has such cultural highlights again?

Who, for example, visited the current president for a photo op (there are no musical or poetry performances there since 2017) during his first spring in the office?

"They Are Dying...And It Is What It Is" -- Donald Trump's Memorable Quotation on the #TrumpVirus

For those of you, like me, who don't subscribe to HBO, Axios has posted the entire interview that Jonathan Swan conducted with Donald Trump on YouTube as a public service:

This Swan/Trump interview may not be remembered as long as Frost/Nixon, but it certainly should be studied by every other interviewer who sits down with the Prevaricator-in-Chief to see how follow-up questions should be deployed when Trump tries to lie or (more frequently) change the subject.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Happy Birthday to James Baldwin

This photo was taken by me at the Women's March in D.C. on January 21, 2017.
"Ignorance Allied with Power Is the Most Ferocious Enemy Justice Can Have."

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Trump Steaks! They're INNNNSANE!

After stumbling on this commercial for Trump Steaks, something became immediately obvious,...

...the real-estate con man from Queens (who also failed with Trump Steaks, Trump "University," Trump Foundation, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Soho, Trump Airlines, the Trump "Administration," etc., etc.) missed an opportunity to be the next pitchman for another New York institution, Crazy Eddie's appliance stores.

Rather than becoming an on-screen television personality where he played a "successful billionaire" and a president, maybe Donald Trump would have finally found his true niche in selling televisions instead.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Trump's Approval Ratings Envy - "Nobody likes me; it can only be my personality."

Which does Trump care about more, his approval ratings or 150,000 American deaths from the #TrumpVirus?

Before you answer, watch this statement from this afternoon's press conference in which he whines about his approval rating vis-à-vis Dr. Anthony Fauci's:


...and he's got a high approval rating, so why don't I have a high approval rating with respect and the administration with respect to the virus? We should have a very high....

Now you can vote in this Twitter poll:

Friday, July 24, 2020

One-Week Poll: "The History of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire"

Is it possible for residents of an empire to accurately see where their empire is in the span of its lifecycle while the empire's leaders are still proclaiming their empire "exceptional" and therefore immune from the fate of all empires?

In other words, where do Americans think we are in our allotted period at the top of the global heap? Are pandemics, extreme inequality, militarism, racial and regional divisions, corruption, etc. etc., solvable problems or signs of our end times?

You have one week to vote in this Twitter poll.

Feel free to retweet to harness the wisdom of crowds.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Should someone who threatens war crimes and pardons war criminals be allowed to have a Twitter account?

Monday, September 23, 2019

John Wayne illustrates Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "La propriété, c'est le vol!"

It's amazing, but the clearest video representation I've ever seen of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's famous slogan, "Property is theft!" (first formulated in French as "La propriété, c'est le vol!") is found in Howard Hawks' classic western, Red River. I had posted this movie back in 2011 with the same message, but that earlier clip had been removed from YouTube. Here's the key section of the film again, courtesy of Fandango MovieClips.

The movie ends with John Wayne a respected large-scale landowner, rancher, and all-around successful capitalist asshole. Here he is very early in the film, beginning his Texas real-estate and cattle empire with a murder and the brazen theft of Mexican land that formed his original ranch on the north side of the Rio Grande. I don't think any further explanation is needed to connect the dots to Proudhon's thesis.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

God-Given Guns?

A couple of days ago, the most recent ex-Minister of Information for the Trump Administration, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted that "Democrats say we have guns in America because of 'corruption'. No, we have guns because it’s our God-given right enshrined in the Constitution."

Being the smart aleck that I am, I replied with "It seems sacrilegious (as well as ridiculous) to blame modern America's firearms plague on a mythical 'God-given right' to bear arms." and "But if the right to bear arms (as part of a militia) in the Constitution is 'God-given,' then so is the #emoluments clause." Checking back a couple of days later, I was heartened to see that my replies acquired more than a few likes and retweets, and that there were over 25,000 other replies to her original tweet, most of which were amazed and surprised at her invocation of The Almighty in her defense of assault weapons.

I wasn't surprised. This wasn't the first time I heard this claim about a God-given right to bear arms. It seems to be an article of faith among a certain subculture of Americans. Back in 2012, I quoted at length from the document of a right-wing extremist group, The Platform Committee of the Republican Party of Texas. Not only did they talk about the "God-given right" to open carry your firearm on page 14 of their 2012 platform, but that was one of their less controversial planks. Abolishing Social Security and Income Tax; withdrawal from the UN, IMF, WTO, and World Bank; anti-homosexuality and pro-confederate-monument planks; repealing the Endangered Species and Voting Rights Acts; and much more that makes Donald Trump look like a flaming moderate on the GOP scale of fucknuttery were included. You can read more excerpts here, or the full document here. We sometimes forget in these days of Trump's constant headline-grabbing distractions, that the foundations of know-nothingism run deep in the GOP and USA. The nightmare didn't begin in November 8, 2016.

(Also -- having an open mind -- if anyone can cite the Bible verse in which God gives people -- especially Americans -- the divine right to carry guns, I'm willing to listen.)